All About History



8 MAY 1910 - 28 MAY 1981

orn Mary Elfrieda Scruggs, Williams learned early the power music could have on people. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1910s, she managed to placate white neighbours who had been harassing her family by playing piano in their homes. It was only after she broke her arm and her neighbours came to ask why she wasn’t visiting anymore that her mother realised what she’d been doing. By 15 she was a full-time musician and in her 30s she was mentoring future jazz pioneers like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie

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