What do you remember about Rick James, Andre Williams, because he was in a Canadian band called the Mynah Birds with, of all people, Neil Young, who recorded an album for Motown that was never released. Do you remember Rick James being with Neil Young at all in the Mynah Birds?
No. I had left Motown once they got to that stage, once they started taking artists that they would give artists' control. Rick James, in my opinion, did not go through that, the Motown developmental system. He was not going to conform to Barry Gordy's rules and that kind of stuff, and I admire him for that reason. He came in with his music. He came in with his own agenda. And he done his thing. Now, whatever that would be, I cannot identify it, but he knew what it was. I think that Rick James and Stevie Wonder, once he got to twenty-one, turned the Motown scene around and kept it from sinking because they demanded artists' control.

Nardwuar and Dusty of Fortune and Maltese with a real Andre Williams 78!
Nardwuar and Dusty of Fortune and Maltese with a real Andre Williams 78!

Do you remember Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers at all?
Uh, no, that also came later on. That's another situation of a good wheel going bad. Bobby Cooper, to this day, should be in the Hall of Fame for discovering Michael and all them Jacksons because he went of his way to help them kids - and their daddy, and their mama. And he don't get a bowl of grits from it!

And he's a Canadian from Vancouver, BC! But he never gets any credit for discovering Michael Jackson!
Well, I think that sucks. That came right out of my mouth. I think Bobby should have gotten as much credit as Michael Jackson's daddy did because it if don't be for Bobby, they can say Diana Ross and whatever they want to say, but Bobby was detracted, took that whole family and Michael to the orbit-

Because that was what I was going to ask you about, Andre Williams, I was curious because there has always been that legend: did Bobby Taylor of Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers discover Michael Jackson, and you would agree with that then. He did indeed-
Well, I would say it depends on what level you want to call "discovery." Now, Purvis Spahn in Chicago, Illinois, is the blues man, the disc jockey who used to give big shows at the Regal Theatre, discovered the Jackson Five, but he was limited. He could only take them to "the chitlin' circuit" but the Vancouver boy took them to the second, third level. Do you understand? So however you discover, like if you discover the cure for cancer, then another person discovers the vaccine - do you see what I am talking about? So I would say that Vancouver was just as important in the discovery of Michael - and let's say it again, Michael-

Yes, and the Jackson Five as anybody on this planet. Period.

Now, Canada had a doo wop group called the Diamonds!
Oh, man. Okay, we can go with the Diamonds forever because that is one of my things that is in the back of my mind that would never die. Those white boys should have been black! But those boys could sing! Do you hear me? I mean, I put them with the Jackson Fives in two different levels. Those boys could sing and they came up with some songs. I never met them. I never met them, but I had every one of their records in my house. Oh yes, oh yes. Paul Anka and them two guys, yes, yes yes.

"Little Darling." "The Stroll." By the Diamonds.
Oh yes. "Little Darling," I mean, there will never be another "Little Darling" song.

Nardwuar and Ed Lasko show Andre pretty much all of his 'Bacon Fat' 45s!
Nardwuar and Ed Lasko show Andre pretty much all of his 'Bacon Fat' 45s!

Andre Williams, Hank Snow, who you mention in the song, "Country And Western Song," on your brand new Silky LP from In The Red Records, and again I am speaking to Andre Williams, and on your song, "Country And Western Song," from the Silky LP, you mention Hank Snow. Now, Hank Snow is from Nova Scotia, and spent the winter of 1949 in Vancouver!
Wow. Well, let me tell you about the Hank Snow. I'm a black man, and I'm from Alabama. I did not know nothing about rock 'n' roll music except I was eleven years old. Where I was in the country, and the only station I could get on our radio was Hank Snow, Patsy Cline, and the country and western music, and Hank Snow was my man, and I'm not ashamed of it. Do you understand? My teeth came out of my gums listening to Hank Snow, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash - that's where my soul is. Now, when I got older and realized that I was not white and I was not them, then I started shaping up my own soul. But my soul is seeded in them guys because in the country that was all I heard, was them guys. I didn't hear BB King's "Three O'Clock In The Morning," and Louis Jordan's "Saturday Night French Fry." I didn't hear that until I was almost fifteen years old. The songs I heard were "Hey, Good Lookin, Whatcha Got Cookin'," and I loved it! And I still love it, and when I'm traveling, my radio station is still on country and western music. I mean, you know, that is the music, man.

