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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

RIP zz
boost1234.bm
Wow. That blues
boost1234.bm
Sandra love blues do you?
Love blues
constance717
Sang on Johnnie Taylor
Young people do not feel real blues
Love me ZZ Hill and Blues
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.
I love all soul n blues music. Specially Bobby Rush
Reminds me of the 80's my daddy and uncles good times in MIA
Love me some zz.Hill
In my mom house. If it wasn't zz hill. It wasn't nothing!!!..
Love it, zz hill brings back good times
Love Z.Z Hill the best!
oh, yeah
Love those blues song!
That the blues I'm from Mississippi I seen zz at the junkyard #1 on hwy 16 in 1984
Three Into Two Won't Go, still one of the best songs ever played.
One of the best old school singer love him my favorite cheating in the next room.
Love tha blues!!! This is one of my fav songs!!
Best kinda music ever.. real soul
Love don't live here anymore
you rt He was one of the Best back in the Day always.
He was one of the best
Gotta love him because he's Hill so am I artelia hill from Satx
Love zz hill..
SING IT ZZ, YOU TELL EM
My mother-in-la w introduces me to zz hill music years ago been in love with it ever since
Loving Z Z Hill music ole school Rip Rip L W A love always Fatts
New way of wearin my hair...., bout to fix me
Why do men do this dumb s**t:-)
ZZ Bluzzz Master*978*~ 6 m 1 4 y ~
Loved me some Z.Z. Hill!
awesome
araypat
He was good at it
Just don't make music like this anymore.
Love this song ������
I love blue music daddy-green@ a t t . n e t
Ifeelyou
Hewassode
Ep
He was a good music player
Thank you
ronaldward31 0 5 1
Down home blues with Z.Z. Hill. good 4 da soul
Never be another like zz. His music made you remember the good old times n some bad times. I love anything he recorded. Where are some these young singers of today,I gurss they cant sing songs with feelings,or a meaning...lo l
Z.Z. Hill passed to young ! His music will llive on for ever.
ZZ YOU DID THAT THERE
BIG G.com
ZZ Mr Bluzzz*978*4 m 1 4 y ~
I LOVE LISTENING TO DIFFERANT BLUES SONGS MAKE ME THINK OVER MY LIFE SMILE...
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