Truitt Williams – Words to Live By

An Article by Brenda Germany  |  Photos by Stephen Anderson

God respects me when I work. But He loves me when I sing.”, Rabindranath Tagore

The Line recently visited with a well known Gulf Coast musician who speaks fondly of a treasured plaque that hangs in his home. Written on the plaque are the words quoted above. For many musicians these two short sentences speak volumes. Words to live by? For Truitt Williams, the answer is a resounding yes.

When we observe a musician on stage it’s logical to envision them devoting all their time and effort toward becoming successful. Just as there are differing views on what constitutes success, creating that success may not always require a musician to have a single-minded focus. Truitt Williams’ focus for success has been balanced between dual priorities: maintaining a traditional career while continuing to perform music. His definition of success acknowledged the importance he felt “the ability to provide for and secure his family” deserved and his wish to keep music as an integral part of his life.

Truitt Williams at home in Moss Point, MS

His father, a local minister, brought music into Truitt’s life with a voice that he describes as being quite like Jimmie Rodgers, Mississippi’s Singing Brakeman, of whom his father was an avid fan. While growing up, guitars and other musical instruments were “always lying around” Truitt’s home. Being left-handed, which his father was not, Truitt taught himself to play right-handed guitars. Williams recalls his first public performance as singing and playing guitar at a local fraternal lodge at the young age of nine.

Drawing on the family’s long history of boat building and machine works, Truitt’s father advised him to pursue a career in engineering. Honoring his father’s wishes, Truitt attended Mississippi State University to receive an engineering degree. While in college he continued to follow his passion for music and performed at many University functions and parties, most notably for an event at which he arrived on stage riding his motorcycle dressed in a gold sequined jumpsuit. Needless to say, in the early 1970’s era of glitz and glam bands his appearance was a definite hit earning him many more invitations to perform throughout his college years. While at college Williams and four friends formed a band naming it Stoney Lonesome, for the song of the same name by Bill Monroe. Their collaboration and friendships have remained intact since 1971 with Stoney Lonesome reuniting each year to play at the weeklong W. C. Handy Music Festival at “The Shoals” of northwest Alabama.

01Truitt Williams at Jack’s by the Tracks in Pascagoula, MS

Now happily retired after a successful career in Shipbuilding, following his family’s legacy, Truitt fully pursues the other focus of his success. Although his current life may not include appearing onstage in a gold sequined jumpsuit at this point, Truitt with his wife, Amy, and their beloved collection of rescued dogs and cats live on and cherish the land and water where his family built boats for many generations on the Pascagoula River. Truitt continues to perform extensively believing that the truest expression of music occurs in live performances.

Truitt Williams sings with the sincerity and conviction of one who has experienced the true power of music to bring enjoyment to others and recognizes the connection it creates in those who truly feel its purpose. Music fans wishing to enjoy an evening of rock & roll, blues or country music in its purest form can find just that in Truitt Williams and his local band (Steve Krebs, Daryl Dryden, Brad Simons) at Gulf Coast venues including The Shed, The Tiki and Jack’s by the Tracks.

Truitt Williams

Stoney Lonesome (1970s) Courtesy of Truitt Williams

Stoney Lonesome (1970s) Courtesy of Truitt Williams

Concert Poster: Michael Murphey with special guest Stoney Lonesome
(Mon. Nov. 17, 1975) Courtesy of Truitt Williams

The perfect evening view at Truitt’s place

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BY STEPHEN ANDERSON.

 


Page designed and edited by Johnny Cole
© The Southland Music Line. 2019. All rights reserved

©The Southland Music Line

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