Bill Doggett

William Ballard Doggett (known as Bill Doggett) (February 16, 1916 – November 13, 1996) was an American jazz and rhythm and blues pianist and organist. He is best known for his compositions "Honky Tonk" and "Hippy Dippy", and variously working with the Ink Spots, Johnny Otis, Wynonie Harris, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Jordan. As a jazz player Doggett started in swing music and later played soul jazz. His bands included saxophonists Red Holloway, Clifford Scott, Percy France, David "Bubba" Brooks, Clifford Davis, and Floyd "Candy" Johnson; guitarists Floyd Smith, Billy Butler, Sam Lackey and Pete Mayes; and singers Edwin Starr, Toni Williams and Betty Saint-Clair. His biggest hits, "Honky Tonk" (the Part 2 side of the record) and "Slow Walk" featured saxophonist Clifford Scott. He continued to play and arrange until he died, aged 80, of a heart attack in New York City.

Links To Peel

Peel described Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk" as one of the greatest records of all time on his 14 June 2000 show. He included the track on his birthday playlist on 30 August 1979 and for the Peelenium 1956, broadcast on 30 September 1999. He also selected the song in an All Time Top Ten list for Smash Hits in 1981, describing it as "very sexy."

Peel would probably have known Doggett's "Honky Tonk" from its original release, but the track gave its name to Charlie Gillett's influential BBC Radio London show, which ran from 1972 to 1978, and was its theme tune. Gillett's playlists included many of the vintage rock'n'roll and rhythm and blues records Peel liked and began to feature on his own shows during the 1970s. Some were no doubt tracks Peel had acquired during his years in the USA, and would appear in his playlists for the rest of his broadcasting career. That may explain why the track was played in 1972 and again in 1979, after Gillett's Honky Tonk had been taken off the air despite protests from the show's loyal listeners.


Shows Played

Bill Doggett - Honky Tonk (Part 1 & 2)

Bill Doggett - Honky Tonk (Part 1 & 2)

  • 06 January 1991: 'Honky Tonk Parts 1 & 2 (LP-Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk)' (King)

External Links