Personalities | Bill Doggett | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

(Organ, piano, arranger, 1916–96)

William Ballard Doggett was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The band he led was taken over by Lucky Millinder in 1940 and Doggett stayed on as pianist and arranger. After working with the Ink Spots, he played with Louis Jordan’s band from 1947–51. He was active as a studio pianist, organist and arranger until 1953, when he formed the first organ/tenor sax combo. His biggest hit, ‘Honky Tonk’, was recorded in 1956 for King and was an R&B number one. He continued to tour and record until his death and performed regularly on the festival circuit, often using his concerts to promote civil rights issues.

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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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