William Osborne Kyle (July 14, 1914 – February 23, 1966) was an American jazz pianist.[1] He is perhaps best known as an accompanist.[2]

Billy Kyle
Billy Kyle Photography by William P. Gottlieb
Billy Kyle
Photography by William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Osborne Kyle
Born(1914-07-14)July 14, 1914
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedFebruary 23, 1966(1966-02-23) (aged 51)
Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.
Years active1930s–1960s


Kyle was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.[2] He began playing the piano in school and by the early 1930s worked with Lucky Millinder, Tiny Bradshaw and later the Mills Blue Rhythm Band.[2] In 1938, he joined John Kirby's sextet, but was drafted in 1942.[2] After the war, he worked with Kirby's band briefly and also worked with Sy Oliver.[2] He then spent thirteen years as a member of Louis Armstrong's All-Stars,[2] and performed in the 1956 musical High Society.

A fluent pianist with a light touch, Kyle always worked steadily. He died in Youngstown, Ohio.

Kyle had few opportunities to record as a leader and none during his Armstrong years, some octet and septet sides in 1937, two songs with a quartet in 1939, and outings in 1946 with a trio and an octet. He was the co-author of the song "Billy's Bounce", recorded by the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1992 with Bobby McFerrin on the album, MJQ and Friends.


As sidemanEdit

With others


  1. ^ "Billy Kyle". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1413. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.

External linksEdit