Billy Mack “Bill” Ham, the music manager/producer whose career included guiding ZZ Top and country singer/songwriter Clint Black to superstar status, died June 18 at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 79.
Ham was born in Waxahachie, Texas, in 1937. His first involvement with the music industry was as a recording artist for Dot Records, and for which released a solo album produced by Pat Boone.
While working for record promoter Bud Dailey in 1968, Ham saw the Moving Sidewalks open a Houston concert by The Doors. Shortly thereafter, he established Lone Wolf Management to guide the band as it transitioned to become ZZ Top. In 1971, he produced ZZ Top’s First Album then continued to produce the band’s music through 2003’s Mescalero. Other acts under the Lone Wolf banner included Eric Johnson and Van Wilks.