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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Billy Storm

Billy Storm
Produced by Camarata
Buena Vista BV-3315

This set is currently provided by the rights holder on YouTube, so I will not be posting a sample.

Check out Lonely People Do Foolish Things which is perhaps the most dynamic track on the set. The notes suggest that the producer worked to present Storm's talents in a creative way, particularly on the extended side one track which, I assume, was an impressive one take affair. None-the-less, I'm not sure the producer had a clear vision of how best to arrange music to frame Storm's sweet and smooth sounding vocal range or to produce the concept set which Storm's talent deserved. I can't guess why Vista produced this one color cover design which looks a bit budget.

Below are a few bits of missing biographical information to add to the online sum of information found on Storm. It appears that once Storm (William Spicer or Billy Fortune) disappeared from the music scene around 1969 that something may have happened as he completely disappears from the online history timeline.

From the back cover: Billy was born in Dayton, Ohio but moved to Los Angeles where he attended Los Angeles High School. He joined the A Cappella Choir; and then went on to Los Angeles City College as a major and continued singing as soloist in church choirs.

Billy Storm's first contact with the Disney organization was his recording of the song Puppy Love Is Here To Stay on the soundtrack of Disney Academy Award Nominee short subject A Symposium On Popular Music. Disney recording executives were so impressed with his range and versatility that they immediately signed him to do three guest appearances on Vista's unusual Teen Street album which features the talents of Annette. The Style Sisters and Gary Shortfall in an album narrated by Maurice Chevalier and Hayley Mills.

In this new album (BV-3314) Billy Storm's voice in several of the selections, such as Lonely People Do Foolish Things and Body And Soul is set against a large Camarata orchestra and chorus. In other selections such as God Bless The Child, Billy performs with very little accompaniment, almost in A Cappella style.

One of the unusual features of this album is one entire side devoted to Billy's varied renditions of Lover Come Back To Me. Few singers in the spotlight today could successfully carry off a tour de force such as this. The different styles in which Billy sings, accompanied by his favorite jazz group, sustain interest even though all are variations of one standard tune. This continuous band side is an expression of one of the theories of Tutti Camarata, artist and repertoire director of Buena Vista, that in the pop field the long-playing record is really just now coming in to its own.

Lover Come Back To Me
Body And Soul
Walk On The Wild Side
God Bless The Child
Cee Cee Rider
Lonely People Do Foolish Things

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