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The Billy Vera Story

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Album Review

Billy Vera has had a long, varied career in R&B that has been somewhat overshadowed by his inaccurate reputation as an ‘80s one-hit wonder. True, his one smash hit arrived in in 1986 when “At This Moment” shot to the top of the charts thanks to its showcase on the Michael J. Fox-starring sitcom Family Ties, but Vera’s career started some 20 years earlier via “Storybook Children,” a duet with Judy Clay that climbed into the R&B Top 20 in 1968. After that single, Vera worked steadily in Los Angeles, which is where he eventually formed the Beaters, and after “At This Moment” he continued to work, producing and writing for a variety of artists — including Bonnie Raitt and Lou Rawls — in addition to performing with the Beaters and carving out a reputation as a peerless R&B historian. 2011’s Billy Vera Story is the first compilation to touch upon each of these eras, beginning with his duets with Clay and then moving through his excellent country-soul before getting to the ‘80s retro-revivalism. Throughout it all, Vera is an empathetic, effective singer with an excellent ear for material. For anybody who knows Vera’s reputation as a historian but none of his music outside of “At This Moment,” this is the place to go to discover how deep his love of R&B and soul truly lies.


Born: 28 May 1944 in Riverside, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Not only is Billy Vera (born William McCord, Jr. on May 28, 1944 in Riverside, CA) a rock historian, he's made some rock history himself over the last quarter century. Vera wrote for the likes of Barbara Lewis and Rick Nelson during the mid-'60s before recording his "Storybook Children" as an R&B duet with Judy Clay in 1967 for Atlantic. It proved a solid hit, as did their 1968 follow-up "Country Girl - City Man." Vera surfaced as a solo artist in 1987 when "At This Moment," a song he'd cut in 1981...
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The Billy Vera Story, Billy Vera
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