Billy's Blues

Album: More Than A New Discovery (1967)

Songfacts®:

  • While Laura Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues," popularized by The 5th Dimension, has the narrator pining for a guy named Bill, another track from Nyro's debut album introduces us to the similarly named Billy. We're not sure why, but he's got the blues and Nyro, in her soulful vocal, is desperate for someone "right the wrong, or play a song" to lift his spirits.
  • According to arranger Herb Bernstein, the song was supposed to end as it begins, with two lonely chimes. "I ended it with two chimes," he told Michele Kort, author of Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro. "When they put the album together, some genius cut off the two chimes. No one ever knows it, but that's one of my artistic tantrums. Two lovely, meaningful chimes were cut off."
  • This was the B-side to the album's second single, "Goodbye Joe."
  • Jazz legends Toots Thielmann and Buddy Lucas shared harmonica duties on the album, with Toots taking over on this tune. (Buddy can be heard on "Wedding Bell Blues," "And When I Die," and "California Shoeshine Boys.")

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