Lee "Shot" Williams

Daddy B. Nice's #13 ranked Southern Soul Artist



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"Somebody's After My Freak"

Lee "Shot" Williams

Composed by Raymond Moore and John Ward


November 29, 2011:

Obituary: Lee "Shot" Williams.


Soul Blues Report, a Southern Soul music newsletter headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, first ran a banner headline over Thanksgiving weekend which looked like an obituary notice: LEE SHOT WILLIAMS 1938-2011. No other details were provided.

The media link (the website is a referral service) was to a Soul Express interview with Lee "Shot" Williams in 1997 by Heikki Suosalo, a longtime Southern Soul writer from Europe.

Today, Tuesday, November 29, 2011, there are still no details forthcoming on time, date or cause of death. However, The Boogie Report--a Southern Soul newsletter of long standing--has posted the following funeral information:

Services for Lee Shot Williams Will Be Held: Monday December 5 th At The: Mw St Johns Grand Lodge 7443 S Ingleside Ave Chicago, Illinois 60619 (773) 874-4778

Wake and Family Hour 10 to 11 am Services 11 am

A fund raiser to help defray funeral and burial expenses is scheduled for Thursday Night Nov.1st In Memphis.
For more information contact :
Larry Chambers
901-320-9235

Tributes and Donations are Requeted to be sent to:
Clifford Streeter
2101 So. Michigan Ave
Apt.506
Chicago, Illinois 60616
phone 773-392-5858

All Flowers Should Be Delivered To The Mw St Johns Grand Lodge
7443 S Ingleside Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60619
(773) 874-4778
On The Day Of The Services

The Boogie Report


Lee "Shot" Williams' death marks the passing of another giant of Southern Soul. He held a lofty position (#13) on Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul Artists, which covered the twenty years from 1990-2010.

--Daddy B. Nice

************

Update: March 6, 2011: NEW ALBUM ALERT

Bargain-Priced The First Rule Of Cheating CD

Recommended Single: "Sleeping In The Wrong Bed"

Buy "Sleeping In The Wrong Bed" MP3

**************************

See "Tidbits" below for the latest updates on Lee "Shot" Williams. To automatically link to Lee "Shot's" charted radio singles, awards, CD's and other references throughout the website, go to "Williams, Lee 'Shot'" in Daddy B. Nice's Comprehensive Index.

***********************

Daddy B. Nice's Original Critique:

Some people will tell you a "freak" is someone from a carnival, some think it applies to superstar athletes, but for fans of R&B it means a gal (or guy, as the case may be) who'll do things your regular woman won't. In fact, "le freak" (ala Chic) boasts a long and proud tradition in urban R&B. Adina Howard's proclamation in the high-spirited 90's funk anthem "Freak Like Me" says it better than Daddy B. Nice ever could.

"Let me lay it on the line.
I got a little freakiness inside.
I need a roughneck n----r
That can satisfy me."

But Lee "Shot" Williams owns the Southern Soul franchise for "freak." At least, he has ever since the release of his "freak" trilogy--"She Made A Freak Out Of Me," "Somebody's After My Freak," and "Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me"-- all written by the hard-working, under-appreciated songwriting/producing duo of John Ward and Raymond Moore.

"I should have never told it all, y'all,
About all those kinky things.
I know a lot of my friends got jealous,
With the way she made a freak out of me.
I should have never bragged about it,
Or the way she turned me out.
Now some of my backstabbing friends,
They sure trying to ease me out."

These songs--essentially the same tune with small variations--were sensations when they came out in 2000 and 2001. They put laughter in deejays' patter. They spawned a cottage industry of musical responses from Bobby Jonz's "Lee Shot Stole My Freak" to Rick Lawson's "Lee Shot, Come And Get Your Freak."

You could hear "Leeee-shad" everywhere in the Deep South, and the reason Daddy B. Nice spells it that way is because a non-Southerner, seeing the words "Lee 'Shot'," wants to put the accent on the second word and pronounce the hard 't'. However, the way it's pronounced in the South is with the accent on the first syllable and a soft-as-butter 'd' to end the second. Leeee-shad. Come and get your freak. (With both syllables drawn out to a length into which most Northerners could squeeze a small conversation.)

The best of the trilogy may be "Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me"--

"I've been cheatin' on my woman, y'all,
At least two or three times a week."

