The Billy Mackel Story
28 december 1910 - 5 May 1986

John William "Billy" Mackel (1977)
(He is a precise soloist.  One of the Masters of the electric guitar.)

This website is for the first time publiced on 2000. August, 27.
Last update:  2013 October 18.
Made by Hans Bebop, The Netherlands and Billy's Son the late Avon Mackel, USA.

2013, October 5. Mary, Avon's Mackel Wife written today.
Hello Hans, This is Avon's wife, Mary.  I want to let you know Avon passed away on September 23rd after a brief illness. My heart is broken - he went away too quickly. 
He has always been a strong healthy man and was a great Billy Mackel and Lionel Hampton fan. He often spoke of his friend in the Netherlands sent him news on
Lionel and his dad.
Regards, Mary Mackel.
Look this > Click-
Avon Mackel. See 1978. Billy and Avon. 2001, January 31. 
I lose a good good friend. Hans Bebop. (
Listen to Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel in Prague 1977. 2 great solo's of Avons Father. Play-

Avon Mackel. 1946, February 5 - 2013, September 23.
Avon was born in Baltimore, Maryland and live in Ellicott City, Maryland E-mail



John Willam "Billy"  Mackel was original banjo player, playing around his birthplace of Baltimore during
the early 1930’s. Switchingto electric guitar he led his own group from 1940, until he joined Lionel Hampton in 1944.
Mackel was Hampton’s most loyalsideman, he toured and recorded with Hamp with only brief interruptions until 
at least the early 1980’s.

2008, November 2.
Hello Hans: I found your website after reading about Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel in Stanley Dance's book 
The World of Swing. I saw  Lionel Hampton in Trail, British Columbia, Canada in 1950 or '51 when he appeared 
at the local arena. I was about 17 and went with my mother and some friends. I collected a lot of his 78s so it was 
an exciting time to see him. I have autographs of the band that we collected at the Canadian Legion Bar 
after the concert. The personnel is somewhat different than the 1952 photo in your website. I have an 
autograph from Arnold Dovey taken at that time but have been unable to establish whether he was a musician, 
manager or roadie. Do you  have any idea what his function was?
I recently wrote a memoir of music in my life starting in the 40s to the present date. It's about 60 pages in
length and covers a lot of  musicians, including the Duke Ellington band which also came to Trail about that time, 
Louis Artmstrong, Oscar Peterson, etc. Presently I am working on a series of jazz paintings which I hope to exhibit in 
the Vancouver area in the near future. I have over 100 paintings completed to date.
One interesting point: The autograph I have from Billy Mackel is  signed: "Wm. Makel, guitar".
I've enjoyed your website. Can you tell me if Avon is still living?  Yes ! Avon is a great friend.
Would he be interested in a an email of these autrographs?  Would you?
Thanks, Bob Sheridan (Langley, BC. Canada). 

1952: Autograph: Billy Mackel, Lionel Hampton and Arnold Dovey.(Organizer/photographer) 
Collection, Bob Sheridan (Langley, BC. Canada). 

Sorry, All the Music under construction.

New: 2008, september 12. Billy Mackel at France. 1968. Video.  Play

New: 2008, september 6.
Video: Part 1:  Play  Part 2:  Play  Part 2, with a great solo from Billy Mackel.
Lionel Hampton, vibes, Milt Buckner, organ. Cat Anderson, trumpet. Paul Moen, Eddie Chamblee (sax). 
Billy Mackel, guitar. Frankie Dunlop: drums.

New: October, 25. Video
Lionel Hampton Big Band at The Opera House Liege, Belgium. 1959. Play
More from The Opera House.  Click
New: September 2007.
Lionel Hampton, 1953 Houtrust Hall, The Hague Netherlands. Play--Dutch and Belgium People.
The Band and Het Parool. Click
Flying Home Broadcast on American Television in 1957. The intro is by Patti Page. Play
For the first time on LP/CD.  August 2007. Lionel Hampton's first Europe Tour in 1953,  with Billy Mackel.
From Swiss Radio. 65min.  Play-and wait 3 a 5 min. and go to min. 1.59. for Lionel Hampton.

Hans Bebop, Webmaster,  drums 1956.  Play

New: 2013, September.

