MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Whenever a well-known person on Beale Street died, the district would turn to Rudy Williams to serve as music director for the funeral procession. But now he is gone.
Williams' body was recovered Tuesday night from a wooded area near his home. He had been missing for a week.
The cause of death is unknown, but Memphis police spokeswoman Alyssa Macon-Moore told The Commercial Appeal it is not being investigated as a homicide.
The 70-year-old Williams earned the nickname "the mayor of Beale Street" while playing there for half a century.
Carson Lamm, a music director of several clubs on Beale, said Williams' absence was already being felt. He said it was like "going to eat dinner and not having a family member at the table."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)