Bill Tapia

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Bill "Tappy" Tapia
Background information
Birth name William Tapia
Born January 1, 1908
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Died December 2, 2011
Genres Jazz, Hawaiian
Occupations Singer, musician
Years active 1918 -
Associated acts Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley
Website BillTapia.com
Notable instruments
Ukulele, Guitar, Lap Steel

Uncle Bill “Tappy” Tapia (born January 1, 1908December 2, 2011) was an American musician, born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His parents were Portuguese. At age 10, Tapia already had been a professional musician, playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” for World War I soldiers in Hawaii.

His long career started in Vaudeville and soon after he became a jazz guitarist and ukulele player. He has worked with big names such as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, and Elvis Presley and also worked with Hawaiian musicians such as King Bennie Nawahi, Sol Ho‘opi’i and Andy Iona. People think that Tapia is the first musician to play jazz on the ukulele.

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