Willie Hill, the consummate southern entertainer. His deep, soulful voice and style electrifies audiences everywhere. He has performed with artists such as B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and many other legendary artists. Willie’s career was influenced at an early age in Albany, GA by his father Homer Hill, well known gospel pianist/vocalist. He was also greatly influenced by the 1950’s WLAC Memphis, TN AM radio shows who played artists such as those he later performed with. Willie admits, too, “As a child I listened mostly to country radio; that’s all we had – a lot of Hank Williams, Hank Snow.”
Willie Hill’s career began to blossom in the mid 60’s when he landed a 3-year tour through Europe with the Sounds of Soul. They backed up and performed with Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and many more. His first real recording began in Macon, GA at King Studios (James Brown’s first studio). He was then discovered and began a recording career at MGM – Sounds of Memphis where he worked with William Bell of STAXS Records. This brought Willie into working contact with artists such as Isaac Hayes, Steve Cropper, Booker-T & MG’s, and many others.
From about 1973-1977, Willie also co-founded and produced K.C. and the Sunshine Band. He then joined with soul singer Anthony Fontaine and formed a Sam & Dave-like soul duet, “Willie & Anthony”. Together they released three albums: “Grooving on Sunday Afternoon,” “Selfish Lover,” and “In a Mellow Mood.” Blues and Soul Magazine gave their highest 5-star rating.
In 1997 Willie Hill recorded his first solo album, Leavin’ Won’t Be Easy (Ichiban), which featured his signature single, “A Friendly Reunion.”
In 2005, in association with Theodis Ealey in Atlanta, Hill released a new single, “I’m A Man On A Mission.” It was followed by the Ealey-produced CD of the same title, I’m A Man On A Mission (Ifgam), in late 2007. The album, which reprised “Friendly Reunion,” won a Blues Critic citation for “Best Albums of 2008” and a Jus’ Blues Music All Star Award, Male (2008).
Willie Hill has spent the past several years heavily touring the south with acts including Millie Jackson, B.B. King, Candy Staton, and more. Willie has established himself as one of the very best blues performers in the area performing at major blues venues, concert halls, and festivals.
Hill has a vocal tone like fine old hickory sanded to a smooth sheen, every syllable drips with goodness and humility, and yet on the phrases building to climaxes, Hill summons surprising power and scope. His ability to perform traditional blues, rhythm & blues, soul, and even country with such authenticity and power is a sight to behold.