The Bubby Johnson Orchestra. Billy Mackel, left from the bassist.
Collection. Hans Bebop.

Short solo's 78 RPM.
Listen to Billy's Mackel's Solo's. (Realplayer).
1943: How Herbies Feels: Click   With Herbie Field.
1944:-Tempo's Boogie-   Ribs and hot sauce
1946:-Limehouse Blues - Sord A-Rebop -
1947:-Blues for Garroway
1948:-Re-Bob's Turning Blue
1953:-Blue Panassie   Walking the Trocedero 1The Chase
1954:-Greasy green encore -
CD: Ring Dim Bells: (Track 3)  7 Samples

Videos with Billy Mackel in the Lionel Hampton Band.
The Lionel Hampton Octet: 1968. France TV, Mezzo.  Play--Part 2: Play-- 
1948. BBC TV. Milt Buckner and Lionel Hampton, piano. Billy Mackel, guitar. Cat Anderson, trumpet.  Play
Lionel Hampton: 1950. Play  Drum Set. (High Speed).  Play
Small Jam Session: Vibes Boogie. Solos: Hamp, Milt Buckner, p. Bass ?, Solo Billy Mackel, guitar. mid 50s.   Play
From Mezzo France TV: 72 min. Doc. 50s.  Lionel Hampton.  Play
From The Apollo Theatre, 1955: 71min. The Rhythm and Blues Revue. Play
Oh Lady Be Good. With singer Patty Page. Mid ' 50. Billy Mackel on guitar. Play
Lionel Hampton, 1956 Houtrust Hall, The Hague Netherlands.  Play
Lionel Hampton and Gene Krupa: 1958. Lionel on vibes and piano. From The Timex All Stars Show.   Play
The Big Chase: 1959 at the Opera House Luik (Liege)  Belgium. Play
Brussel Sprowl:  1950 at the Opere House Luik (Liege)  Belgium. Play
Tom Tom Song. 1959 at The Opera House Luik (Liege) Belgium.  Play-(
Lionel Hampton and the Big Band plays Flying Home. 1965.   Play
Gene Krupa with The Lionel Hampton Big Band. 1968. A Rare,  Sing Sing Sing. Play
Lionel Hampton. 1974. Hamp sings the Basin Street Blues.. Billy Mackel on Guitar. Play
At the North Sea Jazz Festival 1978.  The Hampton Alumni Big Band. Play
At the North Sea Jazz Festival 1979.  The Hampton Alumni Big Band. Play
Lionel Hampton at the Flint Theatre, Amersfoort, The Netherlands. 1978. Paul Moens, Joe Newman, Billy Mackel.  Play

Billy Mackel Discography 1944-1950 -

Lionel Hampton and his Giants of Jazz. 1978, May 4. Lionel Hampton, Vibe/Piano/Vocals/Drums.
Billy Mackel, Guitar. Frankie Dunlop, Drums. Barry Smith, Bass. Paul Moen, Tenorsax.
Joe Newman, Trumpet. Victor Pazz, Trumpet. Wild Bill Davis, Organ. 
Amersfoort, The Flint Theatre, The Netherlands. Tros Sesjun.  Play( (Realplayer) (SORRY IS OUT)
Or listen here with playtlist.  Click-The concert is still available. Broadcast,  2004, March 18.
Billy Mackel plays two great solo's. 


