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Elvis: How did Elvis’ bassist Bill Black die and what’s his connection to Paul McCartney?

The Beatles discuss meeting Elvis

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When Elvis Presley first shot to fame in 1956 he had a trio called The Blue Moon Boys with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. But less than 10 years later and Bill was dead. Having gone on to form the Bill Black Combo, the bassist became ill in the early 1960s.

Tragically, Bill died of a brain tumour on October 21, 1965 aged just 39 during his third operation to eradicate the growth.

The bassist was buried next to his father William Patton Black Sr at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

This was the same resting place as Elvis’ mother who had died in 1958 and later the original grave of The King himself in 1977 before both were moved to Graceland.

The King was criticised for not attending Bill’s funeral as he thought his presence would turn the ceremony into a media frenzy focused on him and not the bassist.

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