Charlie Williams: Long Black Veil - 1959
Charlie Williams: Long Black Veil – 1959

In this clip, Charlie Williams, backed up by Joe Maphis, performs a solid rendition of Long Black Veil, made famous by Lefty Frizzell and Johnny Cash, on Town Hall Party in 1959.

Born in Texas in 1929, and the underrated Williams got his start in radio, taking up residencies in Tupelo, Fort Worth, Pasadena, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Nashville.

A co-host on KTLA’s Town Hall Party, a live television country music review based on the Grand Ol’ Opry format, Williams would go on to compose more than 200 compositions recorded by some of the well-respected artists in their field, including Johnny Cash’s ‘I Got Stripes’, Bobby Bare’s ‘500 Miles Away From Home’, Dean Martin’s ‘Do You Believe This Town’, Ray Charle’s ‘Listen, They’re Playing My Song’, and Jerry Lee Lewis’ ‘She Still Comes Around.’

Williams also wrote the liner notes for Willie Nelson’s debut album … And Then I Wrote, Nelson being Charlie’s replacement at KCNC as DJ after Charlie decided to head out west for greener pastures.

Williams eventually settled in Nashville in the early 1970’s to manage music acts for a country label, including working with his old friend Willie Nelson who was breaking big.