The Saga Continues...
The Billy Howard Biography
© Copyright 2007 – 2017 Billy Howard
To contact Billy by Email:
Charity number 1035089
Hi Again! During my shows I naturally received many requests from
audience members. Nevertheless, I stayed in show-business....
following pages we bring to
you a brief biography of my career
in both words and a selection of
images from my 25 years
as a jazz musician and entertainer.
biography was written in 1979,
the year before I cut down on performing to concentrate on sales and marketing.
For most aspiring singers, groups, musical artistes and would-be pop idols, the dream of Top Ten success remains, sadly, just
that - a dream. So, when a Number 4 hit record is achieved by a solo comedy entertainer - at his first attempt - the
accomplishment is all the more remarkable!
Billy Howard received international recognition when the classic single Hit Record "KING OF THE COPS", his hilarious
impressions of US TV 'Cops' - Kojak, Columbo, McCloud, Cannon et al - spent 14 weeks in the UK Top 20. Reaching Number 4
in the British Charts, it sold more than a quarter of a million copies worldwide in the late 1970's. A remarkable recording debut
considering the track was originally made "for a giggle"; it remains one of the truly outstanding solo comedy chart successes of
recent years, and in countries as far apart as Sweden, Zambia and Mexico!
Whether on the stage or cabaret floor, or as an outstanding jazz musician, or after-dinner
speaker or comedy recording artiste amusing viewers of BBC TV's 'Top of the Pops', this
multi-talented performer seems happy to accept any challenge to his versatility. "I may be stuck
with the tag of 'all-round entertainer'" he says, "but with so much garbage dished up to the
long-suffering public in the name of entertainment these days, I'm just happy to be in demand!"
Strong words perhaps, but ones which will undoubtedly ring true for many.
It was obvious from an early age that Billy was destined for the stage. Born in Edgware, London,
he was only 5 when he began to display a talent for mimicry and, before reaching his teens, had
become a leading figure in school plays and soloist in the local church choir. His interest in
music blossomed at the age of 12 when his father, a leading amateur ukulele player, taught him
3 chords on the instrument. During the next 2 years he mastered some 50 more, without tuition
but aided solely through listening to records by his all-time hero, the legendary gypsy jazz
guitarist, Django Reinhardt. At 14, he graduated to guitar, also taking up the trombone to play in
the school traditional-jazz band. Like many self taught musicians Billy plays entirely by ear, still
being unable to read music.
During his teens he played with semi-pro jazz bands throughout Britain, turning professional on
trombone with a leading South Coast Jazz Band at age 19. A year later he switched to trumpet
and worked with numerous dance and jazz combos all over Europe, plus several ship's bands,
which enabled him to see much of the world. With his own Quintet he was a featured
broadcaster on many BBC Radio shows and during his musical career has played trumpet,
trombone, guitar, bass and drums.
At the age of 22, Billy realized his ambition of becoming a professional entertainer by entering
the world of cabaret, then centred in the North of England. He was initially invited by a
Manchester agency for a 'trial weekend' - and finished up staying there a whole year! As a
virtuoso soloist on trumpet and guitar he soon became a leading instrumental act on the
Northern Club circuit and, once established, incorporated impressions into the act, starting
with Max Bygraves, Frankie Vaughan and Louis Armstrong, and adding many more as his
career progressed. On a tour of South Africa in 1971 Billy met Scottish singing star Eileen
Cameron, and they soon started working together all over the world. They were married in
1975, and daughter Annabel arrived in 1980.
Billy and wife, singer
Billy Howard's big break came with the success of "King of the Cops". This outstanding career
highlight led to several appearances on BBC TV's 'Top Of The Pops', followed by regular,
featured-guest spots on two series of ITV's top comedy-impressionist show 'Who Do You Do?' Billy
was soon topping the bill at the UK's top nite-spots - Caesar's Palace - Luton, Cresta - Solihull,
Double Diamonds - Caerphilly, Wooky Hollow - Liverpool, etc. etc. He has since headlined in
numerous theatre shows and concerts, completed over 200 TV appearances and broadcasts, and
performed in some of the most prestigious hotels, function suites and cabaret venues throughout the
world, as well as entertaining passengers on the luxury Cunard liner, the QE2.
1979 saw him extend his vocal and recording expertise into the field of 'voice-overs' for TV and
Radio commercials. He's now consolidated his career in making these, producing records for his
own label, and cabaret engagements in the UK and abroad. Indeed, he continues to be a
sought-after addition to many a festive occasion, and greatly respected by those who have seen him
perform. "As long as there's an audience somewhere who wants to be entertained, I'll carry on till I
drop!" he says. (Not too soon I hope.) A dedicated and thoroughly professional approach is,
perhaps, the lasting impression made by this popular and versatile personality. His many talents
continue to magically entertain every type of audience and, in show business, that is perfection. Billy
Howard is quite simply - THE PROFESSIONALS' PROFESSIONAL!
Well, folks, that’s how they sold me after my hit record. However, for a fuller story with pictures, please peruse
the rest of the site.