Billy Mackel's 1977 recording "At Last"   Click-


The Story
2000, August, 27.
Hello Hans, Here is some information on my father.
1.  The following are excerpts from the book The World of Swing by Bennie Morton, based
on an interview Mr. Morton had with my dad in 1972.  In the book, my dad is quote das
follows: ".Benny Goodman's brother, Irvin, who played trumpet...I think he was the one who told
Lionel Hampton about me.  Roy McCoy was with Lionel then, and he came by my house one
afternoon in 1944 and told me Lionel wanted me to come down to the Royal Theater  in
Baltimore, Maryland] that day and sit in with the band.  That's what I did, and I've been with
Lionel most of the time ever since.  He and I get along fine and I enjoy playing with him...When
you've been working with someone so long, you can almost anticipate what he is going to do
before it happens.  The instrumentation of the bands Lionel has had in recent years has often
changed, but the character of the music remains much the same...As as I've been with him,
Lionel Hampton has always treated me the same way, as a gentleman...As for his musicianship,
I just conclude he is a genius.  He has an unceasing inventive ability, and I think he is inspired by
his own ability."
2.  The following are excerpts from the reviewer's notes from the album Lionel Hampton
(and His All Star Alumni Big Band) Newport Uproar!  (RCA LSP-3891: Recorded
July 3, 1977).  The reviewer was commenting on the cut  titled Greasy Greens (Encore)
where my dad played a lengthy solo.  The reviewer's notes state:
"…Lionel obliged with an encore, which Pazant introduces and then hands over to Al Grey and
Billy Mackel for further exciting interpretation.  The feeling and rhythmic life in the guitarist's
marvelous choruses explain his long association with Lionel Hampton.  He is a power behind
the throne, of a different kind, but as essential [to Hampton] as Freddie Green to Count Basie."
3.  The following are excerpts from the reviewer's notes from my dad's album, Billy
Mackel…at last (Black and Blue 33.117: Recorded May 25, 1977). 
The reviewer,Jacques Morgantini, stated:
"It is probably his reserve and timidity that kept BILLY MACKEL from having the reputation
that he deserves in the jazz world.  Certain fans know he is right up there with TINY GRIMES,
JIMMY SHIRLEY, BILLY BUTLER and several others, one of the Masters of the electric
guitar since 1944. But having spent most of his career in the shadow of LIONEL HAMPTON,
he was never as well known as he should have been.
"Hampton's faithful fans were, of course, delighted that such a prestigious guitarist should also
remain faithful to LIONEL and complement him with such infallibility. What a comfort to know
that behind the king of the vibraphone there is always Mr. MACKEL's vigilant guitar.  Not only
is Billy a great soloist, but also an admirable band guitarist, and an exceptional accompanist
whose understanding of Hampton is known to everyone.  Rarely has a musician been so
indispensable to a bandleader!
"One must say, though, that BILLY MACKEL has had very little opportunity to record in solo
during his long career.  After so many years, here is finally a record all his own.
"During the session, he had some solid supports around: Frankie Dunlop on drums, Michel
Gaudry on bass and especially Milt Buckner, his long-time reassuring, joyful and comforting
friend, on the organ.  Eddie Chamblee, another old friend, is on tenor sax in several numbers.
"BILLY MACKEL is one of the generation of musicians who, during the 40's, following
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN, gave more and more importance to the guitar in jazz bands thanks to
electrification.  He is a precise soloist, developing his well-balanced phrases masterfully, calmly
and with an apparent nonchalance and his choruses are rigorously built.  As an accompanist, his
pulsation is remarkable in its suppleness and elasticity, and he was one of the first to abandon
the regular 4/4 beat for small riffs, short harassed phrases which complement and encourage the
improvisations of the other soloists.
"Except for <BROADWAY>, <JUST YOU> and <PERDIDO>, all of the numbers on this
record are blues, which is where Billy Mackel is truly exceptional, with the sustained notes, the
intriguing chords and everything that lets him make his guitar <speak> eloquently.
"After quite a few years, here, at last is Billy Mackel right up front on stage."
Hans, thank you for your interest in my dad.  Avon Mackel. 2000, August 27.

2000. September 1: Hi Hans, The Billy Mackel Web Site is fantastic.
My family and I are overwhelmed and eternally grateful to you, much more than mere words can 
express. The web site is a great tribute to my dad. Regards, Avon Mackel

2000, October 3: To Hans Bebop and Avon Mackel.
The greatest thing would be to have all of these pictures as a tribute to Billy Mackel here at the 
Lionel Hampton Center International Jazz Collections and Archives. Moscouw Idaho.
Doc. Lynn Skinner  (Doc. Lynn Skinner is the Director for The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival)

2000, October 29:  Hello Hans You are perhaps one of the great jazz historians in the world. 
Your tributeto Billy Mackell is great and has added new value to the footsteps in which I follow 
as a member of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Thank you for the educational tribute.
Wally "Gator" Watson.- (Drummer for The Lionel Hampton Band).

