Eyvonne Williams

 
 

Bio

Biography

 

Act I

   Born (Phyllis Yvonne Williams) in Oakland, California’s inner city, Eyvonne discovered the best free entertainment her parents could offer was the Public Library where books and music captured her imagination.  The thrill of movies thrust her into the fantastic world of story and song from which she has never returned.

    Her academic activities at Golden Gate Junior High School brought her First Place honors in a citywide essay competition and the role of Valedictorian at the Junior High graduation.  Later, leadership roles in student government and scholastic achievement brought recognition from Oakland Technical High School.

    At California State University, Hayward, she fell in love with classical music and literature and performed with the school’s College Singers.  A professor of History and Western Culture recognized her writing ability and encouraged Eyvonne to major in English under his tutorship.  Instead, she transferred to University of California, Berkeley where she acquired a B.A. degree in Dramatic Art, mentored by the esteemed Dr. Travis Bogard.

    Lena Horne once said, “Go out and getcha some life!” So after graduation Eyvonne took off to ‘get some life.’  First stop was Haiti as a volunteer during President Duvalier’s (‘Papa Doc’) brutal dictatorship.  Leper camps and abandoned children pierced her heart and provoked her to write.  Bob Hope’s USO sent her to Vietnam during the last stages of the war to sing for US troops and dodge bullets.  World Vision took her to the Philippines right before Marshall Law was declared, and then to Cambodia, where she escaped only days before the Khmer Rouge overran the country (The Killing Fields).  Deciding to play it safe, she accepted a role with a San Francisco Shakespearean company and toured college and outdoor venues in the U.S.  From there Eyvonne took the highway to L.A. to work in entertainment and ‘live some life’ in Hollywood.

           

Act II

    Under the professional name of Phyllis St James she wrote chart songs for various recording artists and spun stories while using her natural abilities as a studio singer, vocal arranger/contractor, producer, actor, and concert performer.  Intermittently she attended classes at Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute, and American Film Institute. With Andrae Crouch she toured the US, recorded several Grammy award-winning albums, and performed with ‘gospel legends’ at the first Gospel Festival at Solomon's Pool in Jerusalem.  As a background singer she toured parts of the world (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, British Isles, Israel, and most of Europe) with Boz Scaggs, Leo Sayer, Olivia Newton-John, Helen Reddy, Celine Dion, Eichiki Yazawa, Don Henley, and the Bee Gees.

    Under contract to Famous Music Publishing and Motown Records she wrote, recorded and released her first album.  Another composition “So Primitive,” recorded by the exiled South African artist Letta Mbulu, was released in England and Africa.  She performed the South African national anthem in a celebrity choir honoring Nelson Mandela, greeted, and shook hands with him, future leader of that nation.

    A name change to Eyvonne Williams did not change her desire to inspire. She won a songwriting competition involving “Heal L.A. through Music.” Initiated by the L.A. riots she produced a music-docu-video of her original song, "Heal the Land", with 200 of Los Angeles’ top studio singers.

    In the course of recording five independent CDs, she has appeared on numerous television shows as an actor and singer; has sung on scores of films, television shows, and commercials with a substantial discography of albums, CDs, and soundtracks.

    Eyvonne was nominated for best supporting actress by the NAACP Theater Awards in “Achieving the Dream,” starring the eldest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the late Yolanda King.  She published memoirs of her early years as a struggling artist, entitled MONEY $ENSE.

  

Act III

    After years in the industry, Eyvonne returned to academic life at California State University, Northridge to earn a Masters degree in Mass Communication (Screenwriting) a long time dream.  She received the prestigious Abraham L. Polonsky Graduate Critical Writing Scholarship and graduated with Distinction.  She honed her craft in Robert McKee seminars and as a member of Women In Film writers’ workshops.  Since then she has completed the Bill Cosby Writing Fellowship, and has placed in International Screenwriting Competitions for three years as a Quarter and Semi finalist.

    For fifteen years she performed throughout Japan sharing her love songs of God and personal testimony.  With a wealth of songs and stories in her arsenal Eyvonne continues to share her voice with the worldwide community of fans and friends.  

 

"...to express Love and Light through the gifts of Song and Story…"