Billy Bland

One-Hit Wonder Billy Bland

Billy BlandIntroduction to Billy Bland

American R&B artist Billy Bland (born on April 5, 1932, Wilmington, North Carolina) achieved fame with “Let the Little Girl Dance” in  during the 60s music era. He started singing professionally at 15 years old. Bland was once a member of the Four Bees before pursuing a solo career. He was signed to Old Town Records where he stayed most of his career.

 

Meet Billy Bland

Billy Bland is a former American R&B singer and songwriter primarily known for his R&B hit “Let the Little Girl Dance” in 1960. Bland was born on April 5, 1932 in Wilmington, North California. In 1947, he started singing professionally in New York and was later signed to Imperial Records as a member of the Four Bees in the 1950’s. The group recorded a Dave Bartholomew’s original “My Ding-A-Ling,” but they changed the title to “Toy Bell.”  After being in a group, he decided to pursue his career as a solo artist and eventually got signed to Old Town Records in 1955.

 

 

“Let the Little Girl Dance” — Bland’s smash hit

Bland’s solo single “Let the Little Girl Dance”  became an unexpected hit for some reason. He heard singer Titus Turner recording “Let the Girl Dance,” and demonstrated to the latter on how the song to be sung in the studio while producer Henry Glover recorded the whole Bland version. Eventually, “Let the Girl Dance” became a smash hit in 1960, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 while it was at #11 on the R&B chart. It was also #15 at the UK chart. Despite of his short-lived career, Bland was still able to capture the hearts of the oldies music lovers with his only major hit single.

The follow-up singles in 1960 to 1961, “Born to Be Loved (#94),” “Pardon Me, (#102)” “Harmony, (#91)” and “My Heart’s on Fire (#90)” failed to rekindle Bland’s early success. However, he continued to record on a variety of label until 1965.

 

Recent years

Bland became a entrepreneur in the 1980’s, running a soul food restaurant in Harlem, New York.

 

Billy Bland’s discography (may be partial)

Old Town Records

(1956)

Billy Bland

  • A: Chicken In Basket
  • B: The Fat Man

(1956)

Billy Bland

  • A: Oh, You For Me
  • B: Chicken Hop

(1956)

Billy Bland

  • A: Oh, You For Me
  • B: Chicken Hop

(1959)

Billy Bland

  • A: Grandmaw Gave A Party
  • B: Whats That

(1960)

Billy Bland

  • A: Everything That Shines Ain’t Gold
  • B: Keep Talkin’ That Sweet Talk

(Jan 1960)

Billy Bland

  • A: Let The Little Girl Dance
  • B: Sweet Thing

(Jun 1960)

Billy Bland

  • A: You Were Born To Be Loved
  • B: Pardon Me

(Sep 1960)

Billy Bland

  • A: Harmony
  • B: Make Believe Lover

(Feb 1961)

Billy Bland

  • A: Steady Kind
  • B: I Cross My Heart

(Jun 1961)

Billy Bland

  • A: My Heart’s On Fire
  • B: Can’t Stop Her From Dancing

(Oct 1961)

Billy Bland

  • A: Uncle Bud
  • B: Do The Bug With Me

(Aug 1962)

Billy Bland

  • A: Momma Stole The Chicken
  • B: I Spend My Life Loving You

(Oct 1962)

Billy Bland

  • A: How Many Hearts
  • B: Darling Won’t You Think Of Me

(Jul 1963)

Billy Bland

  • A: Doing The Mule
  • B: Farmer In The Dell

(Oct 1963)

Billy Bland

  • A: A Little Touch Of Your Love
  • B: Little Boy Blue

 

Tip Top Records [Richmond, VA.]

(1958)

Billy Bland

  • A: Chicken In The Basket
  • B: Chicken Hop

 

St. Lawrence Records

(1965)

Billy Bland

  • A: She’s Already Married
  • B: My Divorce

 

Cotillion Records

Billy Bland

  • A: Let The Little Girl Dance
  • B: Chicken Hop

Eric Records

Billy Bland

  • A: Let The Little Girl Dance

The Earls

  • B: Remember Then

 

Collectables Records

Billy Bland

  • A: Let The Little Girl Dance

The Solitares

  • B: The Angels Sang

 

Atlantic Oldies Series

Billy Bland

  • A: Let The Little Girl Dance

The Earls

  • B: Remember Then

 

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