William "Billy" Cox (born October 18, 1941) is an American bassist, best known for performing with Jimi Hendrix.
Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, Cox was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Schenley High School. He first met Jimi Hendrix in the early 1960s, when they were both in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Campbell. Cox teamed with Hendrix in an R&B band called the King Kasuals. The two performed at clubs in Nashville, Tennessee. While in England, Hendrix invited Cox to join him in a new band; Cox declined, preferring to work in various backing bands. The spot instead went to Noel Redding.
They re-united musically in 1969, when Hendrix called on Cox to play bass in the Band of Gypsys.
In addition to the Band of Gypsys release, Cox's bass playing can be heard on such posthumously released Hendrix albums as South Saturn Delta, Live at Woodstock, Live at the Fillmore East, Nine to the Universe, and a reconstructed version of First Rays of the New Rising Sun, in addition to such home-videos as Live at the Isle of Wight 1970, Live at Woodstock, The Dick Cavett Show, Rainbow Bridge, and Jimi Hendrix.
Cox played at Woodstock with Hendrix's Gypsy Sun and Rainbows; On September 8, 2006, Cox mentioned in an interview on the KQRS-FM morning show that he can be heard playing bass on five of the first notes of Jimi Hendrix's famous Woodstock "Star Spangled Banner". The rendition was completely impromptu according to him. He said he thought to himself at the moment, "I realized we had not rehearsed this, I had better lay off." He toured with Hendrix (with Mitch Mitchell on drums) for most of 1970 on the Cry of Love tour. Cox lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he remains active in music, and acts as an ambassador for Jimi Hendrix, his music and philosophy.
In 1971, Cox released his album Nitro Function with Char Vinnedge (from Luv'd Ones) and Robert Tarrant. Cox played with others, including the Charlie Daniels Band, as well as session work and live dates. Throughout the '70s and '80s, Cox would continue to be a part of Jimi's music as posthumous releases continued to pour out.
In 1995, Cox along with Mitch Mitchell, Noel Redding and Buddy Miles began participating in Jimi Hendrix tributes and tours. In 1999, Cox appeared on the late Bruce Cameron's album, Midnight Daydream, that included other Hendrix alumni Mitch Mitchell and Buddy Miles along with Jack Bruce and others. Cox has also performed some dates along with Mitch Mitchell and guitarist Gary Serkin with a Hendrix-tribute outfit called the Gypsy Sun Experience.
Cox worked on First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Hendrix's fourth studio album, which was cut off by Hendrix's death. Cox has also been known to guest speak at University level music seminars. In this capacity he has been helpful to the aspiring musicians by spending time with them in discussion and demonstration sessions. This spirit of sharing and helping other musicians is similar to his former bandleader Hendrix's vision of providing musicians with a no-pressure (including cost breaks if needed) recording environment in the now legendary Electric Lady studios located in Greenwich Village, NYC.
In 2004, Buddy Miles reunited yet again with Cox of the Band of Gypsys to re-record songs from the original live album of 1970 with guitarists Eric Gales, Kenny Olsen, Sheldon Reynolds, Andy Aledort, and Gary Serkin. The album, titled The Band Of Gypsys Return, was released in 2006.
As of November 12, 2008, he is the only surviving member of both The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Band Of Gypsys. On Monday, October 12, 2009, Cox was inducted into Musician's Hall of Fame in ceremonies held at The Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He currently plays with the Experience Hendrix, a semi-regular touring Hendrix tribute band featuring top guitarists and former Hendrix collaborators.
Billy Cox es un bajista - guitarrista estadounidense conocido por haber tocado junto a Jimi Hendrix. Nació en West Virginia.
Conoció a Hendrix a principios de los 60 durante el servicio militar en Fort Campbell. Juntos formaron su primer grupo musical: King Casuals.
Después de durante unos años recorrer caminos distintos, en 1969 se cruzaron nuevamente en la banda de rock psicodélico Band of Gypsys.