Not only is Billy Vera (born William McCord, Jr. on May 28, 1944 in Riverside, CA) a rock historian, he's made some rock history himself over the last quarter century. Vera wrote for the likes of Barbara Lewis and Rick Nelson during the mid-'60s before recording his "Storybook Children" as an R&B duet with Judy Clay in 1967 for Atlantic. It proved a solid hit, as did their 1968 follow-up "Country Girl - City Man." Vera surfaced as a solo artist in 1987 when "At This Moment," a song he'd cut in 1981 with his band, Beaters, was featured on the popular TV sitcom Family Ties and topped the pop charts on Rhino. Vera recently returned to a soulful duet format, this time with ex-Labelle belter Nona Hendryx, for "You Have to Cry Sometime" on Shanachie. Vera has also compiled and annotated many CD reissue projects, notably the Legends of Specialty series.
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