Formed in 1979 around songwriter Billy Vera (b. William McCord, 28 May 1944, Riverside, California, USA; vocalist, guitarist), Billy And The Beaters was an aggregation comprised of Los Angeles studio musicians. A 10-piece group, whose best-known member other than Vera was Steely Dan / Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, the other members at various times included Barry Beckett (keyboards), Gene Chrisman (drums), Tommy Cogbill (bass), Ron Viola (saxophone), Pete Carr (guitar), Jim Ehinger (piano), Jimmy Johnson(guitar), Lon Price (saxophone), Beau Segal (drums) and Jerry Peterson (saxophone). The band initially came together to work a club date at LA’s Troubadour nightclub. They banded together officially following that engagement and solidified their act during a six-week residency there. ‘Here Comes The Dawn Again’ was their live showstopper, featuring a biting saxophone solo. In 1981 they signed with the small Alfa Records and recorded a live album at LA’s Roxy club. Two singles, ‘I Can Take Care Of Myself’ and ‘At This Moment’, became moderate chart successes, but the latter made a comeback in 1986 after being used in the US television programme Family Ties, and ultimately became a million-selling number 1 in the US. Vera has since become a highly respected songwriter and record producer, in addition to working as a vintage soul and R&B album compiler.
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