Andre, have you ever met James Brown at all?
Okay. James Brown and I played the Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia years ago, and James might remember me, but I was more friendly with the Flames, the backup group. There ain't nothing phony about him, but at that time I was intimidated by him and I wouldn't walk up and say nothing to him. I'd hang with the crew, you know.

That was what I was curious about, because Otis Redding called James Brown "the boss." What would you call James Brown?
I would call James Brown a bad mothefucker. Period.

It's weird, Andre Williams, that James Brown's wife died of plastic surgery?
Well, probably being with James Brown, you would have to improve yourself everyday, so, you know, too much of anything could be fatal.

Bobby Darin was on Motown too, wasn't he? In February 1973, he hit #67 with the happy theme from Lady Sings The Blues.
Yup, another great guy .Yeah, but see, Barry Gordy and Bobby Darin could never get together because Bobby Darin was the next Frank Sinatra. He just died too early. Bobby Darin would have been the next Sinatra had he lived. This is my opinion only, now. We are dealing with what Andre Williams is feeling in his heart. Bobby Darin was the baddest white boy singing pop-jazz that I had ever seen. Him and Jackie Wilson was on the same level: they looked good, they sang good, they had charisma, but the most high didn't want them to be here now, and they're not here. But Bobby Darin should have definitely been the next Sinatra, I think.


What date does "Pussy Stank" date from? How old is that, because is a pretty risqué song, even by today's standards.
Well, that's not risqué, That's the truth. Everything that smells bad feels good. Everything that feels good smells bad. Okay, I'll try and break that down a little better. The only way that you could identify pussy is you got to put it in perspective as intercourse. Well, there's another word for intercourse and we might as well get ready for it, and call it what it is. Now, it's got an odour that attracts you. So do marijuana. So do a lot of other things that's good. Now, if you can't define that, then maybe we have to save the rest of that for another interview because that is a very deep subject.

Well, actually, a bit more on that, Andre, because I'm hungry for info! Explain a bit more about that if you could please.
Okay, let me see. Sex and pleasure is a bridge between the island and the mainland, and if you look at it in that direction, you would be able to accept that song. And the kids have been able to see what I'm trying to say. Pussy stank, but so do marijuana. Pussy stank, but so do gunpowder, you know. And we need gunpowder to protect ourselves. Stinky things sometimes are deterrents, and they should be accepted and they should be identified as exactly what they are. I hope that clears it up.

Did Mick Collins and Danny Dollrod do a lot of the music for the record?

And what was it like working with them? What are the kids of today like?
(laughs) The kids of today are like, if you just listen to them, it's not complicated.

What do you do in your spare time with them? Did you go horseback riding?
I did it all with them, yes. I did horseback riding with them. I did the walking fifteen blocks and let's pop the car. The whole thing with them, I did it all. I did anything those kids wanted to do.

That vision of Andre Williams riding horseback with the Demolition Dollrods, like Margaret Dollrod-
(laughs) That was funny. I was riding in the back looking at all those big pretty booties, riding on these big fat horses, and riding all through New York's suburbs down into the forests, and getting some stress relief.

And now you have the Countdowns touring with you. How would the Countdowns have fared at Motown?
Barry Gordy would have turned the Countdowns down twenty times, because the Countdowns are something that you cannot control, and Barry Gordy would not accept nothing that could not be controlled, so I will compare Barry Gordy and the Countdowns with the Commodores.

Andre Williams, if the Countdowns were kind of like Commodores, what would Larry Hardy of In the Red Records be? What's his equivalent?
Larry Hardy would be... Larry is- what Clive Davis is to the top of the music, Larry Hardy is to the real - Larry Hardy is real. Larry Hardy is real music, and real music is not programmed. Real music is music that comes up according to the day and the situation. Larry Hardy is one of the realest young understandable record guys that rub elbows with his artists. You don't have to make an appointment to see the boss.

