soul, rhythm and blues, country, rock & roll, greasy honky tonks; these things come to mind when thinking about
Grammy-award winning keyboardist, Billy Earheart. He
grew up in Tullahoma, Tennessee (an hour south of Nashville), and from there
went to Muscle Shoals, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville and currently in North
Mississippi, playing with an impressive list of artists along the way.
Billy is also an original member with the Amazing Rhythm Aces, (47 years),and also has played with; Bocephus Hank Williams Jr (for 21 years), Rev. Al Green, B.B. King, Memphis Slim, Waylon Jennings, Eddie Hinton, Billy F.Gibbons, Reggie Young, Phineas Newborn, Earl Gaines, Roscoe Shelton, Little Larry LaDon, Jimmy Church, Fred Sanders, Kid Rock, Dickie Betts, Ace Cannon, Gatemouth Brown, Willie Cobbs, Kris Kristofferson, Sammy Hagar, Jimmy Buffet, Glen Frey, Rufus Thomas, Leslie West ,Otis Clay, Homesick James , Delbert McClinton, Bobby Rush, Eric Gales, Mark “Muleman” Massey, Kingfish(Christone Ingram), Sunnyland Slim, Watermelon Slim ,Johnny Woods, Tommy Talton, David Hood, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson (Muscle Shoals Swampers),Rev.John Wilkins, Big Jack Johnson , Rodney Crowell, Jamey Johnson, Warren Haynes, Robert Bilbo Walker, Vassar Clements, Teenie Hodges, James Burton, Alan Jackson, Fred Ford, Garry Burnside , DuWayne Burnside, Cedric Burnside, Dave and Robert Kimbrough, Johnny Jones, Charles Wigg Walker, The Decoys,The Bama Band, Travis Wammack, Spooner Oldham, Roland Janes, Jimmy Hall & Wet Willie, Merle Kilgore, Jumpin Gene Simmons, Fingers Taylor, Ray Benson and more…
plays a Roland 88 key digital PF-50 model piano and also; Hammond XK-3c organ
Proud to be a Hammond endorsee.
Billy started with a Farfisa Compact in 1966. He moved to a Hammond M-2 and the big Hammond C-3 (1959 model). When he played with the Amazing Rhythm Aces in the '70s he played the Hammond C-3 as well as a six-foot Yamaha grand piano, and Wurlitzer electric piano. Billy also has a 50's Wurlitzer electric piano 120, and 2 vintage accordions, and three Leslies, along with two old upright pianos and a pump organ.
Mac Rebennack - Dr. John - is one of Billy's long-time favorites. Other favorites include Professor Longhair, Ray Charles, Bill Payne, Jimmy Smith, Booker T. Jones, Art Tatum, James Hooker, Barry Beckett, John Jarvis, Chuck Leavell ,Pete Johnson, Matt Rollings, Joey De Francesco, James Booker, Allen Toussaint, Reese Wynans, NC Thurman, Spooner Oldham, Henry Butler and Otis Spann,
won several award with the Amazing Rhythm Aces. The group was nominated for a
Grammy for "Best New Artist" in 1975. They won the Grammy for Country
Group in 1976 for their recording of "The End Is Not In
Sight." That same year, they won the Cash Box Award for "Best
Progressive Group." Other honors with the Aces include several ASCAP
awards, as well as receiving the "Key to the City of Memphis" in
1976. The Aces also won a gold record for "Goin
South," a double CD compilation of Southern music.
One of Billy's special honors was the proclamation by Shelby County Mayor William Morris of June 28, 1985 as "Billy Earheart Day" in Memphis, Tennessee!
The awards continued with Billy's association with Bocephus. The CMA presented Hank Williams, Jr. and The Bama Band with two video awards: for "My Name is Bocephus" in 1986, and for "Young Country" in 1987. 1989 brought an Emmy for the Rowdy Friends Theme from "Monday Night Football." And in 1989, the documentary and live video featuring Hank Jr. and the band, "Full Access" was certified platinum. Billy also played on the gold records Hank Live, Wild Streak, Greatest hits 3,and America the way I see it. The Bama Band also won the "Lifetime Achievement" award from the Ohio Country Music Association. Billy is a lifetime member of the Country Music Association and the Hank Williams Appreciation Society.
Billy E. has also had the honor of playing for four different US Presidents, Carter, Clinton, Bush Sr.,& George W.
Hanging out for days with legendary Gonzo
writer, Hunter S. Thompson, well known for writing "Fear and Loathing in
Billy considers a wild and strange trip to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago with Ace Cannon as one of his most memorable road experiences. Ace is known for the 60's sax instrumental "Tuff."
Tours with the Amazing Rhythm Aces were also very memorable. A tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1980 was notable for the addition of comic actor Bill Murray, who was there to hang out with the band. Bill Murray was later on stage with the band - playing tambourine - when the Aces performed on "Saturday Night Live."
Cross country tour in a van with Legendary soul singer Al Green, were also spectacular.
Billy has seen lots of fun, killer road parties, and great music while playing 21 years with Hank Williams, Jr. Tours with The Bama Band have been very good as well.