2000, October 30: For  Avon Mackel, Hello Stranger
What a great surprise!!   I went to the web site and the memories that itbrought back were a real 
pleasure. Billy Mackel was a dear friend and gave great advice when I was with Hamp.
Hope you and your family are well.  Getting ready to celebrate my 40th anniversary. 
Wow, time flies!.  Still playing and loving it.  Again, thanks for getting in touch. Eddie Pazant
Hans, I played sax with Hamp from 1958 to 1972. Still do a few gigs with him now and then. Eddie. 

2000, November 2000: Hans and Avon,
Another nice addition to the Lionel Hampton website. Eddie Pazant still plays with the band from time 
to time and was the person who introduced me to Lionel Hampton in 1990. Its through his 
recommendation that I am with Hampton today.  Thank you Ed. Wally "Gator" Watson.

2003, May 28. WoW! I just looked at your Lionel Hampton web site!!  Fantastic, it is wonderful.
Do you have any information on Herbie Fields? I am his first cousin (Bernfeld was his last name).
His father and my father were brothers.  He died when I was young and there is really no one left in 
the family that can tell me about him. I remember seeing him at the New York Paramount
with Peggy Lee (who gave me a kiss on the cheek when we went backstage).
I have collected some magazines, records and photos of his from EBAY in the past few years.
Again, sorry to bother you and congrats on a wonderful web site. Bruce Bernfeld. New York City


The Story in Photos.
 Three Strikes and a Miss Quartet.

This is a picture of the combo featuring Sylvia Anderson (vocalist) and on the front row
from left to right:  Billy Mackel (guitar), Charles Harris (bass), and Howard "Church" Anderson
(pianist).  Charles Harris and Howard Anderson were boyhood friends of my dad.
My dad and Charles Harris went on to play with Lionel Hampton.
In or about 1948, Charles Harris left Lionel and went with Nat "King" Cole where he remained
until Mr. Cole's death.


This is a photograph of the Club Orleans band outside the Club Orleans in 1942.  Left to right:
Roy McCoy (trumpet), Billy Mackel (guitar), Columbus Anderson (bass), Mac Holloway
(piano), Glenn Hennison (tenor sax), and Arthur Jake Davis (drums).  The photo appeared in


Herbie Fields - alto sax , Buck Bockner - piano, Snookie Young - trumpet, Mannie Albam - baritone
William Mackel - guitar, Al Hayes - trombone, Charles Harris - bas, Fred Radcliffe - drums. Billy's Solo

Tax Form, Members of The Lionel Hampton Band. 1945 October 6. Collection Hans Bebop.

Billy Mackel began playing for Lionel Hampton in 1944.  From that time until he retired from
Hampton's band in 1978, he played almost exclusively with Hampton. For a brief period
Mackel played for the Billy Williams, the writer/performer of  the song "I'm Going to Sit
Right Down and Write Myself a Letter."  Mackel's last recording with Hampton was probably 
in 1978.   Upon Mackel's retirement from Hampton's band in 1978, Hampton gave him a solid 
gold watch with the inscription "To Mackel, Thanks for a great 32 - Hamp."  After Mackel's 
retirement, he occasionally played for and was "featured" by Hampton whenever Hampton 
came to the Baltimore, Md.-Washington, D.C. area. 
Mackel's last gig with Hampton was in 1982. Avon Mackel


He is omnipresent on Hamp’s "Tempo's Boogie-" from October 1944. < Listen. 


Tax Form, Members of The Lionel Hampton Band. 1945 October 6. Collection Hans Bebop.


1945, Oct.11. Billy and the Lionel Hampton Band plays in The Adams Theatre, Newark New Jersey.
Collection Hans Bebop.


Withholding Receipt 1945. Collection Hans Bebop.

Ribs and Hot Sauce: Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel.


Billy Mackel and Lionel Hampton


 A photo of  Charles Harris and Billy Mackel when both played with Lionel Hampton's
orchestra.  The photo was taken in or about 1946.


Arnett Cobb, Tenor sax and, Milt Buckner, Joe Morris, Wendell Culley, George Rhodes, 
Charlie Fowlkes, Billy Mackel, Al King, David Page    Listen to:-Jenny - Walking' with Sid-


This collage of my dad was made in or about 1949.