--which (besides having arguably the deepest groove) attaches a trailer of hail-fellow-blues-artists references complete with the songs those artists recorded that "blew the whistle" on poor Leee-shad. It's a fascinating list, a "who's who" of Southern Soul, reeled off with a wit and aplomb that will tickle fans of Southern Soul.

Williams gives "props" to Johnnie Taylor's "Good Love," Latimore's "Let's Straighten It Out," J. Blackfoot's "Just One Lifetime," Artie 'Blues Boy' White's "Leaning Tree," Ronnie Lovejoy's "Sho' Wasn't Me," and Bobby Rush's "Sue," in addition to Tyrone Davis, Cicero Blake and Syl Johnson. The song is a veritable primer on Southern Soul classics.

These acknowledgements to fellow artists are a peculiarity of Southern Soul and one of its greatest pleasures. You can take them as guideposts to the genre from the perspective of the actual contenders. And you can take them as definitive proof that a strong Southern Soul community exists.

"Somebody's After My Freak" is the song that started it all, however. Easy-going but--well--"freaky," it exploded on the Southern Soul scene. The atmosphere conjured by Lee Shot's band before he even begins singing is deep into the night in a smoky, sweaty, crowded club where everyone is as high as a kite.

Ironically, the fans' fascination with his "freak" songs has overshadowed some of his best work on other material, particularly "(Can You) Get Away" and "Do What You Do," songs that illustrate William's penchant for melodic songs and original arrangements.

Williams was one of those grizzled old R&B veterans, long out of the music business, who came around relatively late to the fact that the Southern Soul scene was really happening. His chops were obvious. He really picked up steam on the Memphis-based Ecko Records label at the dawn of the century. Once he did, he immediately filled up a niche as a "senior player." For today's chitlin' circuit audience his very name brings with it a whiff of raffish charm.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Lee "Shot" Williams

Lee Williams was dubbed "Shot" by his mother for his habit of wearing suits and dressing up as a "big shot." Born in 1938 in Lexington, Mississippi, he moved to Detroit in the fifties and then on to Chicago, where he eventually hooked up with fellow Mississippian Little Smokey Smothers. He interned with Chicago-based Magic Sam, then toured with Earl Hooker and Bobby "Blue" Bland.

His first album under his own name, Country Disco, was released in 1977. In the eighties, without commercial prospects, Williams moved back to Memphis, where he might very well have lived out the remainder of his life in obscurity but for small-label Black Magic's interest in giving him an opportunity. The result, Cold Shot, was voted the best blues album of 1995 by "Living Blues" magazine.
In 1996 Lee "Shot" Williams moved to Ecko Records, where he recorded Hot Shot, distinguished by creditable, straightforward blues numbers such as "Make Me Holler" and "I'll Take The Risk."

By 2000, however, Williams had honed a much more focused musical persona, evident in his smash chitlin' circuit hit, "She Made A Freak Out Of Me." The following year, he recorded his signature hit, "Somebody's After My Freak" (from the Somebody's After My Freak CD). Since then, Williams has continued to put out a steady stream of top-notch Southern Soul discs annually.

The Lee "Shot" Williams Discography:

1995 Cold Shot (Black Magic)

1996 Hot Shot (Ecko)

2000 She Made A Freak Out Of Me (Ecko)

2001 Somebody's After My Freak (Ecko)

2002 Let the Good Times Roll (Wilson)

2003 Get Down Tonight (Ecko)

2005 Nibble Man (Ecko)

2006 Starts with a P. (Ecko)

2006 Meat Man (Ecko)

2008 Shot from the Soul (CDS)

2010 I'm the Man For the Job (CDS)


Song's Transcendent Moment

"When I told them
All the good, good things,
They all got jealous inside.
And now they're trying to break me down,
By telling my woman their lies.

Somebody's after my freak,
They blew the whistle on me.
Somebody's after my freak.
They blew the whistle on me."


Tidbits

1. Your Daddy B. Nice became enamored with a song called "Southern Girl" by an unknown artist in 2002, hearing it a half-dozen times on chitlin' circuit radio but never quite catching the name of the artist. The song was notable for its country-western flavor and its unique, choppy rhythm. Best of all, both the lead and back-up vocals were "perfectly loose"--they sounded real and un-studio-like.

