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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Billy Strange born 29 September 1936


William Everett "Billy" Strange (September 29, 1930 – February 22, 2012) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor. He was a session musician with the famed Wrecking Crew, and

was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum as a member of The Wrecking Crew in 2007.
Billy Strange was born in Long Beach, California on September 29, 1930. Started performing with his mother and father, cowboy entertainers George and Billie Strange, on radio as a young boy and won a yodelling contest.  He initially learned the trumpet; however his asthmatic condition impeded his playing ability. At the age of fourteen, his parents bought him a guitar. He had toured Texas with his father and when he returned home to the West Coast, he established himself as a regular presence on television. A separation from music led him to a period as a truck driver and stunt man, but his love for harmony lured him back with an emphasis on the country genre. 

He initially worked as a country guitarist, backing Spade Cooley, Roy Rogers, The Sons of the Pioneers, Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant in the 1950s. He also served a stint in Count Basie’s band. During the 1960s, he became a part of the famed stable of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew". He teamed up with Mac Davis to write several hit songs for Elvis Presley, including "A Little Less Conversation", the theme from Charro!, and "Memories". Strange also composed the musical soundtrack for two of Presley's films Live a Little, Love a Little and The Trouble with Girls. He also wrote "Limbo Rock" that was recorded by The Champs and Chubby Checker. 
Strange recorded many cover versions of James Bond movie themes for GNP Crescendo Records and provided the instrumental backing and arrangement for Nancy Sinatra's non-soundtrack version of "You Only Live Twice" as well as Nancy and Frank Sinatra's "Somethin' Stupid". He was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for his pioneering contribution to the genre. 
Strange played guitar on numerous Beach Boys hits, including "Sloop John B" and the Pet Sounds album. He also played guitar for Nancy Sinatra, Jan & Dean, The Ventures, Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers, Wanda Jackson, Randy Newman, and Nat King Cole, among others. One of his most famous performances is on Nancy Sinatra's version of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". 
In the 1970s, Strange settled in Nashville to open a publishing company for the Sinatra family. He arranged and conducted all of Nancy Sinatra's Reprise albums as well as Nancy Sinatra's and Lee Hazlewood's 1972 RCA Records release, Nancy & Lee Again and their 2003 album, Nancy & Lee 3. He also arranged the 1981 Sinatra and Mel Tillis album, Mel & Nancy. He arranged and conducted for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Duane Eddy, and Elvis Presley. One of his most famous arrangements was "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" for Nancy Sinatra. Strange also performed the vocals for Steve McQueen in Baby the Rain Must Fall.

Heard on the soundtracks of many Disney features, Strange played themes for such TV shows as "The Munsters" (1964), "Batman" (1966) and "Have Gun – Will Travel" (1957). He is the guitarist heard on the theme to "The Munsters". He sang his own composition, "The Ballad of Bunny and Claude", in the Merrie Melodies Bunny And Claude (We Rob Carrot Patches) (1968) and The Great Carrot-Train Robbery (1969). 
Strange was married to singer and actress Joan O'Brien from 1954 to 1955. They had a son, Russell Glen Strange, born on October 4, 1955. He was also married to Betty Jo Conrad (son: Jerry Strange) from 1960 to 1978. They had a daughter together, Kelly Kimberly Strange, born on November 11, 1964.

Strange was married to Country singer Jeanne Black in his final years. After a brief illness he died on February 22, 2012, aged 81. (Info edited from various sources, mainly Wikipedia) 

Billy Strange -The amazing Man with the guitar - interview - part 1 & 2

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

Found a few LP’s on the web.

BIlly Strange - The James Bond Theme (1964)

The James Bond Theme 2:00
Nobody I Know 2:31
In The Mood 2:13
Memphis 2:36
Wishin & Hopin 2:48
C'mon And Swim 2:48
Walk, Don't Run '64 2:14
The Girl From Ipanema 2:39
Hard Day's Night 2:33
Bernie's Tune 1:58
007 Theme 2:12
House Of The Rising Sun 4:36

Thanks to for link


Billy Strange - Billy Strange plays The Hits (1965)

Thanks to


Billy Strange • Secret Agent File (1965)

Thanks to (pw: egroj)