The Lionel Hampton Band in Sweden. 1953.
ESTRAD: Swedisch Jazz Magazine.
Quincy Jones, Walter Williams, Clifford Brown, Eddie Mullens, Art Farmer, trumpet.
James Cleveland, Al Hayse, George Cooper, trombone.
Clifford Scott, Clifford Solomon, Anthony Ortego, Oscar Estelle, Eddie Pazant, (Replace) Robert Plater), sax.
Billy Mackel-guitar, Wm Montgomery-el.bas, George Wallington-piano, Alan Dawson-drums.
Solisten:Annie Ross en Sonny Parker- Vocals, Curley "drum boogie" Hammer-drums.
Lionel Hampton. Vibe, piano, drums and vocals. ( I think, this is good, Hans Bebop).

1953, September 19
The first Europa Tour.

The programmebook for this concert. The Photo is from 1952.
The Orchestra: Quincy Jones, Walter Williams, Clifford Brown, Eddie Mullens, Art Farmer, trumpet
James Cleveland, Al Hayse, George Cooper, trombone. Clifford Scott, Clifford Solomon, Anthony 
Ortego, Oscar Estelle, Eddie Pazant (replace Robert Plater), sax. Billy Mackel-guitar, 
WM Montgomery-el.bas, George Wallington-piano, Alan Dawson-drums. Annie Ross and Sonny
Parker- Vocals,  Curley"drum boogie"Hammer-drums.
Lionel Hampton- Leader, vibraphone, piano, drums and vocals.
The program: The Chase, How High the Moon, Perdido, Fine and Dandy, Moonlight on Vermont
Central Avenue Breakdown, Summertime, Jelly Rol, Body and Soul, Hamp's Boogie Woogie,
Drum Boogie, Bongo Drums, Lemon Drop, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Midnight Sun,
The Final:  Flying Home, Hey! Ba-Ba-Rebop, Flying Home 2, Hamp's Boogie Woogie 
(Hey! Ba-Ba-Rebob). Dutch Newspaper

The First concert in the Netherlands.  Two guitars ?
The duettists are left William Billy Mackel on guitar and William  Montgomery on electric bass.


Billy Mackel 1953, Sweden.
Collection:  "Carl-Gustaf" Sweden.  Many Jazz Greats on this website and Music.  Click

1953, September 22
Germany, Berlin  Billy Mackel,  ---------

September 30th - October 4th, 1953
Congress Hall, German Museum in Munich, Germany



Billy Mackel's band pass for The Lionel Hampton Band
The Jazz Diffussion Club - Paris, France. 1953, Sept. 27.

1953. October 2.

Frankfurt, Germany, October 2, 1953: Jazz great Lionel Hampton's legendary exuberance 
propels him skyward during a show at Frankfurt's Filmpalast. Left, Billy Mackel.

Billy Mackel and The Lionel Hampton Band: Apollo Theatre, Amsterdam The Netherlands. 


John William "Billy" Mackel on guitar and Lionel Hampton drums. 1955
The most photos on this website have not been publised before. The subtitle is from Avon Mackel, 
the son of the late Billy Mackel.
Billy Mackel as essential to Lionel Hampton as Freddie Green to Count Basie.

1956, March 24--------------------------1956, March 26. 18PM

1956, March 26. 20PM-20---------x
The Houtrust Hall, The Hague, The Netherlands.  Flying Home.  x Hans Bebop
Video  2002, August 31 and 1956, March 26.   Dutch Newspaper (photos) - Two-


Billy Mackel, left and The Lionel Hampton Band. 


Hot Club De France



Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel. August 31.

Autogramm Hampton
Signature Billy Mackel and Lionel Hampton
The Lionel Hampton Big Band in Deutschland.

' 50
Gladys Hampton   ? - 29 april 1971: The late Mrs. Gladys Hampton and her dog, Tempo. 
Mrs. Hampton gave the photo to my dad.  As you can see  from the inscription, see referred to 
him as the ace guitarist and  "spare drummer."  I don't know the year the photo was taken. 

' 50

Billy Mackel and Lionel Hampton

The Lionel Hampton Big Band


A photo of my dad weaing his Lionel Hampton Orchestra uniform.  The photo was taken in 1958.
On the costume you see the initials  L H 

Billy Mackel and Lionel Hampton: Wiesbaden, Germany, 1958, January 4.


Billy Mackel, Fats Domino, Al Hirt and Lionel Hampton. The photo was taken in New Orleans, 
Louisiana around 1961.

