Bill Black

William Patton Black Jr. (born 17 September 1926 in Memphis, Tennessee, † October 21, 1965 ) was an American musician. He is best known as the bass player in the first band of Elvis Presley, the Blue Moon Boys. He had his greatest success in the early 1960s with his Bill Black Combo.


Another member alongside Elvis Presley (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Bill Black was Scotty Moore ( guitar melody ). Previously, Bill Black played together with Scotty Moore at the Starlite Wranglers. The origin of the B- side of Elvis 's first hit, " That 's Alright Mama ," " Blue Moon of Kentucky ", supposedly goes back to Bill Black, who the Bill Monroe song sang at the recording session at Sun Records in a high falsetto, whereupon Presley adapted the song in this way.

After separation on 21 September 1957 by Bill Presley joined a band from Memphis, which was soon renamed the Bill Black Combo. The members of the band were instrumental to 1961: Bill Black ( bass), Carl McVoy ( piano ), a cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, Martin Wills (saxophone), Reggie Young ( guitar) and Jerry Arnold (drums).

This formation had with Smokie (Part II ) 1959 their first hit. The following Single White Silver Sands has been reached with a number 9 the only top - 10 hit the group was 1961 land six Top 20 hits in a row between December 1959 and April. Between 1959 and 1962, the group was able to place eight hits in the Top 40. The albums Solid And Raunchy (1960) and Let's Twist Her ( 1961) reached the LP charts places among the top 40

1964 Bill Black's Combo was traveling with the Beatles on their first American tour.

Bill Black died in 1965 from the effects of a brain tumor at the Memphis Baptist Memorial Hospital. 12 years later, his former bandmate Elvis Presley here should die as a result of heart failure.


The double bass of Bill Black is now owned by ex - Beatle Paul McCartney, who received the bass in the late 70s by his wife Linda McCartney as a birthday gift. The bass is, inter alia, in the video clip to McCartney's song to see "Baby's Request", in which Linda McCartney plucks the strings. In the documentary "The World Tonight" Paul McCartney gives his version of " Heartbreak Hotel " on Blacks bass for the best.