Billy Vera: Harlem to Hollywood is the extraordinary story of singer/songwriter/actor/music historian Billy Vera
Billy Vera: Harlem to Hollywood is the extraordinary story of singer/songwriter/actor/music historian Billy Vera, suburban child of a showbiz family who fell in love with black music at an early age. We follow his journey as he plays the Times Square mafia-owned clubs by night and works as a staff songwriter by day, penning tunes for the likes of Ricky Nelson, Fats Domino, and the Shirelles, before finally writing one for himself and gospel singer Judy Clay. His dream comes true as the duo plays to standing ovations at Harlem s Apollo Theatre. With the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. and the arrival of the Woodstock generation, the change in the culture renders blue-eyed soul singers like Vera irrelevant and a decade of 70s survival gigs ensues, until Dolly Parton s version of one of his songs hits number one. Relocating to Los Angeles, our hero forms a band, Billy Vera and the Beaters, and finds career renewal in the form of a hit record and a side career as an actor.At the ripe old age of 42, he finds himself with a number-one record, followed by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and eventually a Grammy award, all without ever falling into the musician s trap of drugs or alcohol (we told you this isn t your typical musician s tale). This is the story of a true musician who held on to his art through highs and lows: Along the way, we see a history of the music business of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s as told by one who lived it and sustained his work through it all.
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