Bettencourt made his name in the big band era as trombonist and arranger with Jan Garber for over 20 years. When he decided to set up his own band in 1962, he established it at the Shamrock in Houston, Texas, USA, and from there took it on engagements throughout the Midwest of America. With female vocals from Julie Vernon alongside Bettencourt himself, the group expanded quickly and soon found itself with a year’s residency at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago. Other prime venues included the Roseland (New York), the Willowbrook (Chicago) and the St. Anthony (San Antonio, Texas). He also inherited engagements from Garber’s dance band, particularly ‘horse shows’ in the southern territories of the USA. Varying the size of the band to fit each occasion, Bettencourt continued his activities throughout the 70s and 80s, playing the band’s theme song, ‘Dreams Of You’, alongside original material such as ‘Pflugerville Pflip’, ‘Call To The Post Cha-Cha’, ‘Blue Room Bounce’ and ‘Clodhopper’.