Bill "Tommy Gun" Marshall (born William Claude Marshall), is the drummer for Hank Williams Jr. and The Bama Band and is a long-time veteran musician well-known for his years with Bocephus, as well as Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers, Target, Survivor, Bertie Higgins (Key Largo), Professor Longhair, Billy C. Wirtz, and many others. Bill started playing drums in June 1964, after seeing the Beatles that February on The Ed Sullivan Show. His father was a Big Band Leader, who played sax, clarinet, and piano.
Bill Marshall began his musical career in Memphis, Tennessee, with a group named the Venturas. He worked with many other local and regional groups including The Uncle Jam Band who toured with Z.Z. Top on their Rio Grande Mud tour in 1972, and later with Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers recording two albums and filming the movie, Jive Assp in 1975. Next he worked with the hard rock group Target (A&M Records) from 1977 to 1980. The band toured with Robin Trower, Black Sabbath, Dixie Dregs, Boston, and Blue Oyster Cult.
In June of 1980 he was contacted by the Aucoin Management Co. of New York to be considered for the replacement of Peter Criss, drummer for the rock group Kiss, but not chosen. Also that year he received his first Gold Record, for co-writing "DIXIE DINER" on the Jimmy Buffett live album, ("You Had to be There"). He also recorded on the movie ("Rancho Deluxe") soundtrack with Buffett. In August 1980, Bill relocated to Atlanta, Ga. and began studio session work. While there he had the opportunity to Play and record with Artist Bertie Higgins. This resulted in the number one single "Key Largo" which also went Platinum that year, for sales and airplay. He returned home to Memphis in 1981 and soon after, was offered the drummers chair with Hank Williams Jr. and The Bama Band. He also co-wrote with Hank a song on the "Montana Cafe'" Cd that went (Gold 1986). Between 1982 and 1989 he and the Bama Band had the opportunity many times, backing Dicky Betts (Guitarist of the Allman Brothers Band) on his shows. The ACM (Academy of Country Music) nominated him for Drummer of the Year in1985 and 1986. Also in 1986, Bill was nominated for the Outstanding Young Men of America Award.
Bill was also featured in Modern Drummer, Rhythm, Drums and Drumming, and Country Song magazines, for Gibraltar hardware and Pearl Drums. He received a total of Twenty One Gold and Platinum album awards over the years and made three live performance videos with Hank and The Bama Band. The Bama Band is also playing the music track on "My Name is Bocephus" Video, with Hank and Van Halen, From the Hank and The Bama Band Live CD. They also performed the opening musical introduction for the Monday Night Football television program (Are You Ready for Some Football?) for ABC, which Received Three Emmy Awards. They were five-time "Entertainer of the Year" winners from 1985 to 1989. They also performed the opening introduction for the 1991 NFL Superbowl Game.
Bill also tours with The Bama Band, (twice nominated for Band of the Year), with two music videos and recorded four CDs - Two for Mercury and One for Capital records, And most current CD, Beale St. Boogie. In 1993 he began touring with the classic rock group Survivor. This included world tours covering Central America, Japan, China, the Philippines, and Europe. In late 1997 Bill embarked on a new project with some members of Hank Jr.'s band. The group made its debut as Copperhead in March 1998 with their first CD and Video and had two #1 songs, on the Independent charts overseas. Also In 1998, Bill and the Bama Band were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Bill currently works with his classic rock group Almost Famous, The Bama Band and session work.
Marshall continues to endorse D.W. Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Remo Heads, Beato Bags and Vic Firth drumsticks (one time Regal Tip).
A few of Bill's Cameo Appearances through the years include Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, John Mayall, Tina Turner, B.B. King, Freddie King, Professor Longhair, Richie Blackmoore and John Lord (Deep Purple) Dicky Betts, The Beach Boys, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Sammy Hagar, Robbie Kriger (of The Doors), Ringo Starr, Leslie West, (Mountain) Kid Rock Television include, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert Two Showtime Specials, Hank JR. and Friends on the USS Constellation Aircraft Carrier, (A Star Spangled Country Party), The Beach Boys and Friends Showtime Special, Live from Washington DC.(950,000 + Fans), The Pay Per view TV Special Hank Jr. and The Bama Band, CMT Crossroads, Hank Williams Jr., Kid Rock and The Bama Band, The C.M.A.'s (Country Music Awards), The A.C.M. (Academy of Country Music) Awards show, The Grammy Awards, The Opening Introduction For the 1991 Superbowl Football Game, TNN Network, Nashville Now, An Evening with Hank Williams Jr. and The Bama Band, Crook & Chase and Live from New York.
Bill Marshall Drumstick Collection
Current Drumstick Count in Collection: 2.