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About The Artist
We have found three artists to date who used the name Billy Hill. This Billy Hill was a part of Spade Cooley's band for a time.
Sunny Ciesla reported in 1949 that Billy and His Hillbillies had recorded several tunes for the Superior label. These tunes included:
Sunny also mentioned Billy was a part of a vaudeville type of act that Texas Jim Lewis had at one time that included Pedro Depaul, Jack Rivers, Danny Walsh and others. She told readers in another article that World War II caused the group to break up and when they returned from their military stints, they joined up with Spade's band. In 1946, Spade's group was playing at the Santa Monica Ballroom and was heard for four hours over KFVD.
A 1947 article that featured Spade Cooley provided some interesting information about the fiddle players in Spade's group. Their violins / fiddles were worth a collective $20,000. Tiny Hunt had a Testore that was 200 years old and valued at $11,000. Gypsy Slim Klotz's violin was said to be 250 years old nd worth $4,000. Billy Hill had a Testore that was 210 years old and valued at $5,000.
Billy also made news in a non-musical way. Billboard reported in July 1947 that Billy and his wife had to be rescued by the life guards at Redondo Beach when they were caught up in a rip tide.
The Billboard magazine reported in October 1949 that Billy was one of several hillbilly music acts that had signed up with the Modern Records label. Other included Stuart Hamblen, Scotty Harrell, Jimmy Bryant, Bill Woods, Buz Butler and Ted Shelton. The records were to be 78rpm and would have a retail price of 75cents each. It was reported that Jules Bihari was looking for talent to sign to the label that was previously known for its rhythm and blues releases.
In 1948, Billy left Spade Cooley's group along with Red Egner. Billy and Red were said to begin playing at the Palace Barn in Los Angeles. Billy was heading up a reported eight-piece band. The venue was to be open seven nights a week.
To date we've not been able to confirm or find any other details as to the recordings on the labels mentioned.
Credits & Sources