On This Day #18 – Jeannette Williams

Jeannette WilliamsOn This Day ……………

On August 28, 1965, Jeannette Williams, nee Finney, was born in Eden, North Carolina.

The lead vocalist, bass player and award-winning songwriter began her singing career in 1989, when she joined a local country music band performing at amateur re-creations of the Grand Ole Opry.

Subsequently she joined Virginia group Clearwater as a tenor singer.

Two years later she married the band founder Johnny Williams and shortly thereafter she became the lead singer.

In 1995 Ms. Williams released her first solo album, Dreams Come True (Flyin’ Cloud FC-CD 025).

Around 1996 the band’s name was changed to Jeannette Williams and Clearwater. In that same year Johnny and Jeannette Williams released the first album on which they collaborated, Johnny & Jeanette Williams (Major Bluegrass MBG 5288).

In 1999 the band’s profile improved with the release of Cherry Blossoms in the Springtime (DS-CD 2003) on the internationally known label Doobie Shea label.

Following this the band was named the Jeannette Williams Band and they had two CDs on the Bell Buckle label.

In 2002 she learned how to play the upright bass.

As well as working in her own band, Jeannette Williams has been involved in the various critically acclaimed Daughters of Bluegrass projects – Back To The Well earned the group the prestigious IBMA Recorded Event of the Year Award in 2006 and Bluegrass Bouquet won the 2008 award. Both CDs were released by Blue Circle Records.

She continued her association with that label with a solo album Thank You for Caring (BCR 007).  The title track is a duet with country music legend the late George Jones.

Another song on that album is the award-winning Enough of You, the recipient of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest (Bluegrass Division) at MerleFest in 2007.

Currently Ms. Williams plays as part of a trio with Johnny Williams and Scott Freeman. Freeman & Williams, as they are known, released their debut album on Mountain Road Recordings (MRR 1014).

She has won several awards for her singing most notably being named SPBGMA Female Vocalist of the Year in the traditional category in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

Jeannette is a 2005 graduate of IBMA Leadership Bluegrass class.

“When Jeanette starts singing you know exactly who it is, a very unique clear voice!” (Johnny Williams)

Jeanette Williams sings Cherry Blossoms in Springtime …….


Discographical note 

  • Jeannette Williams Band Too Blue (Bell Buckle BB 011)
  • Jeannette Williams Band Get In The Boat (Bell Buckle BB 014)

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.