' 60

This photo of Billy Mackel (upper left) appeared in a 1960 Gibson Guitar catalog. 
George Gobel (lower left) and Bill Haley (lower right) are  among the other noted guitarists shown 
on the page. 

' 60

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong gave this photo to my parents during the late 1960's.   Avon Mackel 

'60: Left to Right.  Oscar Denard, Piano, Gene Krupa, drums, unknow, bass. Billy Mackel Guitar.


This photo of Gene Krupa and Billy Mackel was takenin the early 1960's. Oscar Denard is the 
piano player. During a rehearsal for a television show.
I believe it was the "Ralph Edwards" show.  Avon Mackel


Billy Mackel, Lionel Hampton and The Gene Krupa Orchestra


I believe this photo was taken in or about 1964.

The following is an excerpt from an article by Ron Pataky which appeared in the December 30, 1964 
edition of the Citizen-Journal:
"Lionel Hampton brings three holiday gifts to the city.  He, in his own right, is a brilliant musician. 
Secondly, he is a first-rate showman who turns all things into fun.  And, lastly, he has cushioned 
himself with fine musicians. William [Billy] Mackel, one of the country's few left-handed guitarists, 
is enough to make you wonder why you're not left-handed."


Monk Montgomery (brother) of the late Wes Montgomery, Lionel Hampton, and Billy Mackel. 

+/- 1965
Dinah Washington signature for Mr. and Mrs. Mackel.

+/- 1965

Billy Mackel right with Lionel Hampton.

The following is an excerpt from the August 10, 1967 edition of Down Beat Magazine:
"The calibre of the musicians he assembled was obviously an inspiration to Hampton...the book 
was well calculated to display their various skills, as well as those of the leader Lionel Hampton
and guitarist Billy Mackel]. Mackel is a great asset.  His relaxed, swinging solos help establish 
a good groove, and his fills during the vibes choruses are very valuable.  With or against the 
ensemble, his playing is always intelligent and tasteful -- a constant demonstration of the 
amplified guitar's potential in a big band." 
+/- 1969

 Billy Mackel and The Lionel Hampton Orchestra


The Lionel Hampton Orchestra at The White House. Billy Mackel's White House Pass
Signed by Vice-President Spiro Agnew and President Richard Nixon.


Billy Mackel.

' 70

Billy Mackel and the Lionel Hampton band.  The photo was taken during the 1970's. The conga 
player sitting to the right of Hamp is Dennis Monez from Bermuda. The percussion player standing 
the back between Bill and Hamp is Charlie Gordon (also Hamps personal valet) and the electric bass 
player is Eustis Guillamet. The drummer is unknow.  The drummer is Kenny Bolds: Hans Bebop

Mid '70

This potho is taken on the early '70s Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel.


Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel.


Lionel Hampton and Billy Mackel.


"At Last" 12 inch LP:  1977, May 25th. Barclay Studio.
Billy Mackel guitar, Eddie Chamblee tenorsax., Milt Buckner organ, 
Michel Gaudry bass, Frankie Dunlop drums.

Side A: Rollin For Virgil (Billy Mackel). Bluein' the Blues (Mackel). Broadway (H.Woode) Just You (J.Greer).
Side B: Blues for Joy (Mackel). Perdido (Juan Tizol). A Bubling Over  (Mackel).

1978, May 4th
Lionel Hampton and His Giants of Jazz
The Flint Amerstfoort -The Netherlands. On Dutch TV.
Lionel Hampton-vibes-piano-drums and vocals, Paul Moen-tenor/altsax,  Eddie Chamblee-
tenor/altsax,  Victor Paz-trumpet, Joe Newman-trumpet,  Wild Bill Davis-Hammond Org. 
Billy Mackel-guitar, Frankie Dunlop-drums, Barry Smith-bass.  Play( (Audio). (Sorry is out)


Billy Mackel and Avon Mackel
This photo of my dad and me appeared in the November 4, 1978 edition of The Baltimore
Afro-American newspaper.  The caption reads:  Mackel with son, Avon on 1978 AFRO visit
holding his newest album " Last."

