b. Bill Mizell, Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Mizell was a minor rockabilly artist best known for the 1957 recording ‘Jungle Rock’.
He served in the US Navy in 1947, and upon his discharge began both singing and preaching. In the early 50s he and his five-piece country band went to Montgomery, Alabama, to record. A disc jockey there nicknamed him Hank after the recently deceased Hank Williams, and the name stuck. In 1957, working with guitarist Jim Bobo, drummer Bill Collins and pianist Eddie Boyd in Chicago, Mizell recorded ‘Jungle Rock’ for the local EKO label. King Records picked up distribution, but the record did not sell, and Mizell gave up performing professionally. He became a preacher and moved between Chicago, Mississippi and Nashville for the next few years. Although several country singles were recorded in the 60s and 70s, Mizell remained virtually unknown until 1976, when rockabilly collectors in Europe discovered the King single. ‘Jungle Rock’ transcended cult credibility to reach the UK Top 10, and prompted Charly Records to release other rediscovered Mizell recordings. Mizell made a few other rockabilly and country recordings in the 80s, but remained unknown outside of hardcore rockabilly circles.