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Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods shot to prominence in 1974 with "Billy, Don't Be a Hero." Sales that topped three million copies brought the group a gold record. The single spent two weeks in the top spot on the charts. The number one single was the band's greatest success, but it didn't mark the first time that the group charted. Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods made a showing on the charts with "Someone Special" in 1972 and "Deeper and Deeper" the following year. The band was ten years old when "Billy, Don't Be a Hero" made such a splash, and it had already performed as the opening act for such artists as Herman's Hermits, the Box Tops, the Osmond Brothers, the Rascals, the Grass Roots, and Paul Revere & the Raiders. The group also performed on American Bandstand. After "Billy, Don't Be a Hero," the band took "Who Do You Think You Are" into the Top 20. "The Heartbreak Kid" followed, reaching the Top 40. The group charted again with "House on Telegraph Hill" and "Our Last Song Together."
Donaldson, whose real name is Robert Walter Donaldson, sang and played keyboard and the trumpet. The group also included lead vocalist James Michael Gibbons on bass and trumpet; lead vocalist Richard Leon Joswick on percussion; Gary James Coveyou on vocals, woodwinds, and reeds; David Alan Krock on vocals, trumpet, and bass; Richard Brunetti on vocals, percussion, and drums; and Earl Baker Scott on vocals and guitar. Danny Loveland, a co-vocalist on the Heywoods' number one single, dropped out in 1975 to pursue a solo career and record "Black Is Black." Originally a drummer, Loveland began singing because the group kept losing its lead singers. When he gave up singing, the Kansas native launched a disco that he named Backstage. He went on to establish a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.