Billy Clark

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Considering the popularity of the doo wop genre, this Billy Clark could possibly rate as the most popular, as in widely heard, performer with this name. His competition numbers various performers from…
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Artist Biography by

Considering the popularity of the doo wop genre, this Billy Clark could possibly rate as the most popular, as in widely heard, performer with this name. His competition numbers various performers from early rock, bluegrass, blues, and jazz who, if gathered together, would not be a comfortable size for a dinner party. This Billy Clark was one of many vocally active young men hailing from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in the '50s; his lead vocals on record with the Strangers include the perceptive "I've Got Eyes," the needy "Beg and Steal," the inviting "Drop Down to My Place," the apathetic "Just Don't Care," the entertaining "Have Fun," and the impatient "How Long Must I Wait."

The Strangers formed in 1952 -- doo wop buffs interested in further subdivisions of local traditions can take note that Clark and accomplices including Pringle Sims, John Grant, and Woodrow Jackson were all pals from the Putnam-Tompkins Avenue homeland. The members were basically all in their late teens, meaning they were still young men in the mid-'50s when their string of record releases on the King label ended. Clark continued performing for decades after this, however. He worked as a drummer in a band accompanying the Spaniels, another doo wop band and not a traveling dog show. But Clark didn't keep his mouth shut on-stage, either, taking on the lead vocal spot in a '70s version of the Flamingos, sobbing through a remake of their hit "Golden Teardrops." In the '90s, Clark sang with the Versatiles, a vocal group led by Ron Anderson of the Fi-Tones. Several other vocal credits for Billy Clark could conceivably be this same man, including background vocals for Edwin Starr and lead singing in a touring and recording vocal band called Singing Express.