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.