Best known for his self-penned #1 1987 smash “At This Moment” with his band the Beaters, Billy Vera’s career goes back much farther, to the 1960s with songs recorded by stars like Ricky Nelson, Fats Domino and the Shirelles, as well as hits for Billy Vera & Judy Clay. The pair were great favorites at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.
The 70s were a dry spell but the end of that decade brought Vera a #1 hit when Dolly Parton recorded his song “I Really Got The Feeling.” He left New York for LA and formed Billy Vera & the Beaters, “to meet girls.” Their Monday night midnight performances at the Troubadour were legendary, resulting in a record deal and a hit, “I Can Take Care Of Myself.” The label went out of business and Billy eked out a living acting on TV and in movies like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. One day came the Golden Phone Call. The TV sitcom Family Ties used “At This Moment” in a love scene for Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan, causing the tune to be reissued for a monster hit.
Today, Billy Vera does double duty, both with the Beaters and with his big 18 piece band, promoting his current CD, Big Band Jazz at jazz festivals and top jazz clubs in LA and New York. He has a book of photographs currently called Vintage Neon, Los Angeles, 1979 and next spring will see publication of his memoir, Harlem to Hollywood as well as a documentary of the same title. Vera has a Grammy and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Tickets to Billy Vera & The Beaters upcoming show at the Canyon – Friday, July 15th are available now.