Remembering Rudy Williams

Williams who spent 50 years performing as a Downtown blues fixture known as “The Mayor of Beale Street” could always be found right in front of King’s Palace.  In the 1950s, Williams won the Palace Theater’s Amateur Hour with his rendition of Perez Prado’s “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.” The win garnered him enough attention to be asked to play “Memphis Blues” at the unveiling of a W.C. Handy statue on Beale in 1960, the year Williams graduated from Booker T. Washington High.

Almost every day since Beale Street revitalized on October 8, 1983 — 10,106 days in all — Williams was there, tooting his trumpet, serenading passers-by in a kind of musical ministry. Whereas some performers dress merely to the nines, his outfits went all the way to eleven: tuxedoes, pinstripe vests, bowler hats.

You can read more about Rudy here – Commercial Appeal – Blues for Rudy