Musician, actor, TV theme singer, voice-over announcer – Billy Vera is all of those things. He scored several R&B hits in the late Sixties, including “Country Girl, City Man,” a duet with Judy Clay. But, Billy is best known for his surprise #1 hit in 1987, “At This Moment,” which gained popularity from being included on the hit TV show Family Ties. Yet, he’s also an avid music historian – writing liner notes to countless CDs.
His latest project is penning the notes to the brand new Little Richard box set called Directly From My Heart, from Specialty Records, and Concord Music Group.
Dickey Lee has had a long and varied career in the music business, starting out recording for Sun Records in Memphis in the late Fifties, he rubbed shoulders with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. But, he wasn’t able to find success until a few years later when he struck gold with teenage death songs like “Patches” and “Laurie (Strange Things Happen),” then George Jones recorded his “She Thinks I Still Care” and Lee became an in-demand songwriter in Nashville. Since then, he’s written other successes on both the pop and country charts like Austin Roberts’ “Rocky” and Tracy Byrd’s “Keeper of the Stars.” We talk to this multi-faceted artist about befriending Elvis, the stories behind his biggest hits, and how he feels about current country music.
Gary US Bonds’ hit “Quarter to Three” still stands as one of the greatest party tunes of all time. That song was one of many smash hits that he had in the early Sixties. Now, Bonds serves up his first-ever holiday album, “Christmas is ON!,” featuring ten tracks – eight of which were written either by Bonds or members of his band. We talk with the legendary singer about how he got in the holiday spirit while recording the album in the heat of the summer. We also talk about how the Beatles put American artists like him out of work in 1964, and how a chance meeting with Bruce Springsteen put him back on the charts.