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Z.Z. Hill

Texas-born singer Z.Z. Hill managed to resuscitate both his own semi-flagging career and the entire genre at large when he signed on at Jackson, MS-based Malaco Records in 1980 and began growling his way through some of the most uncompromising blues to be unleashed on black radio stations in many a moon. His impressive 1982 Malaco album Down Home Blues remained on Billboard's soul album charts for nearly two years, an extraordinary run for such a blatantly bluesy LP. His songs "Down Home Blues" and "Somebody Else Is Steppin' In" have graduated into the ranks of legitimate blues standards (and few of those have come along over the last couple of decades). Arzell Hill started out singing gospel with a quintet called the Spiritual Five, but the output of B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and especially Sam Cooke made a more indelible mark on his approach. He began gigging around Dallas, fashioning his distinctive initials after those of B.B. King. When his older brother Matt Hill (a budding record producer with his own label, M.H.) invited Z.Z. to go west to Southern California, the young singer did.

His debut single on M.H., the gutsy shuffle "You Were Wrong" (recorded in an L.A. garage studio), showed up on the pop chart for a week in 1964. With such a relatively successful showing his first time out, Hill's fine subsequent singles for the Bihari Brothers' Kent logo should have been even bigger. But "I Need Someone (To Love Me)," "Happiness Is All I Need," and a raft of other deserving Kent 45s (many produced and arranged by Maxwell Davis) went nowhere commercially for the singer. Excellent singles for Atlantic, Mankind, and Hill (another imprint operated by brother Matt, who served as Z.Z.'s producer for much of his career) preceded a 1972 hookup with United Artists that resulted in three albums and six R&B chart singles over the next couple of years. From there, Z.Z. moved on to Columbia, where his 1977 single "Love Is So Good When You're Stealing It" became his biggest-selling hit of all. But Hill's vocal grit was never more effective than on his blues-soaked Malaco output. From 1980 until 1984, when he died suddenly of a heart attack, Z.Z. bravely led a personal back-to-the-blues campaign that doubtless helped to fuel the subsequent contemporary blues boom. It's a shame he couldn't stick around to see it blossom. ~ Bill Dahl, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Jamming!!!
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Reminiscing being in the basement with the aunties & uncles, took me back, wayyyy back, lol!!!!
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Man my pop's use to play this jam nate
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I love the blues zz and bb was man in day oh yeah.RIP.
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I. Know. That's. Right!!!!!
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I never loved a man like I loved ZZ. He was a real blues man. That's why I named my band after his biggest Hit DOWN HOME BLUES BAND.
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He was cheating in the next room, but he still here 30 years later. I knew you was cheating.
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Nice just sit back listening to music at the house just chilling.... l o v e this track right here...
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I just loved that music
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TRUE WORDS FROM A TRUE BLUES SINGER ZZ
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Talking softly on the telephone. I was young and stupid, but this song brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.
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Come on Z.Z
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Down home blues. love em. And I never had to get my head bad either.
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Z z hill is all wright i love it
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Love song
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Missing my uncle's snug & fat sam
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THE BEST'1111
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This was one my dads favorite blues singers and thanks dad for makong me love the blues
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Rest in peace uncle
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Love it reminds me of my dad I love u big bull r.I.p gone but never forgotten;)
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I also like the blues there is nothing like it i am seventy years young smile
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Rosebug that'$ what l'm talking about that'$ my MAN OK. =~0 W O W ZZ HILL!!!! LOL. <3
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A again I say if u listen to gospel music u are gay
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Blues is everyday life...dat.. .
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lilmapau
Im 53 yrs old.my bro and sis played it.I love it and understandin g it...getting . g o o d lovin too... from it....I'm so proud I grew up with this music!!...It bring back memories..I can pass it on to my family.
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Great music! Brings back some good childhood memories. My mother loved herself some ZZ. R.I.P ma'am
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Young people do love the blues! !!
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I grew up with them being my neighbors and didn't even know that he was a blues singer,,,,
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RIP zz
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Wow. That blues
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Sandra love blues do you?
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Love blues
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constance717
Sang on Johnnie Taylor
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Young people do not feel real blues
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Love me ZZ Hill and Blues
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Love Z.Z. Hill and the blues, or as my kids called it, drunk people music. Don't know why they called it that, because I never drank anything stronger than Coke or Pepsi.

What do they know about good music, they grew up on rap.
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jr9awso6
I love all soul n blues music. Specially Bobby Rush
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Reminds me of the 80's my daddy and uncles good times in MIA
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Love me some zz.Hill
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In my mom house. If it wasn't zz hill. It wasn't nothing!!!..
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Love it, zz hill brings back good times
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Boo
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Love Z.Z Hill the best!
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oh, yeah
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Love those blues song!
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That the blues I'm from Mississippi I seen zz at the junkyard #1 on hwy 16 in 1984
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Three Into Two Won't Go, still one of the best songs ever played.
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One of the best old school singer love him my favorite cheating in the next room.
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Love tha blues!!! This is one of my fav songs!!
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Best kinda music ever.. real soul
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