Billy Forrest – the living legend! (part one: 1961 – 1966)

Billy Forrest

Billy Forrest

Billy Forrest

Billy Forrest

Malcolm Lombard wrote the following about this formidable artist who made his first recording exactly 50 YEARS ago:

“Tenacity, determination, perseverance, an uncompromising stickler on quality, sheer guts and, not least of all, loads of talent have made Billy Forrest a living legend in the South African music industry. An unparalleled 17 chart entries on Springbok Radio’s Top 20 … compares favourably to a select few of the world’s top recording artists. His versatility as a hit-making producer of some of our country’s biggest successes, too, is legendary. One cannot but respect the man. Sustained success over a period of 50 years is seldom achieved by any artist – local or international!”

Billy, Adrian Strydom, Bobby Angel and John Linderman are currently (2011) working on a CD project involving an overseas artist, but let’s go back to 1961 when Billy started his recording career. We sincerely hope this overview of Billy’s career as a singer and a producer will convince SAMA officials that a special award for this Legend’s contribution to SA music is long overdue. What do you say??

Meet The Giants

Meet The Giants

HMV 1961 : Billy Forrest and the Giants

7-Single

1. Dark lonely street / My heart and I (78 rpm)

Album

1. Meet the Giants

Little Archie And The Twisters

Little Archie And The Twisters

CONTINENTAL 1962 : Billy Forrest with Little Archie and the Twisters

7-Singles

1. Don’t knock upon my door
2. Comin’ up in the world
3. Forty days

Album

1. Twistin’ wild (also featuring Bobby Angel/other)

Extended Play Single

‘Silva Bera and Billy Forrest with Arch Hunter & His Combo at Archies’, recorded  8 May 1962

Your eyes say kiss me  (Silva Bera)

Last date  (Arch Hunter)

My love for you  (Billy Forrest)

Wheels  (Arch Hunter)

CONTINENTAL 1963: Billy Forrest with the Arch Hunter Combo

7-Singles

1. Dancin’ shoes
2. Somebody’s smiling
3. Little Dutch village (unissued)

Come Back To Me

Come Back To Me

CONTINENTAL 1963: Billy Forrest – solo

7-Single

1. It might as well rain until September

Album

1. Come back to me (Gallotone label)

RENOWN 1963: Billy Forrest and the Veterans

7-Single

1. Cross my heart

Billy Forrest – Solo (1963 – 1966)

7-Singles

1. 500 Miles
2. Miller’s cave
3. Burning bridges
4. Hello operator (#1 hit   on Springbok Radio Top 20)
5. Wrong number
6. Seven letters
7. Wind me up (let me go)
8. Looking back
9. Still
10. Lonelyville

Albums

1. Billy Forrest
2. Seven letters

To be continued……

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Fleadom’s Children

 

Fleadom's Children 1st 7-single and Pop Gear article

Fleadom's Children 1st 7-single and Pop Gear article

“With Forrest handling production duties, Freedom’s Children entered the studios that summer and proceeded to lay down four tracks in one session. Understandably, the label went with what it thought were the two strongest cuts for the band’s debut single, issued towards the end of 1967. On the a-side was a raw cover of Tony Colton and Ray Smith’s “The Coffee Song”, which Cream had also recorded, initially for inclusion on their debut album Fresh Cream. Nestled on the flip, meanwhile, was the band’s tribute to The Rolling Stones, a bristling version of “Satisfaction” with a heavy guitar work out courtesy of Laxton and Henson. A rare outing at the time, the single is now almost impossible to find but fortunately both sides have recently turned up as bonus tracks on Fresh Music’s digitally remastered Astra CD.

Aficionados of the band, however, are still waiting to hear the two remaining tracks from that session, which were duly rounded up for the group’s second Troubadour single, issued a few months later. Credited again to Fleadom’s Children, the single comprises an outstanding version of The Yardbirds’ “Mr, You’re A Better Man Than I” (composed, incidentally, by Mike Hugg of fellow South African, Manfred Mann’s group) backed by a cover of The Fleur De Lys’ “Mud In Your Eye”. While the a-side was a relatively well known number (and later covered by dozens of bands, most notably The Sons of Adam in California), the flip seemed an unusual choice, especially as The Fleur De Lys were hardly household names.” (Source: Nick Warburton) 

Billy Forrest wrote on 27 March 2012:

I remember recording all four tracks but whether the second single was ever released slips my mind. Gallo Archive would have it because Trutone bought Troubadour around 1970 and that purchase included the entire Troubadour Catalogue.

MVFB comment: We believe all the Troubadour tapes were ‘dumped’ after the Gallo take-over.

Tertius & Marq

 

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1st edition of Pop Gear, 1966

1st edition of Pop Gear, 1966

1st edition of Pop Gear, 1966

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A Selection Of My Favourite Songs

Billy Forrest - A special selection of my favourite songs

Billy Forrest - A special selection of my favourite songs

It was a difficult one this. To remember my favourites over a span of 55 years was no mean feat, who do you leave out? I’ve chosen the songs that moved me the most, with just that “something” that makes a song reach into your soul. I’ve got two lists, International and “Local”. On the S.A. side it was more a case of appreciating the song, the performance and the production. Enjoy!

