picture of Bill Willis
Bill Willis
Bill (* 1931 in Louisville, Kentucky) was a songwriter, bassist, organist. He was house bass player at King Records and had learned to play organ from Bill Doggett. Bill picked up his first bass at a pawnshop after he was discharged from the Marines in 1954. A self-taught player, Bill premiered as a professional performer two years later at the Zanzibar in Buffalo, backing Billie Holiday, who gave Bill the nickname "Namesake".
Ultimately, Bill joined Holiday's quartet, performing around western New York and Toronto. Such valuable experience helped Willis develop his bass chops more fully, and when he landed in Cincinnati in 1957, he was ready to emerge as staff bassist at the King Records studios. As bassist on many of Freddie King's recordings, he provided solid, driving, bedrock support on such gems as "Have You Ever Loved a Woman", "Hide Away", "See See Baby", "I'm Tore Down". Bill played on many other seminal sides, including Little Willie John's "Sleep", Hank Ballard's "Let's Go", Bobby Turner's "Tossing and Turning", and James Brown's "This Old House". Bill's Fender bass playing, among the earliest recorded and widely disseminated on blues recordings, helped establish the sound and patterns of countless bass players. Bill passed away in 2010.
from allmusic.com


Been A Long Time
Tone-Cool Records TC 34047-1180-2
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff, sax
Eric Johnson, guitar
Gordie Johnson, guitar
Willie Nelson, guitar
Derek O'Brien, guitar
Van Wilks, guitar
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, guitar
Doyle Bramhall, guitar, vocals
Jimmie Vaughan, guitar, vocals
Susan Tedeschi, guitar, vocals
Charlie Sexton, guitar, bass, percussion, organ, piano, vocals
Tommy Shannon, guitar, bass
Denny Freeman, guitar, Wurlitzer
Riley Osbourne, Wurlitzer
Bill Willis, organ
Reese Wynans, organ, piano
Dr. John, piano, vocals
Leigh Mahoney, strings
Sara Nelson, strings
Tosca, strings
Chris Layton, drums, percussion, piano
Jonny Lang, vocals
Malford Milligan, vocals
Lou Ann Barton, vocals
Pinetop Perkins And Friends
Telarc CD-83680
recorded June 2008
Pinetop Perkins, piano, vocals
Eric Clapton, guitar
Paul Diethelm, guitar
Little Frank Krakowski, guitar
B.B. King, guitar, vocals
Eric Sardinas, guitar, vocals
Jimmie Vaughan, guitar, vocals
Bill Willis, Hammond organ
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, harmonica
Willie Kent, bass
Bob Stroger, bass
Kester Smith, drums
Leon Smith, drums
Nora Jean Bruso, vocals
The Best!
RockBeat Records ROC-3201
Lou Ann Barton, vocals
Joe Sublett, alto sax, tenor sax
David "Fathead" Newman, tenor sax
Greg Piccolo, tenor sax
Al Garthy, sax
Mark Kazanoff, sax
Rocky Morales, sax
Doug James, baritone sax
Kas Kasenoff, baritone sax
Luke McMamee, baritone sax
Ephraim Owens, trumpet
Denny Freeman, guitar
David Grissom, guitar
Derek O'Brien, guitar
Bill Pitman, guitar
Mel Brown, piano
Dr. John, piano
Danny Levin, piano
Mike Kindred, piano
Bill Willis, organ
Reese Wynans, organ
Barry Beckett, keyboards
Clayton Ivey, keyboards
Kim Wilson, harmonica
Keith Ferguson, bass
Jon Blondell, bass
Sarah Brown, bass
David Hood, bass
Ronnie James, bass
Tommy Shannon, bass
Fran Christina, drums
Roger Hawkins, drums
Chris Layton, drums
George Rains, drums
Jimmie Vaughan, vocals

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