Saxophonist and bandleader Paul Williams
scored one of the first big hits of the R&B era in 1949 with "The Hucklebuck," an adaption of Charlie Parker
's "Now's the Time." The song topped the R&B charts for 14 weeks in 1949, and was one of three Top Ten and five other Top 20 R&B instrumental hits that Williams
scored for Savoy in 1948 and 1949.
He had played with Clarence Dorsey in 1946 and then made his recording debut with King Porter
in 1947 for Paradise before forming his own band late that year. Saxophonists Noble "Thin Man" Watts
and Wild Bill Moore
, trumpeter Phil Guilbeau
, and vocalists Danny Cobb
, Jimmy Brown
, Joan Shaw, and Connie Allen
were among Williams
' bandmembers. He was later part of Atlantic Records' house band in the '60s, and directed the Lloyd Price
and James Brown orchestras until 1964. After leaving the music business temporarily, Williams
opened a booking agency in New York in 1968. His other Top Ten hits were "35-30" in 1948 and "Walkin' Around" in 1949.