Bill Rhoades

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Blues singer and harmonica wiz Bill Rhoades was born in Eugene, OR. In junior high school he fell under the influence of British Invasion bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds,…
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Blues singer and harmonica wiz Bill Rhoades was born in Eugene, OR. In junior high school he fell under the influence of British Invasion bands like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Yardbirds, which in turn led him to check out Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, Slim Harpo, and the other American blues artists these bands often covered. Rhoades fell totally under the spell of the blues, and started playing harmonica. While he was in high school he began playing harp and singing in a band called the Rhythm Kings, which morphed into the Party Kings after Rhoades graduated. The Party Kings worked as the house band at a Eugene club called Taylor's, where they often backed up Albert Collins, Michael Bloomfield, and other blues artists who were passing through town.

Ever the champion of the music he had come to treasure, Rhoades helped found the Oregon Blues Society in the late '70s, as well as the Cascade Blues Association a few years later after he had relocated to Portland, OR. While in Portland in the 1980s he began his long-running blues radio show, Blue Monday, on KBOO, and fronted a band called Blues Deluxe before re-forming the Party Kings. A stint in the Switchmasters followed, but Rhoades increasingly began to concentrate on the Party Kings, who went on to release two albums, Don't Lose Your Kool and Voodoo Lovin'. He also began playing with guitarist Alan Hager as part of a country blues acoustic duo, and the pair released Runnin' & Ramblin' in 1998.