Bill Justis was an American saxophonist, arranger, and producer known for his work in the rock and roll genre. Born on October 14, 1926, in Birmingham, Alabama, Justis grew up in a musical family and began playing the saxophone at a young age.
In the 1950s, Justis moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and began working as a session musician and arranger for Sun Records. He played on numerous recordings for artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison, and he also recorded several instrumental hits of his own, including “Raunchy” and “College Man.”
Justis’ innovative work as a producer and arranger helped to shape the sound of early rock and roll music, and his use of saxophone and other instruments helped to create a new sound that was both energetic and sophisticated.
Throughout his career, Justis worked with a wide range of musicians and artists, including Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, and Sam Phillips. He also continued to record and perform as a solo artist, releasing several albums in the 1960s and 1970s.
Justis’ contributions to rock and roll music were recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2005. He passed away on July 15, 1982, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Today, Justis is remembered as a pioneering figure in the development of rock and roll music, and his legacy as a saxophonist, arranger, and producer continues to inspire and influence musicians across genres. His innovative work helped to create a new sound that would go on to shape the course of popular music for generations to come.
Last updated 3/26/2023.