2001 January, 31
Lionel Hampton recently donated one of his vibraphones to the Smithsonian Museum of 
American History.  Listen to NPR's Susan Stamberg report-

Avon Mackel and Lionel Hampton January 31, 2001 at the Smithsonian Institute American
History, Washington DC.

Four guitars played primarily by Billy Mackel during his career with Lionel Hampton


-------------------Stromberg Master 400--------- -------------------D'angelico Excel
--Gibson L-5 CES---------------Gibson 335 TG

Hello Hans, To my knowledge, the Stromberg was the second guitar that my dad owned after he
joined Lionel's band. I don't know what happened to the one he had before that.  I was just a 
baby. After the Stromberg, he bought and used the D'Angelico Excel.  After the Excel he bought
and used another guitar, I believe a Gibson, but it was stolen from the Latin Quarter Night Club in
New York,  in 1962.  He then got the Gibson L-5 CES and used it until around 1977, when he 
bought and started using the Gibson 335TD.  After he retired from Lionel's band, he used the 
Gibson 335TD whenever he played local gigs. Regards,  Avon Mackel.

2000, October 15
[From Perry Terhune of Guitar to subscribers of the Guitar newsletter.]
"Thank you for the kind notes on the Billy Mackel Tribute.  Recognition was long overdue. 
You also asked some great questions about the role of the rhythm guitar in a swing and/or big band
setting.  It has not changed over the years.  Although, you might be surprised with the answer.
"The leaders of these groups (Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, etc.) are, for the most part
showmen, or if you will – entertainers. Wonderful musicians indeed, but still very much the
entertainer. Having a Freddie Green or Billy Mackel always available gave the leaders the
opportunity to shine as showmen without losing the drive or pulse of the music.  When they
returned to the stand, they picked up right where they left off – not dropping a beat.
That was job #1.  Backup the Leader. "Other folks asked for a comparison of the great 
Freddie Green and Billy Mackel.  Good
question, I hope I can do it justice.  Both men were remarkably similar in a few important aspects.
Both were devoted to their respective leaders and both were masters of the craft.  Both men
seldom ventured beyond the comfortable setting of the big band or ensemble.  And, both were
polite, well-dressed, true gentlemen.  In the pit, however, they were night and day.  Billy – a
left-handed player.  Green – a right-handed player.  Billy – an early user of the amplified guitar.
Green – never adopted the electric guitar.  Billy – played great blues and jazz solos.  Green
was very content with his rhythm role.  An occasional lick or two – but that was it.
Billy was with “Hamp” over 30 years. Green was with “Basie” almost 50 years.
"Thank you for the questions.  I enjoyed thinking and writing about these great icons of our craft.
Maybe I’ll do a piece on Freddie down the road.  If you missed the Billy Mackel Tribute, here is
the network address.

2001, Januari 25:   Article from Avon Mackel -

2001, January 18: Article from Mike Kremer

Freddie Green 31 March 1911-1 March 1997
Freddie Greene's guitar playing provided the backbone to the legendary rhythm section for the 
Count Basie band that included Basie, Walter Page on bass, Papa
Jo Jones on drums and Green on guitar. The unit's legendary swing and groove provided the
foundation on which the orchestra was able to develop its unique big band sound. Green also
distinguished himself with the band as a composer.
His composition Corner Pocket was a staple in the Basie band's repertoire. Freddie Green photo 1996

Article:  Guitarist Billy Mackel " Guitar-Masters Tribute " -

Jazz Guitarists Internet Directory, hunderds of links -Guitarworld- Archtop Guitars- Les Paul Guitars-
Gibson GuitarsGuitar Bill Haley--Herb Ellis   -Charlie Christian------
Wes Montgomery tribute page--The Django Swing Page (UK)---
The Lionel Hampton Story 1908-2002 and In Memoriam Lionel Hampton in The Netherlands

1000Great Guitar Sites
Your guide to over 1000 Guitar Resources & Music Sites!

This website is a tribute for John William "Billy" Mackel, The great guitarplayer and for Billy's Family. 
Thanks Avon for the great photos and your information.
Hans Bebop, The Netherlands: E-Mail

Hans Bebop, My Sister To-Ingrid and Georges Goosens. Jazz Club Antwerpen 2003, April 15.
I present there a video-tribute for Lionel Hampton's 95th birthday on April 20.
See the program.  Click-