Arzell J. Hill (September 30, 1935 – April 27, 1984), known as Z. Z. Hill (pronounced Zee Zee), was an American blues singer best known for his recordings in the 1970s and early 1980s, including his 1982 album for Malaco Records, Down Home, which stayed on the Billboard soul album chart for nearly two years. The track "Down Home Blues" has been called the best-known blues song of the 1980s. According to the Texas State Historical Association, Hill "devised a combination of blues and contemporary soul styling and helped to restore the blues to modern black consciousness." Hill was born in Naples, Texas. He began his singing career in the late 1950s as part of a gospel group called the Spiritual Five, touring Texas. He was influenced by Sam Cooke, B. B. King, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, and began performing his own songs and others in clubs in and around Dallas, including stints fronting bands led by Bo Thomas and Frank Shelton. He took his stage name in emulation of B. B. King.
Links to Peel
Peel was generally a fan of ZZ Hill's work and would often play his music on his shows. In 1975, he named ZZ Hill's Second Chance single, which was re-issued, as one of his singles of the month for April 1975 in the Let It Rock magazine.
- 28 January 1972: Faithful And True (single) Mojo
- D005: It Ain't No Use
- 07 September 1983: Nothing Can Change This Love (v/a LP - Slow 'N' Moody, Black And Bluesy) Kent
- 23 April 1984: Happiness Is All I Need
- 06 October 1986: I Don't Need Half A Love (LP - Whoever's Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)) Stateside
- 14 October 1986: Love in the Street (album Whoever's Thrilling You Is Killing Me)
- 10 December 1994: Nothing Can Change This Love (v/a LP - Slow 'N' Moody, Black And Bluesy) Kent
- 11 October 2001: No More Doggin’ (LP – New Breed R&B) Kent
- 17 October 2001 (BBC World Service): No More Doggin' (v/a LP - New Breed R&B) Kent
- 07 November 2001: Hey Little Girl (LP – Down Home Soul Of ZZ Hill) Ace
- 29 November 2001: 'Nothing Can Change This Love (LP-The Down Home Soul Of ZZ Hill)' (Kent) (JP: 'There I go playing a romantic record on this anniversary and she talks all the way through it. (pause) Tainted Love.')