Texas guitarist Bill Lewis, also credited as William Lewis, performed and recorded with artists such as the R&B performer Sammy Price and the highly inventive arranger, composer, and bandleader Benny Carter. Recorded appearances by this guitarist, sometimes doubling on banjo, include collections of early material by Carter as well as participation on compilations devoted to wonderful subjects such as Harlem Blues, Boogie Woogie, and Jazz in Texas. In total, Lewis seems to have picked on a total of half a dozen records cut between 1930 and 1949, according to jazz discographer Tom Lord.
The guitarist's earliest works were with Texas territory bands in the '20s, including the orchestra of the rotund Fatty Martin. Lewis is of course one of an expanding passel of performers whose names are variations on William Lewis. He should not be confused with either William "Sabby" Lewis, the pianist associated with the Boston scene, nor is he the same person as Willie T. Lewis, the reedman and singer. The guitarist is also sometimes confused with the songwriter of the same name who wrote "How High the Moon." Finally, the fact that William Lewis is the real name of country & western guitarist Billy Byrd should hopefully not lead to listeners trying to find Byrd's trademark guitar lick on any of those vintage Benny Carter sides.