Bill Black

Bill Black


9/17/1926, Memphis, Tennessee



Birth Name

William Patton Black, Jr.


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William "Bill" Patton Black, Jr. was born on September 17, 1926. He would become most famous for playing bass for Elvis Presley from 1954 up until 1958. On July 5, 1954, Bill Black made rock and roll history along with guitarist Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley, as they…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Although Elvis did not attend Black's funeral, he did visit the family privately after the funeral to express his condolences.

    • Bill Black was one of the first bass players to utilize the electric Fender Precision Bass guitar, which he used on Elvis Presley's famous 1957 song, "Jailhouse Rock."

    • When Bill Black's Combo formed, their first hit was an instrumental entitled "Smokie," and it made it to the Top 10 on the charts.

    • Elvis Presley received some criticism for not attending Black's funeral. Elvis did not attend because he didn't want to turn the funeral into a media frenzy.

    • He is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

    • Black can be seen in a couple scenes from Elvis Preley's third motion picture, Jailhouse Rock.

    • After leaving Elvis, Bill joined a Memphis group that became known as Bill Black's Combo in 1959.

    • Bill Black worked with Elvis until 1958. He quit, along with guitarist Scotty Moore, because of disputes over financial terms. Moore would go back to working for Elvis, although Black never did.

    • He played bass for Elvis Presley early in his career.

  • Quotes

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