Born May 28, 1944 in Riverside, California, Billy was named
after his father, Bill McCord, who worked as a staff announcer
for NBC in New York, where Billy grew up. His mom, Ann
Ryan, was one of the Ray Charles Singers on record and TV
with Perry Como.
Still in his teens, Billy made his first record. One side, "My
Heart Cries," was popular in the Northeast, while the other
side, the self-penned "All My Love," saw regional action in
Texas and Louisiana.
The first song he ever presented to a publisher, "Mean Old
World," became a chart hit for Ricky Nelson and, one year
later, his "Make Me Belong To You," was a summer hit for
Atlantic Records star Barbara Lewis.
This entre to Atlantic caused label chief Jerry Wexler to sign