Bill McElhiney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

William K. "Bill" McElhiney (1915 – February 9, 2002) was a longtime musical arranger and trumpeter who was based in Nashville, Tennessee. He worked with many major talents, including Ray Charles, Connie Francis, Johnny Cash, Floyd Cramer, Johnny Tillotson and Patsy Cline.

Danny Davis chose McElhiney to arrange for and help establish the sound of his "Nashville Brass". "Bill McElhiney and his Orchestra" released an album in 1963 (MGM 4135) entitled Bluegrass Banjo with Strings. The album featured Bob Johnson on the banjo and included the traditional standard "Down Yonder," which became a minor hit after being released as a single (MGM 13156). Perhaps the most familiar single piece of music McElhiney contributed to was "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. McElhiney teamed with Karl Garvin to provide the signature trumpets so prominent in this song. Johnny Cash was inspired to add horns "Ring of Fire" after hearing Bob Moore's 1962 instrumental hit "Mexico" which featured the twin trumpets of Bill McElhiney and Carl Garvin.

In addition to the above four songs, McElhiney also made the musical arrangement for the song "Talk Back Trembling Lips" which became a #7 Billboard hit for Johnny Tillotson in 1963-64, although Ernest Ashworth sang the song originally in 1963. It was not Tillotson's highest ranking single recording though, as "Poetry In Motion" was his biggest hit, in 1960, on Cadence Records. "Talk Back Trembling Lips" was released on MGM Records as single # K13181. McElhiney did not arrange Ernest Ashworth's version. The song was written by composer John D. Loudermilk, who was from Durham, North Carolina.

Bill McElhiney succumbed to Alzheimer's disease on February 9, 2002 in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

External links[edit]