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At A Glance
Billy Cox is a bassist, best known for playing with guitarist Jimi Hendrix. He was born in West Virginia. Billy first met Hendrix in the early part of the 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 experimental psychedelic/rock band 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. Billy Cox played at Woodstock with Hendrix's Gypsy Sun and Rainbows, and 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. In 1999 Billy 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 continues to play to this day, including 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's (Hendrix) 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.
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