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Felton W. Williams Jr., American, 1934 - 2012  Search this
Unidentified Man or Men  Search this
photographic paper
H x W (Sheet): 3 1/2 × 5 in. (8.9 × 12.7 cm)
Felton W. Williams Jr. was born on January 3, 1934, in Tupelo, Mississippi. In 1943 his family moved to Detroit, where they attended the same House of God Church as fellow steel guitar pioneer Maurice “Ted” Beard. Williams began playing lap steel in 1947, and by 1952 had played for many large church assemblies n Detroit, Toledo, Ohio, Kansas City, Missouri, and Nashville, Tennessee. In 1956 Williams began working as electrician for Ford Motor Company, a job he would have until retirement in 1994. He used his skills as an electrician to build amplifiers and steel guitars. Williams also taught steel guitar to youth from the church, and had a recording studio in his basement, where he recorded many gospel records for local singers. He was respected in the Sacred Steel community as an innovator, recording artist, studio owner, producer, instructor and inventor.
A black-and-white photograph of Felton W. Williams playing his electric console steel guitar. Sitting next to him is another man playing an electric guitar. Behind them an ironing board is visible. The top of a head of a third person is visible in the lower right corner of the photograph.
African American  Search this
Gospel (Music)  Search this
Instrumentalists (Musicians)  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Pentecostal  Search this
Photography  Search this
Technology  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Gift of Felton W. Williams, Jr.
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Public domain
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National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Media Arts-Photography
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National Museum of African American History and Culture