and singer-songwriter from Naples, Texas, who was reared in San Diego,
California, and was making records by the time he was in his early
In 1959, he
and his band, The Strangers, scored an instrumental hit with “Caterpillar
Crawl”. He struck out on
his own in 1960, releasing his first solo recording on the Trans American
label. In 1962, he and Jim Lee
co-founded their own label, Monogram, which was created as a vehicle for
up-and-coming artist, Chris Montez.
He had several
bands at this time, including The Joel Scott Hill Band, The Joel Scott Hill
Three, The Joel Scott Hill Trio, and Joel Scott Hill & the Invaders,
who released “Look Out”, backed with “Sticks and Stones”,
in 1964. They were regulars at
The Action and made appearances at other clubs throughout California.
In 1970, Joel
played guitar on Jesse Ed Davis’s self-titled album, Jesse Davis!. He teamed up with Johnny Barbata and Chris Ethridge on
1971’s L.A. Getaway. It was around this time he joined
Canned Heat, replacing Alan Wilson.
During his tenure with them, he appeared on Historical Figures & Ancient Heads, Hooker n Heat, Memphis
Heat, and The New Age. Some of their live recordings were
preserved on the boxed set, Under the
Dutch Skies 1970-74.
He became a
member of The Compche Firehouse Benefit Blues
Band, which morphed into The Docker Hill Boys,
which morphed into a new version of The Flying Burrito Brothers. With them, he appeared on Airborne, Flying Again, and Live
from Tokyo, and was replaced by Greg Harris in 1979.
plenty of opportunities to hear him on anthologies, live albums, and re-packagings, such as Canned
Heat 1969-1999: The Boogie
House Tapes (Vols. 2-3), Just
Around the Bend…
Again, and Rare West Coast Surf