Bill Payne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bill Payne
Payne with Little Feat at a benefit for Richie Hayward, Burlington, Vermont, January 14, 2010
Payne with Little Feat at a benefit for Richie Hayward, Burlington, Vermont, January 14, 2010
Background information
Born (1949-03-12) March 12, 1949 (age 74)
Waco, Texas, U.S.
GenresRock, blues, swamp rock, Southern rock, funk, jazz rock, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instrument(s)Vocals, keyboards
Years active1969–present
LabelsHot Tomato Records
Member ofLittle Feat
Formerly ofPhil Lesh and Friends
Leftover Salmon
The Doobie Brothers

William H. Payne (born March 12, 1949) is an American pianist who, with Lowell George, co-founded the American rock band Little Feat.[1] He is considered by many other rock pianists, including Elton John,[2] to be one of the finest American piano rock and blues musicians. In addition to his trademark barrelhouse blues piano, he is noted for his work on the Hammond B3 organ. Payne is an accomplished songwriter whose credits include "Oh, Atlanta". Following the death of Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward on August 12, 2010, Payne is the only member of the group from the original four-piece line-up currently playing in the band.

Payne has worked and recorded with J. J. Cale, Jimmy Buffett, Doobie Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Bryan Adams, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Toto, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Helen Watson, Stevie Nicks, Robert Palmer, Richard Torrance, Stephen Bruton, and Shocking Edison. He was a guest performer on Bonnie Raitt's album Sweet Forgiveness in 1977, and wrote its track, "Takin' My Time."

Paul Barrere and Bill Payne played several live concerts with Phil Lesh and Friends, from October 1999 through July 2000. Payne was a member of Boulder band Leftover Salmon[3] from 2014 until December 2015.

In August 2015, Payne was selected to play keyboards for The Doobie Brothers after their keyboardist Guy Allison was called to work on an album project in Japan. However, in December 2015 Payne rejoined the Doobies as a touring member, officially taking the position previously held by Allison.[4] In the few weeks of touring with the Doobies, he was featured with the band and Michael McDonald on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Payne's temporary term ended in early September after the Doobies' concert at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey.

Other work[edit]

Payne was a pioneer in the development of online music communities. In the early 1990s, he contacted his fan base and enlisted the help of friend Jay Herbst to develop the Little Feat Grass-roots Movement. This model went on to be a template for many bands in the creation of their Street Teams, which enlist the help of fans for purposes of music and concert promotion. This method has proven to be an effective vehicle for bringing bands and fans closer together, and forging friendships between them.

Payne now also works as a commercial photographer.[5]

Songwriting (selected)[edit]

Payne wrote or co-wrote many of the songs in Little Feat's catalogue, including the following:

  • "Snakes on Everything"
  • "Strawberry Flats"
  • "Truck-Stop Girl"
  • "Brides of Jesus"
  • "Tripe Face Boogie"
  • "Got No Shadow"
  • "Oh, Atlanta"
  • "Somebody's Leavin'"
  • "Time Loves a Hero"
  • "Gringo"
  • "Takin' My Time"
  • "Red Streamliner"
  • "All That You Dream"


Little Feat[edit]


  • Cielo Norte (2005)


With Bonnie Raitt

With Shigeru Suzuki

With Robert Palmer

With J. J. Cale

With Brian Cadd

With Stephen Bishop

  • Bish (ABC Records, 1978)

With Jimmy Barnes

With Harry Nilsson

With Jackson Browne

With Curtis Stigers

With Steve Harley

With Emmylou Harris

With Janis Ian

  • Restless Eyes (Columbia Records, 1981)

With James Reyne

With Rod Stewart

With Gail Davies

  • Givin' Herself Away (Warner Bros. Records, 1982)
  • What Can I Say (Warner Bros. Records, 1983)
  • Where Is a Woman to Go (RCA Records, 1984)

With Steve Cropper

  • Playin' My Thang (MCA Records, 1981)

With Jeffrey Osborne

With Michael Martin Murphey

With Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt

  • Trio (Warner Bros, Records, 1987)

With Gregg Allman Band

With Jude Cole

With Diana DeGarmo

With Bob Seger

With Colin James

With Melanie

  • Seventh Wave (Neighbourhood Records, 1983)

With B.B. King

With Bryan Adams

With Stevie Nicks

With Cher

With Shannon McNally

With Jimmy Buffett

With Shawn Colvin

With Carly Simon

With Richard Marx

With Neil Diamond

With Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

With Art Garfunkel

With Julia Fordham

With Gene Parsons

With Barbra Streisand

  • Wet (Columbia Records, 1979)

With Maria Muldaur

With Shelby Lynne

With Jane Wiedlin

With Dusty Springfield

With Donovan

With Jennifer Warnes

With Melissa Manchester

With Phoebe Snow

  • Rock Away (Mirage, 1981)

With James Taylor

With Dolly Parton

With Leo Sayer

With Valerie Carter

With Yvonne Elliman

  • Night Flight (RSO Records, 1978)

With Linda Ronstadt

With Rita Coolidge

With Nicolette Larson

With Taj Mahal

With Doobie Brothers

With Tom Johnston

With Patrick Simmons


  1. ^ Skelly, Richard. "Biography: Bill Payne". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Interview: Little Feat's Bill Payne". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Bill Payne Now Officially a Member of Leftover Salmon". 16 September 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Events – Bill Payne Creative". Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Bill Payne Creative". Retrieved 18 January 2021.

External links[edit]