Thursday, January 03, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods

Artist:Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods
Song:Billy, Don't Be A Hero
Album:70s Music Explosion: Escape

Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods topped the charts in 1974 with Billy, Don't Be A Hero. A couple of other songs charted but most fans will only remember the one song. The Heywoods were from Cincinnati and first formed in 1965. Bo Donaldson's mom Bea Donaldson was somewhat of a stage mother and she thought her piano playing son should be a big star. The band went through a lot of personnel because mom would drive them crazy. They recorded a couple of singles and Bea got them booked on the 1968 Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. In 1970, The Heywoods recorded a single for the Gene Autry owned label Republic. It went nowhere but it got The Heywoods a shot opening at The Osmonds Cincinnati show. This led to further bookings and then the single Special Someone for Family Productions. You may recall this was the label that held Billy Joel hostage when he wanted to leave for Columbia Records. The single did well enough that it got the attention of ABC Records house producer Steve Barri. Billy, Don't Be A Hero was their second single and it topped the charts in 1974. The song was written by veteran British songwriters Mitch Murray and Peter Callender. They have written a lot of hits together. Billy, Don't Be A Hero was a number one hit in England for Paper Lace. But The Heywoods had already released their cover before Paper Lace could release their original version in the US. Paper Lace would go on to have a big hit with The Night Chicago Died. You can get Billy, Don't Be A Hero on this Time Life 2CD various artists comp that is part of a larger 9CD box set. Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods left ABC for Capitol in 1976. But they never had another hit. Donaldson still leads a version of the band on the nostalgia circuit. Here's Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods performing Billy, Don't Be A Hero on Dinah! 1974. Thanks to Buckeye Beat for The Heywoods history.

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