Billy Hamlin

New York singer Billy Hamlin worked mainly with that elusive but busy and effective music man Larry Lucie for most of his career. He kicked off with a highly entertaining piece of hard R & B called “If You Ain’t Got No Bread (You Might As Well Stay In Bed)” the back beat of which gets the dancers going and while its “playlet” lyric is reminiscent of the sort of thing that Leiber and Stoller worked up for the Coasters. His rare Stout was less hard edged but the doo wop flavoured "Would It Make Any Difference To You" has a certain charm, and Billy’s vocal is exemplary, great tone and timing.

The chugging “Somebody Please” from his Toy 45 is a personal favourite, a super blend of R & B and soul but not quite right for this website. Neither is his energetic James Brown styled funk opus "I Want Some M-O-N-E-Y", despite his fine rendition of this perennial quest. But his final release for Brecht certainly is. ListenShe’s Gone is a fine big city ballad on which Billy is at his demonstrative best, backed by a large sounding orchestra. I particularly like the way the song builds and builds as the pressure is piled up, until the short rap which leads on to a fine gospel styled finish.


I just love you baby / Would it make any difference to you ~ STOUT (early 60s)
If you ain’t got no bread (you might as well stay in bed) / Hard working man ~ BETHLEHEM 3053 (1962)
Somebody please / The concentration ~ TOY 110 (1963)
I want some M-O-N-E-Y / Down but not out ~ UPTITE 005 (1969)
ListenShe’s gone / Grab it all ~ BRECHT 102 (early 70s?)

Note ~ Both sides of Billy's Bethlehem 45 can be found on the Charly UK CD "Shout Bamalama".

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