Bill Ham, American music manager, Died at 79


Billy Mack “Bill” Ham was born in 1937, in Waxahachie, Texas and died in 2016.

He was a Texas music impresario, best known as manager, producer, and image-maker of the blues-rock band ZZ Top.

He gained recognition in the country music world by discovering and managing multi-platinum singer-songwriter Clint Black and founding some of the most successful country music publishing companies.

Over the years in the 1990s, his companies published a majority of the top-10 country music singles.

Eventually, the band became ZZ Top starter as the “Moving Sidewalks.”

After Tom Moore and Don Summers joined, Dan Mitchell and Billy Gibbons changed the name to ZZ Top.

In which Lanier Greig was added and the original ZZ Top was formed.

After that, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard replaced the earlier members and the band achieved success as a trio consisting of Gibbons, Hill and Beard.

He was working as a record promotion man for Bud Dailey Distributing when he saw the Sidewalks perform at a Doors concert in Houston and came backstage to compliment the band.

Then, later when the Sidewalks decided to fire their manager, Mitchell asked Ham if he would be interested in serving in that capacity.

Bill was instrumental to ZZ Top’s success, co-writing songs, producing their hit albums and constructing their image, and continuing as the band’s manager up to and including 1996’s Rhythmeen album and tour.

He also hired Texas guitarist and singer/songwriter Jay Boy Adams into the ZZ Top family.

The second artist produced and managed by Ham, was Adams.

Adams went on to tour extensively with ZZ Top throughout the seventies and early eighties and served as the band’s first regular support act and roadie.

Van Wilks, the Austin, Texas guitarist was also a part of Bill Ham’s Lone Wolf Productions throughout the years and toured with ZZ Top on many occasions.

Also Jay Aaron, Austin, Texas guitarist and music producer was also a part of Bill Ham’s Lone Wolf Productions, and recorded a solo album in 1990 for Warner Bros. Records, with Bill Ham as executive producer.

Some years earlier Jay Aaron produced and engineered Eric Johnson’s “SEVEN WORLDS” Album, also with Bill Ham as executive producer.

The Lone Wolf Productions has also produced artists such as Clint Black, Eric Johnson, Jay Aaron, and Point Blank.

Cecile, his wife was murdered in 1991, by Spencer Goodman, who was apprehended about five weeks later and executed by the State of Texas by lethal injection in 2000.

Bill Ham passed away at 79 yrs old.