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Bill Tapia
Jazz, American Ukulelist. Born: 01/01/1908
  • General Info
General Information
Description
Bill Tapia, known as "Uncle Bill" and "Tappy", was an American musician, born to Portuguese parents. At age 8, Tapia was already a professional musician, playing ?Stars and Stripes Forever? for World War I troops in Hawaii. In his long career beginning in vaudeville and quickly expanding as a jazz guitarist and ukulele player he performed with names such as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and Hawaiian musicians such as King Bennie Nawahi, Sol Ho?opi?i, and Andy Iona. Despite his long life, Tapia did not record any music until 2004 when he put out his first CD at the age of 96. On March 23, 2004, he provided a detailed interview for the NAMM oral history collection about his impressive career and life in music. He recalled designing several instruments for many of his luthier friends as well as improvement and adjustments to the uke he had over the years. He continued to perform and record at an advanced age, all the while remaining in vigorous health and driving a car until his 100th birthday when he began suffering eyesight problems. Tapia was a featured performer in Mighty Uke: The Amazing Comeback of a Musical Underdog, a 2010 documentary on the ukulele. 
Born
January 1st, 1908 in Honolulu  /  Died:   Dec 2nd, 2011 - aged 103
Last Changes
2011/12/03
The celebrity has been marked as passed away
2009/12/20
The Claim to Fame has changed
2005/02/19
New Address: Available to members only
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This celebrity has passed away
Date: Dec 2nd, 2011 - aged 103
This page has been left online for reference purposes only.
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