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 William “Bill” Black, Jr

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William “Bill” Black, Jr

Musician. Born William Patton Black in in Memphis, Tennessee, he was stand acoustic bass player nicked named "Blackie" by the Nashville session performers. He was playing with the Johnny Burnette Trio in 1954, when Sam Phillips owner of Sun Records in Memphis, paired him with guitarist Scotty Moore to back up singer Elvis Presley as the "Blue Moon Boys". Together they defined Rock ‘N' Roll with their early Sun recordings to include "That's All Right Mama", "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky". By 1956, they were signed to RCA Records which produced hits such as "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel", "Love Me Tender" and "Heartbreak Hotel". By 1958, when Elvis entered the US Army, Black was doing some shows and sessions which led him to forming his own group the Bill Black Combo in 1959. His band on the Hi Label, enjoyed success placing eight instrumental singles on the Top 40 in the 1960s, to include "Smokie", "White Silver Sands", "Josephine", "Blue Tango" and "Hearts of Stone". Prior to his death, he toured with the Beatles during the British groups first nationwide American tour in 1964. He is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and The Rock ‘N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 13 Jan 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4376
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William “Bill” Black, Jr (17 Sep 1926–21 Oct 1965), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4376, citing Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .