Bill Doggett

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Bill Doggett
Bill Doggett.jpg
Bill Doggett in 1980
Background information
Birth name William Ballard Doggett
Born (1916-02-16)February 16, 1916
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died November 13, 1996(1996-11-13) (aged 80)
New York, United States
Genres Jazz, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Pianist, organist
Instruments Piano, electric organ
Years active 1930s–1996
Labels King Records

Bill Doggett (February 16, 1916 – November 13, 1996)[1] was an American jazz and rhythm and blues pianist and organist. He is best known for his compositions "Honky Tonk" and "Hippy Dippy", and variously working with the Ink Spots, Johnny Otis, Wynonie Harris, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Jordan.[1]

Biography[edit]

William Ballard Doggett was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.[1] His mother, a church pianist, introduced him to music when he was nine years old. By the time he was fifteen, he had joined a Philadelphia area combo, playing local theaters and clubs while attending high school.

Doggett later sold his band to Lucky Millinder, and worked during the 1930s and early 1940s for both Millinder and arranger Jimmy Mundy. In 1942 he was hired as the Ink Spots' pianist and arranger.

Toward the end of 1947, he replaced Wild Bill Davis as the pianist for Louis Jordan's Tympany Five. It was in Jordan's group that he first achieved success playing the Hammond organ. In 1950 he is reputed to have written one of Jordan's biggest hits, "Saturday Night Fish Fry", for which Jordan claimed the writing credit.

In 1951, Doggett organized his own trio and began recording for King Records. His best known recording is "Honky Tonk", a rhythm and blues hit of 1956 which sold four million copies (reaching No. 1 R&B and No. 2 Pop), and which he co-wrote with Billy Butler. The track topped the US Billboard R&B chart for over two months.[2] He won the Cash Box award for best rhythm and blues performer in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He also arranged for many bandleaders and performers, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lionel Hampton.

As a jazz player Doggett started in swing music and later played soul jazz. His bands included saxophonists Red Holloway, Clifford Scott, Percy France, David "Bubba" Brooks, Clifford Davis, and Floyd "Candy" Johnson; guitarists Floyd Smith, Billy Butler, Sam Lackey and Pete Mayes; and singers Edwin Starr, Toni Williams and Betty Saint-Clair. His biggest hits, "Honky Tonk" (the Part 2 side of the record) and "Slow Walk" featured saxophonist Clifford Scott.

He continued to play and arrange until he died, aged 80, of a heart attack in New York.[1]

Discography[edit]

Chart singles[edit]

  • "Be-Baba-Leba" (vocal by Helen Humes) (Philo/Aladdin 106) 1945 (#3 R&B)
  • "Honky Tonk, Part 1"/"Honky Tonk, Part 2" (King 4950) 1956 (#1 R&B/#2 Pop)
  • "Slow Walk" (King 5000) 1956 (#4 R&B/#26 Pop)
  • "Ram-Bunk-Shush" (King 5020) 1957 (#10 R&B/#67 Pop)
  • "Leaps And Bounds, Part 1"/"Leaps And Bounds, Part 2" (King 5101) 1958 (#13 R&B)
  • "Hold It!" (King 5149) 1958 (#3 R&B/#92 Pop)
  • "Rainbow Riot, Part 1"/"Rainbow Riot, Part 2" (King 5159) 1959 (#15 R&B)
  • "Monster Party" (King 5176) 1959 (#27 R&B)
  • "Yocky Dock, Part 1"/"Yocky Dock, Part 2" (King 5256) 1959 (#30 R&B)

10" LPs[edit]

  • Bill Doggett: His Organ And Combo, Volume 1 King 295-82 (1954)
  • Bill Doggett: His Organ And Combo, Volume 2 King 295-83 (1954)
  • All Time Christmas Favorites King 295-89 (1954)
  • Sentimentally Yours King 295-102 (1955)

12" LPs[edit]

  • Moon Dust King 395-502 (1956)
  • Hot Doggett King 395-514 (1956)
  • As You Desire Me King 395-523 (1956)
  • Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk King 395-531 (1956)
  • Dame Dreaming With Bill Doggett King 395-532 (1957)
  • A Salute To Ellington King 533 (1957)
  • The Doggett Beat For Dancing Feet King 557 (1957)
  • Candle Glow King 563 (1958)
  • Swingin' Easy King 582 (1958)
  • Dance Awhile With Doggett King 585 (1958)
  • 12 Songs Of Christmas [reissue of King 295-89 plus 6 additional tracks] King 600 (1958)
  • Hold It! King 609 (1959)
  • High And Wide King 633 (1959)
  • Big City Dance Party King 641 (1959)
  • Bill Doggett On Tour [this is NOT a live album] King 667 (1959)
  • For Reminiscent Lovers, Romantic Songs By Bill Doggett King 706 (1960)
  • Back With More Bill Doggett King 723 (1960)
  • The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett King 778 (1962)
  • Bill Doggett Plays American Songs, Bossa Nova Style King 830 (1963)
  • Impressions King 868 (1963)
  • The Best Of Bill Doggett [compilation] King 908 (1964)
  • Bonanza Of 24 Songs [compilation] King 959 (1966)
  • Take Your Shot King 1041 (1969)
  • Honky Tonk Popcorn King 1078 (1970)
  • The Nearness Of You King 1097 (1970)
  • Ram-Bunk-Shush [compilation] King 1101 (1970)
  • Sentimental Mood [compilation] King 1104 (1970)
  • Soft [compilation] King 1108 (1970)
  • 14 Original Greatest Hits [compilation; reissued as 'All His Hits'] King-Starday 5009 (1977)
  • Charles Brown: PLEASE COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS [this vocal album includes 4 instrumental tracks by Bill Doggett] King-Starday 5019 (1978)

12" LPs issued by other labels[edit]

  • 3,046 People Danced 'Til 4 A.M. To Bill Doggett [this is a live album] Warner Bros. WS-1404 (1961)
  • The Band With The Beat! Warner Bros. WS-1421 (1961)
  • Bill Doggett Swings Warner Bros. WS-1452 (1962)
  • Rhythm Is My Business (Ella Fitzgerald with Bill Doggett) Verve V6-4056 (1962)
  • Oops! The Swinging Sounds Of Bill Doggett Columbia CL-1814/CS-8614 (1962)
  • Prelude To The Blues Columbia CL-1942/CS-8742 (1962)
  • Finger-Tips Columbia CL-2082/CS-8882 (1963)
  • Wow! ABC-Paramount S-507 (1964)
  • Honky Tonk A-La-Mod! Roulette SR-25330 (1966)
  • The Right Choice' After Hours 4112 (1991)

CD releases/compilations of note[edit]

  • The Right Choice After Hours/Ichiban AFT-4112 (1991) Note: this is Bill's last recorded album of original material.
  • The EP Collection See For Miles SEECD-689 (1999)
  • Honky Tonk: The Very Best Of Bill Doggett Collectables 2876 (2004)
  • The Chronological Bill Doggett 1952-1953 Classics (Blues & Rhythm Series) 5097 (2004)
  • The Chronological Bill Doggett 1954 Classics (Blues & Rhythm Series) 5175 (2006)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed November 28, 2011
  2. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 31. CN 5585. 

External links[edit]