Artist/Song (International)

Cliff Richard & The Shadows (Live) – Miss you nights
Dobie Gray – Loving arms
Moody Blues – Nights in white satin
Dolly Parton – I will always love you
Kenny Rogers – Ruby don’t take your love to town
The Righteous Brothers – Unchained melody
The Walker Brothers – Make it easy on yourself
The Beatles – Yesterday
The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
Matt Monroe – Born free
Dion Warwick – Valley of the dolls
Mike & The Mechanics – The living years
Elvis Presley – Are you lonesome tonight
Tom Jones – What’s new pussycat
Richard Harris – McArthur park
Abba – Fernando
K.D.Lang – Hallelujah
Elton John – Sacrifice
Mamas & Papas – California dreaming
Josh Grobin – You raise me up

Artist/Song (Local)

June Dyer – Whirlpool of love
Dickie Loader & The Blue Jeans – Exclusively yours
The Flames – For your precious love
The Dream Merchants – Time and the river
The Staccatos – Cry to me
Clout – Substitute
Bright Blue – Weeping
McCully Workshop – The Buccaneer
Copperfield – So you win again
Ballyhoo – Man on the moon
Rabbitt – Charlie
Joanna Field – Don’t fly too high
Maria – Clap your hands and stamp your feet
Gene Rockwell – Heart
Ken.J.Larkin – Turn around
Johnny Clegg – Scatterlings of Africa
Margaret Singana – Mama Tembu’s wedding
Steve Hofmeyr – Pampoen
Laurika Rauch – Kinders van die wind
Sias Reinecke – Sproetjies

 

Thanks to Marq Vas’s Southern African Music Collectibles

 

 

Categories: Discography, Favourites | 1 Comment

Top 40 Magazine – April 1988

 

The magazine has sold 2,7 million copies since the first issue hit the streets in September 1984 (Editorial Comment)

"The magazine has sold 2,7 million copies since the first issue hit the streets in September 1984" (Editorial Comment)

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Billy Forrest – Chart Success (1964 – 1983)

Billy Forrest - Chart Success (1964 - 1983)

Billy Forrest - Chart Success (1964 - 1983)

1.      Hello Operator #1

2.      Love Minus Zero #8

3.      Land Of Milk And Honey #10

4.      The Rattler #20

5.      Lazy Life #1

6.      Melody Fayre #14

7.      Abergavenny #15

8.      We’re All Playing In The Same Band #19

9.      Joey The Lipstick Collector #18

10.   Papa’s Gonna Kiss It Better #8

11.   Lovely Lorraine #20

12.  Hello-A #5

13.  Do You Love Me? #2

14.  Liefde Is My Nooi Se Naam # 19

15.  Hazy Hazy #18

16.  Our Sweet Precious Love #9

17.  She Can’t Say That Anymore #5

18.  I Loved ‘Em Everyone #17

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Made in South Africa – 1971

Made In South Africa

Made In South Africa

The ‘Made in South Africa’ compilation album, Rave BP 1028, contains no less that 7 Billy Forrest productions:
1. Tchaikovsky One – Omega Ltd
2. Turn Around – Ken J Larkin
3. Cry To Me – The Staccatos
4. Lazy Life – Quentin E Klopjaeger
5. Stand Up For The Lady – The Rising Sons
6. Proud Mary – The Rising Sons
7. Venus – Shocking Pink

All above songs were originally released as 7- singles:

1. Tchaikovsky One/The Boy And The Bee – Polydor PS 87, 1970
2. Turn Around/What’s Wrong With My World – Polydor PS 34, 1969
3. Cry To Me/Why Care About Today – NEM 3003, 1968
4. Lazy Life/The Long Way Home – Troubadour TRS-E-9092, 1968
5. Stand Up For The Lady/Come And Get It/Something’s Burning – Rave TOS 732, 1970
6. Proud Mary/Tree Society – Rave TOS 542, 1969
7. Venus/You Girl – Philips TOS 660, 1970

Other tracks:

1. Sunglasses – Hilary
2. For Your Precious Love – The Flames
3. Meadowlands – The Meteors
4. Pata Pata – The Hoochie Coochies
5. I’ve Got Dreams To Remember – The Invaders

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Dream Merchants: 1966 – SARI Award for Best Beat Artists

Dream Merchants: 1966 - SARI Award for best beat artists

Dream Merchants: 1966 - SARI Award for best beat artists

Dream Merchants: 1966 - SARI Award for best beat artists

Dream Merchants: 1966 - SARI Award for best beat artists

 

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Omega Ltd

Impact December 1970 - Artistes I Produce: Omega Ltd

Impact December 1970 - Artistes I Produce: Omega Ltd

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Pop Gear SA – First Issue

Pop Gear SA - First Issue

Pop Gear SA - First Issue

Pop Gear SA - First Issue - Editorial

Pop Gear SA - First Issue - Editorial

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Billy Forrest – Hello Operator

“Then, at the end of 1964 it finally happened. Hello Operator, chosen for me by Peter Lotis, went to number one that Christmas, earning me my first Gold Disc Award and a few months later, in 1965, a SARI Award for best Country and Western Singer.”
(Billy Forrest, 2001)
Billy Forrest - Hello Operator

Billy Forrest - Hello Operator

Billly Forrest - Teenage Personality Dec 1965

Billly Forrest - Teenage Personality Dec 1965

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