William Patton "Bill" Black, Jr. (September 17, 1926 _ October 21, 1965) was an American musician who is noted as one of the pioneers of rockabilly music. Black was the bassist in Elvis Presley's early trio and the leader of Bill Black's Combo. Black was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to a motorman for the Memphis Street Railway. He was the oldest of nine children His father played popular songs on the banjo and fiddle to entertain the family. Black learned to play music at the age of 14 on an instrument made by his father_a cigar box with a board nailed to it and strings attached. At the age of sixteen, Black was performing "honky-tonk" music on acoustic guitar in local bars. During World War II, Black was stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Lee in Virginia. While in the Army, he met Evelyn, who played guitar as the member of a musical family. They married in 1946 and returned to Memphis. Black worked at the Firestone plant. Black began playing the upright bass fiddle.
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