Andre LIVE!

So the Countdowns are kind of like the Commodores, and Larry Hardy is like kind of like Clive Davis, you know, giving real music. How about Billy and Miriam from Norton Records who released you-
They are like the legs. They are like the postman delivering the mail. Larry Hardy and Billy is like postmen. They get the story out there.

Andre, one of your songs, "Humpin', Bumpin', And Thumpin'" I have on a compilation. Who played on that record? Where was it recorded? It's Humpin', Bumpin', And Thumpin'."
Okay, that record was recorded - that guy did Cadillac Jack and improved it, like Chess. I was a responsible producer, and he gave me carte blanche, and I just went in there and recorded. It was all about the raw egg and the strength to move forward, and I had to pick words again that would not be censored in order to get records played because the only thing that you had to do was mention any word for pussy or any kind of profane word and you could never get played nowhere in the world. So I had to come up with a saying that would let them know what I was trying to say, and still be able to sell in the market, to be accepted by them program directors and all that other garbage that you have to go through in order to get your arts out in the masses and into the public.

"Humpin', Bumpin', And Thumpin'."

By Andre Williams! Now, Andre, when you did songs like "Humpin', Bumpin', And Thumpin'," "Jailbait," and "Bacon Fat," were you the first rock 'n' roller with heavy sex, food and dancing?
I don't know.


Like "Jailbait," "Bacon Fat," "Humpin', Bumpin', And Thumpin'" - that's amazing, Andre Williams, those songs!
Well, that goes back to what I told you before. Whenever the music business run the out of great ideas, they always relate back to what we are about, and we are sexual people-

And we love to eat!
Yeah, and we must remember this, you know. We try to hide it, but we are sexual people, and anytime you need help, you must go to a person who appreciates sex.

Wow, that was deep.

Did you ever associate at all with Dolemite? Rudy Ray Moore?
I never wanted to be a Rudy Ray Moore because I was too pretty. I'd have been dead. Rudy Ray Moore looked like the type that could tell the truth and not intimidate people. I couldn't do that. I think that Rudy Ray Moore opened the door to the sex message. I think that had there been five or six more Rudy Ray Moores, this market would have been discovered earlier. Rudy Ray Moore is definitely a pioneer.

Andre Williams, if people want you to spend their money, how would you do it for them?
I would spend it on beds, microphones and tape recorders, because everybody likes to know what's going on that they don't know! What goes on when the doors is closed!

The Evaporators meet Andre and The Countdowns
The Evaporators meet Andre and The Countdowns

Is there a particular incident that all, Andre Williams, that remember at all, spending a lot of money, like having a lot of money and how you got rid of it?
Drugs. Period.

Dope smoking?
Drugs, drugs, drugs. Smoking, eating- whatever kind of way you can get it into your body. That don't happen anymore, thanks to most high.

Have you ever been to Panama before?
I went to Panama when I was in the Navy. I went through the Canal there, back when Panama and America had the best relationship in the world. I went through the locks there, when I was in the Navy.

Did you enjoy the hot temperature, the spicy food?
No, I didn't go about none of that. I was trying to screw every chick I could see, and I didn't do a bad job at it. I just didn't have enough money.

Finally, Andre, I have a dilemma. I don't know what to do. Should I shave off my back hair? You know, people think it's gross having back hair. What do you think about that, Andre Williams?
Once you get your message across, I don't care if you've got hair growing out of your ass. Don't take nothing off of you that belongs to you because you're only going to shape yourself to look like somebody else.

But it's not too pretty back there!
Life is not pretty, and sex is not pretty.

Do you have any back hair, Andre Williams?
Yes, and I will never get rid of it, unless I am getting ready for a heart transplant.

So, Andre Williams, is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for even listening to me.

All right, Andre Williams! Keep on rockin' in the free world!
Thank you.

And doot doola doot doo...

Andre Williams, doot doola doot doo....
Doop doop.

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