It turns out this catchy piece of Americana was recorded by Lee "Shot" Williams on the Let The Good Times Roll CD on small-label Wilson Records in 2002. But that doesn't mean the larger Southern Soul labels aren't letting Lee "Shot" push the envelope.


2. August 10, 2005. "Ease On Down In The Bed" from 2005's Nibble Man from Southern Soul label Ecko is yet another song that's as valuable for the musical directions it suggests as it is for Shot's patented up tempo magic. A percolating, organ-enhanced rhythm section strikes out into virgin territory, rhythmically speaking, while Lee "Shot" patters on in a seductive voice about bedroom geography. It's short on melody, but high on originality, groove and atmosphere.

3. December 8, 2006. Lee "Shot" Williams' has been busy, releasing not one but two Ecko-chaperoned CD's in 2006. Both Starts With A P (April) and Meat Man (October) testify to Lee "Shot"'s continuing oral fixation and fascination with food as a metaphor.

"Everything I Like To Eat Starts With A 'P'" from the former disc milks this obsession for all it's worth, yet after all the teasing, the five-letter word the listener expects never arises, although every other possible permutation of "p" as applied to "food" does. Musically, the song works well.

However, with the exception of an idiosyncratic version of "I Never Loved A Woman The Way I Love You," the balance of the material from the two records doesn't generate a lot of enthusiasm. Inexplicably, Williams chose to reprise the middlin' "Meat Man" from the Starts With A P CD and build an entirely new album around it, Meat Man. The CD's live version of "Ease On Down In The Bed," which illustrates how Lee "Shot" has honed his crowd-pleasing, sexual-innuendo schtick over the years, will bring a smile to his fans' faces. But assuming Lee "Shot" has a lot of bills to pay, one stills wonders if even his most ardent fans will continue to pony up for CD's this thin and repetitive in such rapid succession. DBN.

4. May 27, 2008

The reappearance of Lee "Shot" Williams on Daddy B. Nice's Top 10 Southern Soul Singles for April 2008 is good news. Williams strikes "perfect pitch"--culturally and comedically speaking--in two new singles from his new CDS effort, Shot From The Soul: "Country Woman" and "It's Friday (Time To Get Paid)."

Lee "Shot" followed his peak years--the era of his "Freak" songs ("Somebody's After My Freak," Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me," "She Made A Freak Out Of Me") with what might be called his "food" phase of the last few years: "Meat Man," "(Everything I Like To Eat) Starts With A P" and the like.

"Starts With A P" was probably the best Lee "Shot" song of that phase, with its recitatation of all the food stuffs that begin with a "P"--among them pot roast, pork chops, peanuts, pasta, peaches, pigs' feet, pineapple, potato pie--that Lee "Shot" loved to eat, without actually naming the sexual female zone in the vernacular that threatens to slip out of (but never quite crosses) Lee "Shot's" hungry lips.

"I don't mind a little snack in the bedroom," Lee "Shot" confides to his girlfriend Patricia near the end of the song, "As long as it starts with a P."

And yet in hindsight Lee "Shot" Williams' food phase seems at best an artistic step sideways in terms of his career since the peak conquered with his "freak" songs of the early 00's. But on this new album, Lee "Shot" strikes "perfect pitch" in a number of ways.

"I've been working all week long,
Working like a knee-grew slave."

Two things to like in the new "Shot" single, "It's Friday (Time To Get Paid)" are the humor and the bucking-the-political-correctness-crowd courage displayed in the use of the phrase "working like a Negro (pronounced knee-grew) slave." The mispronunciation makes it even funnier, and encapsulates the pure charm of Mississippi-steeped Southern Soul.

Lee "Shot's "Country Girl" is an even more impressive presentation of finely-tuned, down-home R&B. When Williams sings about putting "the rest of his money in his shoe" so he doesn't "get robbed," you really believe it.

And when "Shot" is talking about loving his "baby" ("Fannie Mae Brown"--the perfect name, by the way), he's so overcome with appreciation for her qualities that he pauses, as a man would do in conversation with a close friend, and lets out a little, knowing laugh that is alone worth the price of the CD.

DBN

******************

5. March 1, 2010: NEW ALBUM ALERT

2009 witnessed yet another soulful Southern Soul hit from the under-rated and under-appreciated Lee "Shot" Williams. The song, "Wrong Bed" from the SHOT FROM THE SOUL CD, one of CDS Records' finest Southern Soul albums to date, joined "Country Woman" and "It's Friday (Time To Get Paid)" as bona fide fan favorites.

