Billy Vera Big Band Jazz

Born May 28, 1944, in Riverside, California. His father Bill McCord was a staff announcer at NBC in New York. Ann Ryan, his mom, was a Ray Charles Singer on record and television with Perry Como. In his teens, Billy recorded his first album. The first side, “My Heart Cries,” was a hit in the Northeast. While the second side, “All My Love,” which he wrote himself, saw regional success in Texas and Louisiana. His first song, “Mean Old World,” which he presented to a publisher was a hit. One year later, his “Make Me belong To You” was a summer smash for Atlantic Records star Barbara Lewis. Jerry Wexler, the label chief, signed Billy after this entree to Atlantic. The single was a duet with Dionne’s cousin Judy Clay. It was followed by “Country Girl, City Man,” and the two performed at Harlem’s Apollo Theater to standing ovations. Billy’s first solo hit was “With Pen in Hand” by Bobby Goldsboro, which was written by Arif Mardin and directed by Wexler. The late 60s were a time of change and Billy was unable to find a musical fit. The 1970s were difficult until Dolly Parton recorded Billy’s song “I Really Got The Feeling” and it reached #1 on the country charts. He moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and formed Billy.

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