William Henry Jasmer Jr.
18 May 1934 - 18 Sep 2015
- Deuce's artist profile on ceder.net
Deuce Williams 1934 – 2015
Was born William Henry Jasmer Jr. on May 18, 1934, in Detroit, MI. He was an Employee of Michigan Bell Telephone Co. (later A.T. & T.). In 1954 he became a square dance caller that was well known throughout the Country.
Deuce became very popular quickly calling at Sam Clark’s Modern Squares Barn located on 7 Mile Road in Livonia, MI. He also had a home club located here in Metro Detroit called Lighted Lantern Squares that danced at Simpson Jr. High School in Flat Rock, MI.
Deuce was also an active Member of CALLERLAB until 2002 when he had to quit calling due to ongoing health issues. He authored 27 different calls, 26 of which we still use today in the Plus, Advanced, and Challenge programs. Some of the calls he wrote are Flip the Diamond, Fan the Top, Diamond Chain Thru, Transfer and (Anything), Follow Your Neighbor.
Deuce cowrote a monthly caller’s Note Service called “News – N – Notes” with Al Brundage and Earl Johnston that was published from December 1975 – 1984.
Deuce also recorded six different singing call records on Top Caller Square Dance Record label. Some of the titles he recorded are “Wabash Cannonball”, “Good Deal Lucille”, “Holly Jolly Christmas”, and “Hey Good Looking”. Deuce was a very well known square dance caller.
He was known for his great choreography, but Deuce was also known for being a “pioneer” for sight calling (how most callers put dancers back to their original corners and resolve a square).
Deuce spent the last years of his life in a nursing home in Livonia, MI where he passed away on Sept. 18, 2015. He was 81 years old.
I am not sure how many folks really know about Deuce Williams, who passed away a year and a half ago. He was one of my calling heroes for many reasons.
Deuce was an amazing caller and contributed a lot to square dancing in general and Challenge in particular. He authored 27 different calls, 26 of which we still use today in the Plus, Advanced, and Challenge programs. Some of the calls he wrote are Flip the Diamond, Fan the Top, Diamond Chain Thru, Transfer and (Anything), and Follow Your Neighbor.
What many do not realize is that Deuce was gay and suffered criticism, mockery and other abuse by many of his fellow callers as a result. This had a serious impact on his life.
I remember when I was first dancing and we used to use the old Sets in Motion record. The tips by Deuce were incredible. Had Deuce been born a few years later he would have ended up as a favorite at IAGSDC conventions.
— Harlan Kerr
Deuce Williams was one of the early and quite possibly the best of, "sight" callers. He lived in Michigan and traveled quite a bit in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I hired him to share dances with me and he often stayed with us. One memorable event that I have told about often was the night in the early 1970's when he was staying with us and came with me to my Monday night club dance. I asked him to call the third tip in which he kept all 9 of the squires dancing without a breakdown through both patter and singing call.
I spent the rest of the night trying to do the same without success. On the way home I mentioned my failure and he said, "I noticed but you're not a sight caller." We stayed up the rest of the night while he introduced me to both the method and value of sight calling. Primarily, he said, when you see dancers having trouble you have to finish the routine you are calling. When I see trouble I change the next call. He could do that and still keep the timing and flow flawless. A couple of years later Al Brundage and Earl Johntson hired him to do an extra week at their caller school primarily so they could learn how to sight call.
— Jim Mayo