The Joe Williams Every Day Foundation Scholarships
The Joe Williams Every Day Foundation Scholarships provide UNLV Jazz students with financial assistance for the academic year. Before he died, at the age of 80 on March 29, 1999, Joe Williams, with his wife Jillean and some of his closest friends and collaborators, created the non-profit Joe Williams Every Day Foundation. Its aim is to provide support for music and musicians, especially those in jazz, and to create career opportunities for deserving young talent. Joe performed with the bands of such jazz luminaries as Jimmie Noone, Coleman Hawkins, Andy Kirk and Lionel Hampton. He first came to broad public attention in 1955 with his hit version of Memphis Slim’s Every Day I Have The Blues, recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra. That famous LP (now CD) entitled Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings established Joe as a major performer and put the Basie band firmly back in the public eye ( and ear) after a period of postwar retrenchment. Joe remained the Basie Orchestra’s star singer until 1961, when he left to go out on his own. As a solo artist, Joe performed in concert and on recordings with such stars as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, George Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Marlena Shaw, Mel Torme, and with celebrated blues shouters Jimmy Rushing and big Joe Turner. In 1983, a pavement star was laid for him in Hollywood’s Walk Of The Stars next to that of Count Basie. Student scholars are listed * in the concert programs.