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Bill Black
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    (September 17, 1926-October 21, 1965)
    Born in Memphis, Tennessee
    Bassist for Elvis Presley (1954-58)
    Formed the Bill Black Combo
    Recorded the singles 'Smokie, Pts. 1 and 2' (1959), 'White Silver Sands' (1960), 'Don't Be Cruel' (1961), 'Blue Tango' (1961) and 'Twist Her' (1962)
    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman (2009)
    He began playing in bars at age 16.
    After first meeting Elvis, he said 'He sure didn't impress me much.'
    He clowned around on stage a lot until Colonel Parker told him to stop upstaging Elvis.
    He sent five different versions of his combo touring different regions of the country simultaneously (1963).
    He left Elvis because he was being paid only $200 a week as Elvis shot to superstardom.
    He was one of the first musicians to use the Fender Precision bass.
    His songs 'Smokie, Part 2' and 'White Silver Sands' topped the R&B charts.
    He died from a brain tumor at age 39.

Credit: C. Fishel

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