Now Lee "Shot" has a new offering:

Bargain-Priced I'm The Man For The Job CD

****************

6.

July 17, 2010:

LEE "SHOT" WILLIAMS: I'm The Man For The Job (CDS) Three Stars *** Solid. The artist's fans will enjoy.

Lee "Shot" Williams serves up a mixed bag on this, his 11th album in a long and distinguished (if largely unheralded) career as one of Southern Soul's foremost vocal interpreters.

Dependent upon other songwriters for his material, Lee "Shot" here selects songs from a varied list of composers including young Southern Soul artists Simeo, Eric Perkins and Charlie Brown, old-school crooner Lionel Ritchie and grizzled bluesman James Peterson.

The new album stakes a middle ground somewhere between the pitch-perfect Southern Soul of Lee "Shot's" last CD, Shot From The Soul, one of his very best, and the uneven efforts of some of his mid-aughts albums such as Nibble Man and Meat Man. The venerable Harrison Calloway shares producing duties with Eric Perkins (see Daddy B. Nice's Featured Artist: July 2010).

The album starts auspiciously with the title cut, "I'm The Man For The Job," an uptempo tune that careens ahead via a stinging guitar doing a telegraph-like, staccato riff that perfectly complements Lee "Shot's" wonderfully-seasoned vocal. His one-of-a-kind tenor sails above the rhythmic pulse with a verve as charismatic as anything he's ever recorded.

"Put your legs in my face," "Shot" yells plaintively in the chorus. "Put some hips right on my lips."

"753-L.O.V.E." slows it down a bit. The Eric Perkins tune plies a mid-tempo rhythm with an easy-going melody that is content to stay simple.

Both "I'm The Man For The Job" and "753-L.O.V.E." have the potential to be popular Southern Soul singles. "I'm The Man For The Job" was Daddy B. Nice's #2 "Breaking" Southern Soul Single for June 2010.

"Thirty Minutes," written by the usually avant-garde Simeo Overall in an uncharacteristically derivative exercise in the blues, begins the uneven portion of the CD. The chorus has a fifties-novelty feel and the vocal by Lee "Shot" is just workmanlike.

Similarly, "Yesterday I Fell In Love" has the sound of a retread, performed much better in former Lee "Shot" songs, "I'll Take The Risk" and "Make Me Holler."

Things take a turn for the better in "Welcome To The Club," although Williams' vocal seems to be huffing and puffing just to get back to a higher level. The song has a fairly worthy melody and an intriguing theme, a lonely-hearts club.

"Come on in," Lee "Shot" wails. "Welcome to the club. . . We've got every sad record / That you can think of." Producer Harrison Calloway gives the song a boost with one of his trademark, spirit-lifting horn sections.

"It Ain't Me No More" isn't memorable, but it's followed by a bluesy rendition of a Charlie Brown tune that made Daddy B. Nice's Top Ten Singles in May 2010, "Got A Good Woman," in which "Shot" ventures into B. B. King territory and triumphs with an authentic delivery. He sounds like he's singing through a broken bottle in a dark and twisted, sticky-countered, butts-on-the-floor dive.

"Got A Good Woman" showcases Lee "Shot" doing what he does best: infusing songs that in other singer's hands are merely imitative, transforming them through the unique passion of his voice and delivery into superlative music.

"Are You Leaving Me For Another Man" is a good but not great outing. It's just good enough to recall "Country Woman" or "Wrong Bed" from the "Shot From The Soul" album, but it never quite reaches the exquisite heights of those songs. And since those songs are the lofty standard by which we now judge Lee "Shot," "Are You Leaving Me For Another Man" sounds a little weak and anemic.

"It's Easy" is the undisputed clunker of the CD, in this reviewer's opinion. It sounds so "white," so bland. Even Lionel Ritchie's rendition sounded like a half-baked rendition of the Keith Carradine tune of the same name from the movie "Nashville."

This business of redoing "classics" is dicey. Sometimes it works to perfection, as--say--when Bobby "Blue" Bland sings "What A Wonderful World." He transforms the classic and makes it his own.

On "It's Easy" Lee "Shot" is less successful. Everything sounds okay, but the song doesn't fly, it doesn't soar. It seems grounded in the here-and-now of strictly-journeyman cover songs.

