Bill Hollis
Biography__Music

Bill was a true musical craftsman who could write a song at the drop of a hat in any style with or without lyrics. A man whose presence and talents are sorely missed but his music will live on.

Bill Hollis, as he was known by all who crossed his musical path, grew up with music in his house. Both his mother and father were musical. But his greatest influence as a young child growing up in Philadelphia came from his grandmother who was a church singer.

Trios were always Bill’s first love even though he performed in other combinations. In the 1940’s he had a trio called the Hollis Hoppers that feature famed bassist, Percy Heath. Bill also performed with such jazz luminaries as Lester “The Prez” Young, Little Jimmy Scott, the Ravens and the great Sarah Vaughn.

Bill would often talk about how he would always imitate one of his favorites, Nat “King” Cole. He would play and sing just like Nat. One day while performing in an upscale hotel in Chester, who else would be sitting there listening but Nat “King” Cole. Bill was playing “Straighten up and Fly Right” at the time. 

Bill began writing his on music early in his career, but it was not until 1983 that he really took the time and recorded any. The recording, “The King George II Inn proudly presents The Bill Hollis Trio” is the result of his work. The title track from that recording “Sir Francis” was later licensed as the theme song for a PBS program on New Jersey network until that show ended.

Bill suffered a stroke in 1991 that ended his musical career and he spent many long days and nights thinking about his music and managing to pencil out a few more before his passing. He leaves a catalogue that to date exceeds 170 songs. His music is his legacy.

Bill was a true musical craftsman who could write a song at the drop of a hat in any style with or without lyrics. A man whose presence and talents are sorely missed but his music will live on.