Check out a few sample recordings of: "Here, There, and Everywhere"
...and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me"
Where Does the Money Go?While we are almost finished recording, there is still much to be done. We are asking for your contributions to help us with:
What's In It For You?
We hope after watching Billy's video above you are inspired to be a part of this project!
For your support and involvement we have crafted a few contribution 'Perks' (see panel on the right for details and to purchase)
A Bit of Billy's History
Born just two days after Valentine's Day, Billy Valentine was destined for a life of music. After moving to Columbus, Ohio, Billy started performing with his sisters at the age of 5. He went on to work with his brother John forming The Valentine Brothers. The duo produced four albums between 1975 and 1989, their most notable being First Take with the Billboard hit Money's Too Tight (to Mention).
The Valentine Brothers eventually disbanded, and Billy went on to have a successful career as a demo recording artist, as well as writing and collaborating with greats such as Will Jennings, the Neville Brothers, and Ray Charles.
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History of BRIT EYED SOUL
1964 was an amazing year for popular music as the Beatles landed on these
shores performing their first of three appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th. An onslaught of British rock bands and solo performers soon made their way to America and ruled the charts in both their homeland and the U.S. for all of 1964 and onward into the future.
Drawing from the R&B tradition that so enamored them to America’s black and soul music of the time, everyone from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, the Animals, the Who and too many others put a British accent on American R&B and sold it back to the States. For many of young white America, they might know that the Beatles “Twist and Shout” was originally recorded by the Isley Brothers, but might have also been surprised to learn that the Moody Blues “Go Now” was actually a minor R&B hit for Bessie Banks earlier in 1964.
Once the floodgates of this musical love affair were opened, it seemed to never stop. Every British act who came to New York City would make a bee line to the Harlem’s Apollo Theatre to see their idols up close in a more natural environment. And many got to know these musical mentors and watched their stage show so closely that they would incorporate what they saw in the States and put their own spin on it, and make it part of their own act. Just ask Mick Jagger what seeing Tina Turner or James Brown for the first time did for his sense of stage movement and dynamics.
And it didn’t take long for American R&B stars to see what their British cohorts were doing and turnaround was fair play. Soon Otis Redding was performing and recording The Stones’ “Satisfaction, Ray Charles put a soulful spin on the Beatles “Eleanor Rigby,” and even the Supremes did an album called “A Bit of Liverpool.”
But this musical give and take didn’t stop in the ’60’s...it kept on going to this very day. Ask almost any British singer from the last fifty years and they will cite an American R&B artist who directly influenced them. Boy George has more then a bit of Smokey in him and Rod Stewart continues to cite Sam Cooke as his greatest vocal mentor.
So now fifty years after the birth of the British Invasion, a current American veteran R&B/soul singer named Billy Valentine has come forth with CD that celebrates this cross fertilization.
But who the hell is Billy Valentine anyway and why should you care?
Quite simply, if you’re a fan of 80’s R&B you might know him as part of the Valentine Brothers. And just who are they again? In keeping with this musical back and forth between the U.S. and the U.K., in 1982 they recorded a Top 40 R&B hit called“Money’s Too Tight (To Mention).” It charted and because it was on a small indie label got some attention, but didn’t reach a broad audience until Simply Red covered it in 1986 and made it a Top 40 Pop hit in the U.S. and Europe.
Billy went on to write and produce for various artists including Jesse Johnson and Vesta Williams and also was the musical director for Robert Townsend’s highly acclaimed film about the rise and fall of a Temptations modeled R&B act called “The Five Heartbeats.” After a fallow period of doing musical odd jobs around L.A., he later emerged as the vocal pulse of the TV series “Boston Legal.” Singing everything from the opening title theme to various interludes during the show where he became an integral part of this legal dramedy which kept him busy during its five season run.
Valentine more recently has been contributing his soulful vocals to the hit show “The Sons of Anarchy,” singing everything from an early Creedence Clearwater Revival song to Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay.” As a matter of fact, his version of Creedence’s “Someday never Comes” has gathered over 250,000 YouTube views in the last six months. He also performs regularly in California and has been featured at many winery shows in Napa Valley as well as club gigs in the Los Angeles area.
But with a voice this soulful, it’s time for Billy to become a face connected to a name. Over two years have been spent on this project; from finding and enlisting producer/arranger T.C. Campbell (former member of Cameo, as well as bandleader for Peabo Bryson and Jeffrey Osborne) to going through over one hundred and twenty possible songs to choose the thirteen contained on this CD.
“I need to feel a song in order to interpret it properly,” says Billy, “and though it became a rather long process to find the right material that resonated with me, here’s hoping they resonate with you as well. I remember everyone from Otis to Al Green interpreting British soul, and I’m just glad I was able to put my spin on it.”
There are different selections from a wide range of British soul flavored artists, but they all share a common link...a soulful melody and lyric that Billy has been able to reinterpret thanks to T.C. Campbell’s ability to add a new spin to already familiar arrangements.
So kick back and enjoy as this modern master of soul puts his spin on songs that you might have heard countless times, but never quite like this!