Profile of Bill Stuve


Bill Stuve

The long time bass man for The Mighty Flyers was born Carl William Stuart III in Alameda, California, near San Francisco. He later moved to San Jose in Southern California. He cites his grandfather, a stide piano player and drummer, as a major influence. In fact Bill began his musical career in a drum corp. Through his grandfather he was exposed to artists such as Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong.

While still in school, at age 15, Stuve started his own group The Wallocks. In that band he moved away from drums and played guitar and sang. The music played was mostly the then standard stock covers of British invaison bands like the Rolling Stones, Beatles, and Yardbirds. Although classified as "rock" these bands themselves covered many American Rhythm and Blues tunes.

Because "there was a guitar player on every corner" Bill changed his instrument of choice to that of electric bass but soon switched to acoustic, or upright, bass. Living in the music ladden San Francisco area he got to play with Johnny Taylor and Charles Musslewhite. And along with Nate Branch, who at the time was with the Harlem Globetrotter basketball team, he played showrooms in Las Vegas, Reno, and Tahoe.

By 1976 Stuve was working with Jr. Watson. It was Junior who called and suggested he join up with the Los Angeles based band The Mighty Flyers. In 1977 he became a founding member of that band which then included Rod Piazza, Honey Alexander, Mike "Junior" Watson, and Willy Swartz.

The list of musicians Bill has played with is a long one. It includes Johnny Dyer, William Clark, Jimmy Rogers, Shakey Jake, Steve Samuels, Roy Gaines, Canned Heat, and George "Harmonica" Smith. Still, he has found the time to release two solo albums. "Big Noise" in 1990, and "Say Man!" in 1996. Both were originally released on the Netherland's Tramp Records and are now available through Stuve's own Upright Allnight Productions. Bill Stuve was nominated for W.C. Handy Awards in 1999 and 2000.

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