Bill "Hoss" Allen Obituary

As reported by the Associated Press:


"The Hossman," Bill Allen died recently.  Allen spread the Black music idiom of rhythm and blues to a vast radio audience.  From the 1940s into the 1960s, Allen and his contemporaries "John R" Richbourg and Gene Nobles used WLAC AM's 50,000 watt signal in Nashville to play the latest releases, often hand-carried to their studio by pioneering artists such as Chuck Berry, James Brown and Fats Domino.  "When we started (playing rhythm and blues records), we proved that R&B could be commercial," Allen said in a 1992 interview with The Tennessean newspaper.

"We also initiated a new sound to white kids who probably never would have heard it if it had not been for the power of WLAC."  Pictured at the 1992 Tribute to "Hoss" Allen in Nashville are (left to right): Sam Phillips, originator of Sun Records in Memphis; Bob Patton, Bob Patton Associates; Bill "Hossman" Allen; Gospel DJ Legend, Martha Jean "The Queen," WQBH-Detroit, MI; Jack "The Rapper" Gibson; and Tracy Nelson of the blues band "Mother Earth."  Allen was 74.

For those of you able to track it down, the March 6, 1997 issue of "Nashville Scene" contains much more information about the career and personal life of Bill Allen.  Many thanks, JTD, for sending me a photocopy.

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