Bill Dowdy (born August 15, 1933) is a musician and teacher, born in Arkansas. He was the drummer with the jazz trio, The Three Sounds. The Three Sounds recorded over ten jazz albums from the 1950s through the early 70s and played with Lester Young, Lou Donaldson, Nat Adderley, Johnny Griffin, Anita O'Day and Sonny Stitt among others.
Dowdy moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan when he was six months old. At a young age he would beat on things as if he were playing the drums, this was an indication for Dowdy's future musical career. In high school he learned to play the piano and the drums. He had a group called "Club 49 Trio" in 1949, the group played on the radio in Chicago.
After Dowdy started his own music group he moved to Battle Creek and joined a band, but shortly after he was drafted into the Army. Afterwards he moved to Chicago after realizing he needed to study music, he eventually took private lessons to improve his musical skills. Over time Dowdy became a professional drummer, eventually playing with many blues bands. Dowdy continued traveling, from New York to Los Angeles, and from Canada to the south. Amongst his idols were Gene Krupa, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, and Tony Williams.
- The Encyclopedia of Jazz. Leonard G. Feather. 1984. Pg. 185.
- The Giants of Jazz Piano. Backbeat Books. 2001. Pp. 184–186. (History of the Three Sounds)