Williams began playing drums at age five, inspired by James Brown's drummer. When he was 16, Williams met Brown's drummer in Memphis and had the chance to play with him on stage, and that made a lasting impression on the young Williams, who had already begun singing at age 12 at the Baptist church in Pace. Williams' grandfather was the choir director, and he encouraged the young man to sing, even though he was already obsessed with playing drums and a little guitar.
Williams credits his influences as people like Brown, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. After joining a gospel group, the Sons of the South, at age 14, he sang gospel for another six years, recording one album with the group. At 20, he got a music scholarship to Coahoma Junior College and Jackson State College and received formal training there. In 1968, Williams moved to Philadelphia, where he started a soul group, For Love, which opened for the Platters, the Drifters and other touring vocal groups. After meeting Charlie Brown from the Coasters, who liked Williams' singing, he joined the group and toured extensively.
Between 1970 and 1991, Williams toured the world with the Coasters, eventually settling in Fort Worth in 1991. He formed his own group, the Soul Kings, and began performing around Fort Worth and Dallas clubs. The Soul Kings can be heard backing up guitarist U.P. Wilson on his first recording for JSP Records, and it was his relationship with Wilson that led Williams to his own contract with the label. In 1997, JSP Records released Kid Dynamite, Williams' debut album under his own name. On Kid Dynamite, Williams is accompanied by some of the Dallas/Fort Worth scene's brightest stars: Tone Sommer, Andrew Junior Boy Jones, Ty Grimes and Joe Rios.