Billy & Lillie were an American pop vocal duo, composed of Billy Ford (March 9, 1925 – 1985) from Bloomfield, New Jersey and Lillie Bryant (born February 14, 1940 in Newburgh, New York).
Billy Ford had previously recorded two singles for United Records, without attaining much commercial success. Billy & Lillie recorded for Swan Records in the late 1950s, and charted three hit singles in the United States, two of them written by the songwriter and record producer Bob Crewe, and producer Frank C. Slay, Jr. Crewe later became one of the most successful songwriters and producers in history, having produced or written most of the songs recorded by The Four Seasons. Frank C. Slay, Jr., co-wrote several songs with Bob Crewe, including "Tallahassee Lassie" by Freddy Cannon. He would also, later in 1967, produce the hit "Incense and Peppermints" by The Strawberry Alarm Clock.
The first single, "La Dee Dah" (written by Crewe), was the only one of them to hit the Top 10 on the Billboard chart, peaking at #9. It was released on Swan Records, catalog reference #4002. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. Dick Clark, when they were performing "La Dee Dah" on American Bandstand, liked their song so much that he asked the songwriters to write another song. Crewe and Slay came up with their third single release, "Lucky Ladybug". The Billy & Lillie version of "Lucky Ladybug" was a number 14 hit on the Billboard chart, released by Swan Records (catalog #4020). Both "La Dee Dah" and "Lucky Ladybug" referred in their lyrics to a number of other recent popular hits, a formula first used by Larry Williams in his hit "Short Fat Fannie"
"Lucky Ladybug" was later covered by The Four Seasons, and appeared on the B-side of their hit "Walk Like a Man" (1963).
Ford died in 1985 at the age of 59. Bryant returned to her hometown of Newburgh, New York, and became a community activist. She was the Democratic candidate for mayor of Newburgh in 2007. She lost the election to the Republican candidate by 150 votes.
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