The gospel turn "Lifting Up The Name of Jesus"--a classic in another sense--is much better. Here Lee "Shot" sounds comfortably in his element, with a gospel background chorus that nicely complements his energetic vocal.

The album's closing tune, "Yesterday I Fell" reprises the number-four track on the CD and fails for the same reason: it never really escapes its deeply-rooted derivative sound. Not only does it sound like the Williams hits noted above, it ultimately traces its lineage to "Shot's" crowd-pleasing "freak" songs ("She Made A Freak Out Of Me," "She Blew The Whistle On Me.")

Obviously, Lee "Shot" considers "Yesterday I Fell" a "keeper" or he wouldn't have done it twice. That, however, is a miscalculation. The "keepers" on this album are "I'm The Man For The Job," "753-L.O.V.E." and "Got A Good Woman." "Welcome To The Club" also deserves special mention.

The high point is without a doubt the "legs-in-my-face" "I'm The Man For The Job," with its cute and salacious female chorus perfectly showcasing Lee "Shot's" singular ability to convey the male hormones on steroids and good-natured fun.

--Daddy B. Nice

Bargain-Priced I'm The Man For The Job CD

Comparison-Priced I'm The Man For The Job CD

***********************





If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you can imagine Sam Cooke's "Having A Party" updated and electrified for the 21st century, you're pretty close to Lee "Shot" Williams' "Somebody's After My Freak."


Honorary "B" Side

"Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Somebody's After My Freak by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Somebody's After My Freak


CD: Somebody's After My Freak
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Somebody's After My Freak


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Somebody Blew The Whistle On Me


CD: She Made A Freak Out Of Me
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
She Made A Freak Out Of Me


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Country Woman by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Country Woman


CD: Shot From The Soul
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Shot From The Soul


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Sleeping In The Wrong Bed by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Sleeping In The Wrong Bed


CD: The First Rule Of Cheating
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
The First Rule Of Cheating


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Southern Girl by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Southern Girl


CD: Let The Good Times Roll
Label: Wilson



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Wrong Bed by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Wrong Bed


CD: Shot From The Soul
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Shot From The Soul


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Do What You Do by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Do What You Do


CD: Somebody's After My Freak
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Somebody's After My Freak


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ease On Down In The Bed by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Ease On Down In The Bed


CD: Nibble Man
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Nibble Man


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Get Away  by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Get Away


CD: Let The Good Times Roll
Label: Endzone



4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Got A Good Woman by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Got A Good Woman


CD: I'm The Man For The Job
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
I'm The Man For The Job


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'm The Man For The Job by Lee 'Shot' Williams
I'm The Man For The Job


CD: I'm The Man For The Job
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
I'm The Man For The Job


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy 753-L.O.V.E. by Lee 'Shot' Williams
753-L.O.V.E.


CD: I'm The Man For The Job
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
I'm The Man For The Job


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Everything I LIke To Eat Starts With A
Everything I LIke To Eat Starts With A "P"


CD: Starts With A P.
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Starts With A P.


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I Never Loved A Woman The Way I Love You by Lee 'Shot' Williams
I Never Loved A Woman The Way I Love You


CD: Starts With A P.
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Starts With A P.


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy I'll Take The Risk by Lee 'Shot' Williams
I'll Take The Risk


CD: Hot Shot
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Hot Shot


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy It's Friday (Time To Get Paid) by Lee 'Shot' Williams
It's Friday (Time To Get Paid)


CD: Shot From The Soul
Label: CDS

Sample or Buy
Shot From The Soul


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Juke Joint Slide by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Juke Joint Slide


CD: Get Down Tonight
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Get Down Tonight


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy She Made A Freak Out Of Me by Lee 'Shot' Williams
She Made A Freak Out Of Me


CD: She Made A Freak Out Of Me
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
She Made A Freak Out Of Me


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy You Got That Voodoo by Lee 'Shot' Williams
You Got That Voodoo


CD: Get Down Tonight
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Get Down Tonight


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Make Me Holler by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Make Me Holler


CD: Hot Shot
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Hot Shot


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Meat Man by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Meat Man


CD: Meat Man
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Meat Man


2 Stars 2 Stars 
Sample or Buy Nibble Man by Lee 'Shot' Williams
Nibble Man


CD: Nibble Man
Label: Ecko

Sample or Buy
Nibble Man


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