Earl Williams

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Earl Williams (born c. 1952 in Bessemer) is a rhythm & blues guitarist and hair stylist, now owner of the Intensive Care Beauty Salon in Bessemer, which he opened in 1986.

Williams learned to play guitar as a youngster, hanging out at Gip's Place, Bank's Pawn Shop, and the homes of friends who owned guitars in order to practice. He got a job playing for The Corruptors when he was 13.

In the early 1970s he formed the Afro Blues Band (later Kalu) with Greg Miller and Lee Charles Mitchell. After the group's break up, Williams took a job at U.S. Steel. He wrote a blues song about a reprimand he'd gotten from his supervisor. The supervisor called him into his office to perform the song and subsequently hired him and some area bluegrass musicians to play at parties as the Swinging Sinners.

Williams' former bandmate Lee Charles Mitchell invited him to come to Dallas, Texas to play in Johnnie Taylor's band, Justice of the Peace. He took a leave of absence and toured with Taylor for a while, but then returned to his job at U.S. Steel.

Not long after he was laid off from the steel plant, Williams and the other Swinging Sinners were invited to back up blues singer Benny Latimore - partly because they carried their own sound equipment. Williams became the manager of the band. At the same time he became known for styling his bandmates' hair. While on tour, word of his proficiency with the Jheri curl brought him into the dressing rooms of other musicians such as B. B. King and Tyrone Davis. Eventually Williams found he could make more money styling hair than playing guitar. He set up shop in Bessemer and continued to promote occasional concerts and still takes the stage whenever Latimore is in the area.