The Copyright Office database credits Paul Williams with 137 published compositions, co-compositions, or arrangements, including:

  • “Ain’t God Good”
  • “Deep River”
  • “Mr. Engineer”
  • “My Walking Shoes”
  • “Old Fashioned Christmas”
  • “One Kiss Away from Loneliness”
  • “Prayer Bells of Heaven”
  • “Pretending I Don’t Care”
  • “Stormy Waters”
  • “Theme Time”

Early Influences

  • George Humphrey (father)
  • Two brothers (both played guitar)
  • Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys
  • Sauceman Brothers and the Green Valley Boys

From the Archives

“[Recording with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers,] I was about sixteen or something. I was devastated when we went into the studio and saw all these microphones and the set up and everything. I was quite nervous and I remember the A & R director for RCA Victor was a very large man, Steve Sholes. He would sit up in a control room with a full view of the studio and he would peer out at you. He talked pretty abrupt and loud and he’d turn that mike on and holler ‘Hold that! That ain’t gonna work.’ After we calmed down and sung one of the songs, we were quite tired of it! We kind of got to where we raced through it pretty quick. We did our session in about three hours or so.”
Quoted by Gary B. Reid in notes to The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers—Windy Mountain, Bear Family Records, 1992.
“[With Jimmy Martin,] when we went into the studio, there was no rehearsing (on our part). We had it all worked out. We’d run over it with the studio musicians. Usually we’d do this stuff in one or two takes. Martin knew exactly what he wanted. (In) eight hours we’d have a whole album done, but there was a lot of pressure.”
Quoted by Chris Skinker, in notes to Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys, Bear Family Records, 1994.
“I was offered jobs to come back and play and sing. I’ve been offered the moon and everything. I don’t say that bragging. The devil knows how to tempt you and entice you. I thought I’d better stay with the Lord and do what I needed to do for Him, because I fear Him above everything. He can snap me out of here in a heartbeat. I turned down those offers and stayed with what I felt in my heart I needed to do.”
Quoted by Bill Conger in “Paul Williams—Reborn With Victory,” Bluegrass Unlimited, May 2013.