Bill and Boyd

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Bill and Boyd
Origin Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
Genres Pop
Years active 1959 (1959)–1989 (1989)
Labels Stetson, Peak, Philips, Sunshine, Fable, EMI
Past members
  • William "Bill" Cate
  • William "Boyd" Robinson

Bill and Boyd were a pop music duo from 1959 to 1989 consisting of William "Bill" Cate (born 1940) and William "Boyd" Robinson (born 1941), both on lead vocals and lead guitar, which started recording in 1960. They began their careers in Wellington, New Zealand before relocating to Sydney by 1964. In 1968 they toured United States supporting The Supremes and Herb Albert. Bill and Boyd's highest charting single, "Santa Never Made It into Darwin", peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart in early 1975. It was a charity single in support of rebuilding Darwin after its devastation by Cyclone Tracy on the previous Christmas Eve – Christmas Day. At the Country Music Awards of Australia of 1976 "Santa Never Made It into Darwin" won the APRA Song of the Year for the duo and Cate its writer. Their self-titled album from 1975 reached No. 1 on the New Zealand Albums Chart, while "Put Another Log on the Fire" (December 1975) reached No. 5 on the related New Zealand Singles Chart and No. 23 in Australia. The duo continued together until 1989. Cate formed a self-titled trio.

History[edit]

William "Bill" Cate (born 1940) and William "Boyd" Robinson (born 1941) both attended Naenae College, a secondary school in Lower Hutt, in the mid-1950s.[1][2][3] They started practising pop music in Robinson's bedroom and recorded a home version of "Angel" in about 1956.[1] They formed a duo, Bill and Boyd, with both on lead vocals and lead guitar.[2][3] They began public performances at local halls including a residency at Lower Hutt's Town Hall.[3] Their early repertoire was cover versions of overseas artists, especially The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley.[2][3] In 1959 they supported local rock and roller, Johnny Devlin, in Wellington.[3]

By 1960 they had signed with Peak Records label, and issued five singles over the following year including "Fall in Love with You" and their cover of "Corrina, Corrina".[2][3] Late in 1961 they switched labels to Philips Records and two years later relocated to Auckland.[2] During 1963 they toured with Peter Posa, Max Merritt and Dinah Lee.[2] By 1964 they had relocated to Sydney with the release of their single, "Chulu Chululu", receiving attention in Australia.[2] The track was co-written by Cate and Robinson.[4]

Through the late 1960s they released further singles, extended plays and albums, gained popularity, toured the club circuit and regularly appeared on national TV shows, Bandstand and Six O'Clock Rock.[2][3] During February 1966 they supported an Australian tour by folk-pop group, The Seekers.[5] The Canberra Times' Garry Raffaele caught their performance in Canberra and felt the duo were "more suited to night-club work although they were very well received by last night's audience. Their boy-next-door image even allowed Boyd to get away with a couple of slightly queer jokes".[5] In September 1967 Bill and Boyd's version of the Fiddler on the Roof track "If I Were a Rich Man" was issued on Sunshine Records and peaked at No. 24 on the Go-Set National Top 40.[6] In 1968 they toured United States supporting The Supremes and Herb Albert.[2][7]

By 1970 they had signed with independent label, Fable Records, which released Bill and Boyd's version of "It's a Small World".[2][8] On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1974 Cyclone Tracy devastated the Northern Territory capital, Darwin. Cate wrote "Santa Never Made It into Darwin",[9] which appeared as a charity single in January the following year by Bill and Boyd to support the city's rebuilding.[2] It peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[10] At the Country Music Awards of Australia of 1976 "Santa Never Made It into Darwin" won APRA Song of the Year for the duo and Cate its writer.[11]

A follow up single, "Put Another Log on the Fire", was a cover version of Tompall Glaser's hit from the same year. Bill and Boyd's version reached No. 5 on the New Zealand Singles Chart,[12] and No. 23 in Australia.[10][2] The duo's self-titled album was issued in December 1975 and peaked at No. 1 on the New Zealand Albums Chart.[12]

In June 1976 visiting US artist, Glen Campbell, hosted Down Home, Down Under on Nine Network with guests including the duo alongside Olivia Newton-John, John Meillon and Sherbet.[13] Bill and Boyd continued performing on the club circuit until 1989.[3] In 2003 Bruce Ward curated a CD compilation album, The Very Best of Bill and Boyd which was issued by EMI Music New Zealand.[14]

Discography[edit]

According to sources:[8]

Albums[edit]

  • Chulu Chululu (1964) Philips Records (PD-151)
  • Talent Plus (1967) Sunshine Records (SQL-932604)
  • Bill and Boyd (1975) Fable Records (FBSA-049) NZL No. 1[12]
  • The Very Best of Bill and Boyd (2003) EMI Music New Zealand

Extended plays[edit]

  • Chulu Chululu (1964) Philips Records (PE-25)
  • If I Were a Rich Man (1967) Sunshine Records (QX-11325)

Singles[edit]

  • "Just Another Fool" (1964) Philips Records
  • "Chulu Chululu" (1964)
  • "Laughing Girl" (1964)
  • "Once in a While" (1965)
  • "Two by Two" (1967) Sunshine Records
  • "If I Were a Rich Man" (1967) AUS Go-Set No. 24[6]
  • "Les Marionettes" (1967)
  • "It's a Small World" (1970) Fable Records AUS KMR No. 51[10]
  • "Schwabadaba Ding Ding" (1971)
  • "Someone to Love" (1973)
  • "Aussie" (1974)
  • "Santa Never Made It into Darwin" (1975) AUS KMR No. 2[10]
  • "Union Silver" (1975) AUS KMR No. 98[10]
  • "Put Another Log on the Fire" (1975) AUS KMR No. 23,[10] NZL No. 5[12]
  • "Questions" (1976) AUS KMR No. 84[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "[Bill and Boyd]: ['Angel']". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 29 March 2014. "First recording made by Bill & Boyd. It was made from a tape they recorded on an old Phillips machine in Boyd's bedroom in Naenae in the mid 1950s" .
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sergent, Bruce. "Bill and Boyd". New Zealand Music of the 60's, 70's and a bit of 80's. Bruce Sergent. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Bourke, Chris (27 November 2013). "Bill & Boyd – Person". Audio Culture: The noisy library of New Zealand music. Digital Media Trust (Simon Grigg, Murray Cammick, Steven Shaw). Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Chulu Chululu' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 29 March 2014.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Chulu Chululu; or at 'Performer:' Bill and Boyd
  5. ^ a b Raffaele, Garry (16 February 1966). "Seekers' night". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (National Library of Australia). p. 21. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed (6 September 1967). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Two who enjoy their success". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (National Library of Australia). 21 March 1968. p. 9. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ "'Santa Never Made It into Darwin' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 29 March 2014.  Note: User may have to click 'Search again' and provide details at 'Enter a title:' e.g Santa Never Made It into Darwin; or at 'Performer:' Bill and Boyd
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  11. ^ "1970's :: Country Music Australia". Country Music Association of Australia. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d Hung, Steffen. "Discography Bill & Boyd". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Eisenhuth, Susie (2 June 1976). "Glen Campbell: Getting down to it down under". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (National Library of Australia). pp. 24–25. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  14. ^ Bill & Boyd; Ward, Bruce (2003), The very best of Bill & Boyd, EMI Music New Zealand. National Library of Australia, retrieved 29 March 2014, "Notes: Originally recorded and released by Stetson Records, and Stebbing Studios between 1961 and 1978" .