Saturday, June 10, 2006

Billy McGregor

A copy of the above dropped through the door today in the never ending and arduous world of record collecting!! Collecting 45's is often about connections or recommendations or you simply hear something or take a chance because of a name on the vinyl. In this case, I first read about Billy's 3 records in Issue 16 of the UK magazine Voices From The Shadows. In that early 90's edition, Rod Dearlove, the editor, wrote a ground breaking article on what had become known as "crossover soul" which referred to the type of late 60's and early 70's records with a certain beat/feel which were then breaking on the dancefloors of clubs across the UK.

I would think that the Palos side is Billy's second 45 on an obscure Chicago label which has a few other interesting releases by Lee Shot Williams and LV Johnson. "We've Been In Love Much Too Long" is a jerky mid-tempo side with prominent strings and a catchy chorus. Billy is a fine singer who can let it rip when he needs. I love his lyrics telling the tale of what can happen when a lover takes you for granted or messes you about or gets moody!!! The B-side "I've Got It" is more in the vein of other Palos releases in that is a heavy rough repetitive piece of Chicago R&B with plenty of nagging guitar riffs though it is a lot more funky than say LV Johnson or Lee Shot. So I manage to get a copy of the Palos 45 nearly 15 years after reading about it in Voices - not bad!!

Look out for Billy's other excellent 45s - "Mr Shy"/"Fall On My Knees" on Flash which is a common side mainly I suppose because it was a local hit in 1965. "My Shy" is a good beat ballad and "Fall On My Knees" is a very typical '65 Chicago beater in the vein of Otis Clay, Tyrone Davis etc. The killer cut from Billy is wonderful midtempo groover "It's My Turn Now" on Mellotone which Rod highly recommened in the article and which I always enjoy playing. It s a side I have played it a few times on the radio to good response and most people want a copy when they hear it!!!

They are the only 3 releases I know by Billy are there any more??? Posted by Picasa

11 comments:

  1. Despite the relative lack of material, Billy has long been a particular favourite since getting "It's my Turn now" in the early 70's then the others you mentioned. I met Billy in Chicago when he was with The Rhythm @ Blues All Stars (the old Mellow Fellows) group with Gene Barge on sax in the mid 90's. I have a photo of Billy and Gene that I can send if you want. I corresponded with him for some time. A really nice guy.
    Don't think I know of any other 45's myself

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  2. Hello,

    Billy McGregor still lives in Chicago. His brother (now deceased) was George McGregor who cut "Temptation Is Hard To Fight" - not to be confused with George McGregor from Detroit who turns out to be a cousin.
    Billy is very talented. Millbrand obtained rights to his songs a couple of years ago.

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  3. John/Paul

    Thanks for the info - pleased to hear that Billy is still active - shame he never recorded any other sides because he was certainly a good singer.

    John - I would love to post up the photo if that was OK?

    Cheers

    Colin

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  4. My daddy's legacy4:50 AM

    Hi,
    this is interesting. Billy is my dad. I was very young when he was singing the songs you've mentioned. I remember singing "Mr Shy" and other songs that were not recorded. He is a
    special man in my life. I am so proud of the contributions he has made to the music world.

    Keebee

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  5. sisterskeypers4:56 AM

    Hi,
    This is interesting because Billy is my dad. I remember singing "Mr Shy" as a little girl. It is good to know what you think of him. He is my hero. I am so proud of the contributions that he has made to the music industry.For your information, he is still in Chicago. He is doing well.

    Keybe

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  6. Faye McGregor8:07 PM

    Too bad there is no photo of Billy or George McGregor. Billy is my uncle and George was my father. They were 2 handsome men. Billy is still alive in Chicago. Billy appeared on the old Chicago soul train in the 70's.

    Faye McGregor

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  7. Faye McGregor8:42 PM

    Too bad there are no photos of Billy and George McGregor. They were handsome men. George McGregor was my father who is now deceased. Billy is still in Chicago. He appeared on the old soul train in Chicago in the 70's.

    Their music was played by ERodney Jones and Herb Kent in Chicao.

    Faye McGregor

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  8. Anonymous11:23 PM

    hi my name is carrie l harris billy is my uncle we all are so proud of him I ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE ABOUT HIS MUSICAL ACCOMPLISTMENTS AND HOW PEOPLE ENJOYED HIS STYLE OF MUSIC Im sure you will hear more from him.

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  9. Anonymous3:29 AM

    I worked at a club in Naperville, IL where Billy sang with the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings. He was great, and a very nice man.
    I hope he is doing well, and would like to know if he still performs.
    If Billy sees this, "HI!" from Patti.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:54 PM

      Billy is standing here with me right now and returns your welcome "Hi" Patti

      Delete
  10. Anonymous8:26 PM

    I remember Mr. Shy, while I was attending CVS, just brought back soooooo many memories, of my First Broken Heart, I played that song so much, my Mom and Dad, would laugh, and say, " Son this won't be your last Girl Friend"........I'd like to meet Billy.

    Respectfully;

    Still Bill Dj!

    ReplyDelete