Who was/is Billy Bland ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Billy Bland

Let The Little Girl Dance

Billy Bland

Let The Little Girl Dance

This was the golden era of the New York indie record scene. In the days before it was overtaken by accountants and MBAs, the business was full of Runyonesque characters, like Hymie Weiss, the owner of Old Town Records. "I was the payola king of New York," Weiss proudly boasted later."Payola was the greatest thing in the world. You didn't have to go out to dinner with someone and kiss their ass. Just pay them, here's the money, play the record, fuck you."One beneficiary of Weiss’ largesse (to the dee-jays… if not to him) was Billy Bland.

Born April 5, 1932, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Bland was the youngest of 19 children. He reported to Wayne Jancik that he made a record of Mairzy Doatsback home before moving to New York in 1947. A protégé of Jubilee Records’ star Edna McGriff, he landed gigs with Lionel Hampton and Buddy Johnson (which probably meant he was on the same billas Hamp and Johnson). Bland started his own group, the Four Bees, and, in 1954, they were brought to New Orleans by Fats Domino’s producer, Dave Bartholomew, who gave him a song he’d written, Toy Bell,that later, of course, became My Ding-A-Ling.

Bland signed with Old Town in 1955 and songs like Chicken Hop did well enough regionally for Weiss to keep the faith. Bland’s big hit Let The Little Girl Dance, was recorded in late 1959 and became a hit the following year. He told John Broven that he went to the studio to do a session for the song’s writer, Henry Glover, and Titus Turner was there singing Let The Little Girl Dance.Bland showed Turner how to phrase it, and Glover preferred Bland’s version because it sounded like Clyde McPhatter. The Miller Sisters, who sang backup on Turner’s We Told You Not To Marry,also sang backup here. The band included Buddy Lucas on sax, Mickey Baker on guitar, Bland’s guitarist Tommy Ace on bass, and Rod Porter on drums. Bland eventually retired from performing in the 1970s, and was last seen running a soul food restaurant in Harlem.


Various - Blowing The Fuse 1960

Classics That Rocked The Jukebox

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