Nathan Williams Interview

I met Nathan at his neat, huge house in Lafayette where he also keeps his recording studio. Nathan was walking in in his working clothes carrying a sack of okra and asked me to please wait while he got ready for the interview. His wife got to work cutting and cooking the okra and Nathan and I went out to his gorgeous immaculate studio full of memorabilia from his highly successful musical career. During the interview Nathan played music and said prayers. He is a very gentle spiritual person and a great songwriter.

– Ann Savoy

  • Nathan Williams, 2019 00:00
Interviewee: Nathan Williams
Interviewer: Ann Savoy
Date: July 12, 1989
Location: Cha Cha Studios, Eunice, LA
Language: English

This is an interview originally recorded for research purposes. It is presented here in its raw state, unedited except to remove some irrelevant sections and blank spaces. All rights to the interview are reserved by the Arhoolie Foundation. Please do not use anything from this website without permission.

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.