Bill Doggett Biography

16 February 1916, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 13 November 1996, New York City, New York, USA. In 1938 pianist Doggett formed his first band, partly drawing his sidemen from the band of Jimmy Goreham, with whom he had played for the past few years. Later that year he worked with Lucky Millinder, with whom he also played in the early 40s - Millinder having taken over leadership of Doggett’s band. During this period Doggett wrote many arrangements for various bands, including Lionel Hampton and Count Basie, and also worked as staff arranger and accompanist with the popular vocal group the Ink Spots. He made a number of recordings with Buddy Tate and Illinois Jacquet, then worked with Willie Bryant, Johnny Otis and Louis Jordan. In the mid-40s he began playing organ, and when he formed his own R&B band in 1951, concentrated on this instrument. He had big hits with ‘Honky Tonk’, which reached number 1 in the R&B charts and number 2 in the US charts in 1956, and was in the Top 10 for 14 weeks with ‘Slow Walk’. He showed his versatility by arranging and conducting Ella Fitzgerald’s 1963 album Rhythm Is Our Business. Doggett continued leading a swinging R&B-orientated band into the 80s.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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