William Patton Black Jr. September 17, — October 21,  was an American musician and bandleader who is noted as one of the pioneers of rock and roll. He was the bassist in Elvis Presley 's early trio.
Black later formed Bill Black's Combo. He was the oldest of nine children. Black learned to play music at the age of 14 on an instrument made by his father—a cigar box with a board nailed to it and strings attached. Army at Fort Lee in Virginia. While in the Army, he met Evelyn, who played guitar as a member of a musical family. They married in and returned to Memphis.
Black worked at the Firestone plant. He began playing the upright bass fiddlemodeling his " slap bass " technique after one of his idols, Fred Maddox, of Maddox Brothers and Rose. Black performed as an exaggerated hillbilly with blacked-out teeth, straw hat and overalls. According to his son, Black said his goal was always to give his audience "a few moments of entertainment and maybe a little bit of humor that'll tickle 'em for a while.
InBlack began playing in clubs and on radio shows with the guitarist El Tercer Hombre - Werner Müller Y Su Orquesta* - Viena Espectacular Moore. Along with two other guitarists and a fiddler, they performed country music tunes by Hank Williams and Red Foley in Doug Poindexter 's band, the Starlight Wranglers. On July 5,the trio met at Sun studios to rehearse and record a handful of songs.
According to Moore, the first song they recorded was "I Love You Because", but after a few country music songs that weren't impressive they decided to take a break. The upbeat sound was original. Get that on the radio and they'll run us out of town. Sources credit Black with initiating the song, with Presley and Moore joining in.
Moore said, "Bill is the one who came up with "Blue Moon of Kentucky. We're taking a little break and he starts beating on the bass and singing "Blue Moon of The Key To The Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden (File) mocking Bill Monroe, singing the high falsetto voice.
Elvis joins in with him, starts playing and singing along with him After an early take, Phillips can be heard on tape saying, "Fine, man. From August 18 through December 8, "Blue Moon of Kentucky" was consistently higher on the charts, and then both sides began to chart across the South. Over the next 15 months, the trio released five singles, toured across the South, and appeared regularly on the Louisiana Hayride.
They had auditioned for the Grand Ole Opry in Octoberbut they failed to impress the people in charge, or the audience, Twistin White Silver Sands - Bill Blacks Combo - Twistin White Silver Sands / My Babe were not invited back. Black, Moore and the Twistin White Silver Sands - Bill Blacks Combo - Twistin White Silver Sands / My Babe D.
Fontana toured extensively during Presley's early career. Black continued his onstage "clown" persona and developed comedy routines with Presley. Black's onstage personality was a sharp contrast to the introverted stage presence of Moore. The balance fit the group's performances.
According to Black's Silent Crowds - Swallowdive - Swallowdive Louis, Moore said, "Elvis used to just stand up there and not move, and Bill would jump around on the bass. Your daddy would come down through there and get everybody to laughing and loosen them up.
That was necessary for us because we played for a lot of country crowds that weren't used to people jumping up and down on stage. In Black joined a group of musicians which became Bill Black's Combo. There were several personnel Twistin White Silver Sands - Bill Blacks Combo - Twistin White Silver Sands / My Babe . On sax, Ace Cannon took over touring duties from Willis who remained in Memphis for the studio work and movie appearances.
The band released blues instrumental "Smokie" for Hi Records in December Eight of the recordings by Bill Black's Combo placed in the Top 40 between and Advertised as "Terrific for Dancing" their Saxy Jazz album spent a record whole year in the top The Combo's sound of danceable blues became a popular accompaniment for striptease dancers. Another characteristic of the Combo was Reggie Young thwacking on the guitar with a pencil.
Johnny Black, Bill's brother and also upright bass player, who knew Elvis at Lauderdale Courts before Bill, recalls visiting Bill at the studio and reported that Bill would be totally absorbed mixing and playing back tracks.
Shepard, Billy Swan and others. Early inBlack sent from two to five different versions of the Combo to different regions of the country at the same time, while staying off the road himself, wanting to concentrate on his business, family and his health.
Black himself had been ill for the past year and a half and unable to travel. Nonetheless, he insisted that the band continue without him. The Fold - Fold Bill Black Combo created musical history in when they became the opening act for the Beatles at their request on their historic city tour of America after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Black himself was not well enough to make the tour.
After two surgeries and lengthy hospital stays, Black died of a brain tumor on October 21,at age His death occurred during his third operation that doctors had hoped would eradicate the tumor permanently. Presley was criticized for not attending the funeral, but he believed that his presence would turn it into a media frenzy. He decided instead to visit the family privately after the service to express his condolences. According to Louis Black, Presley said, "If there's anything that y'all need, you just let me know and it's yours.
The band changed to country music when it joined Columbia Records, and won Billboard's Country Instrumental Group of the Year award in Bill Black's Combo cut more than 20 albums, toured the United States and Europe and won awards as the best instrumental group in America in and Black's main stand-up bass is today owned by ex-Beatle Paul McCartneywho received the instrument as a birthday present from his wife Linda in the late s.
Twistin White Silver Sands - Bill Blacks Combo - Twistin White Silver Sands / My Babe bass can be seen in the video clip to McCartney's song "Baby's Request". Inhe played it on " Real Love ", the last "new" Beatles record one of two in which McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr overdubbed a full arrangement onto a John Lennon home recording from the late s.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other Igloo Terror - Various - 10 Years Of Terror - The Best Of The Past, Present & Future, see Bill Black disambiguation. Double bass bass guitar. Main article: The Blue Moon Boys. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music.
Omnibus Press. December 18, Archived from the original on December 18, Retrieved October 27, Chicago Review Press. Go Cat Go! University of Illinois Press. Archived from the original on January 2, Retrieved August 18, Retrieved August 17, Elvis: A Biography. The Complete 50's Masters CD booklet notes. Radio Times. BBC, p. Archived from the original on September 2, July 13, Archived from the original on July 13, HHP Books. Archived from the original on June 9, Retrieved July 3, When Love Has Gone Away - Johnny Johnson And The Bandwagon - Johnny Johnson And The Bandwagon Book of Golden Discs 2nd ed.
London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. May 9, May 19, Archived from the original on July 9, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — Class of Wanda Jackson. Bill Black D. Fontana Spooner Oldham. Categories : births deaths Male double-bassists American rock double-bassists American rock bass guitarists American rockabilly musicians Sun Records artists Hi Records artists Musicians from Memphis, Tennessee Humes High School alumni Deaths from brain tumor Deaths from cancer in Tennessee 20th-century American bass guitarists Slap bassists double bass Guitarists from Love - Psoy* & Opa!* - Live Not By Lies (File, Album) American male bass guitarists Country musicians from Tennessee 20th-century double-bassists 20th-century American male musicians.
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