Billy Higgins was reportedly the most recorded jazz drummer in history, and certainly one of the most beloved. Higgins was one of the most musically sensitive jazz players around, with a light but active swing. His style did not draw attention to itself and could not be described by mannerisms; his musicianship simply raised the standard of every band he played in. Although he did release few records under his own name, Higgins was in great demand as a sideman, providing sensitive accompaniment in a variety of settings.
Higgins was born in Los Angeles, on Oct. 11, 1936 and began playing drums at the age of 12. Early in his career he played with R&B bands including those of Amos Milburn and Bo Diddley. Other early affiliations included singers Brook Benton, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.