Bandleader Griff Williams was born in La Grande, OR, in 1911.  Griff was a pianist who led his college band while attending Stanford University (CA).   In 1932, he joined the Anson Weeks Orchestra, staying for only a few months before forming his own band in 1933.  Like Anson Weeks, the Griff Williams Orchestra would be categorized as a "society" band.

In October 1933, Williams had his first booking at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel. In the late 1930s, Griff relocated to Chicago. During World War II, the band spent four years at the Stevens Hotel in Chicago, which at that time was known as the world's largest hotel. After the war he concentrated on working in Chicago and San Francisco.

By the 1950's, the big band era had ended, and along with so many other leaders, Griff also disbanded in 1953. He began working for a magazine publishing company in Chicago. Williams occasionally put together bands to work at society events and his popularity in Chicago was such that in 1956 he was given a local television show. He died of a heart attack in February of 1959.  His theme song was Dream Music.

(Courtesy of The Big Bands Database and Mr. Robin Lenhart)


Griff Williams Orchestra