Saxophonist Daniel Williams was a part of the Cootie Williams Orchestra. His earliest exposure came while traveling with his family through Europe as they performed popular music and spirituals. As a preteen, he joined his elementary school band. As a student at Chicago's Englewood High School, he lead his own band, the Danny Williams Orchestra, covering the music of Duke Ellington, among others.
While on a tour in Kentucky, the band was offered a scholarship to Kentucky State University. Moving back to Chicago, Williams began studying at the VanderCook College of Music. Serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Williams lead various army bands while taking courses in musical instrument repair. Returning to Chicago, he opened an instrument repair shop, later managing Lyon & Healy repair facility in downtown Chicago. During the '80s, he taught instrument repair at VanderCook.
At the age of 83, Daniel Williams died in his South Side Chicago home of heart failure on January 19, 2000.