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Billy Connolly

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Biography

William “Billy” Connolly, CBE, (born 24 November 1942) is a comedian, musician, presenter, and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname “The Big Yin” (The Big One), a reference to his height. Any male visitor to Glasgow above average height may be addressed as “Big Yin” by the locals; Billy, however, is The Big Yin. An early irreverent sketch, The Crucifixion, is an example of his often controversial humour, and his style, in story and song, is known for being somewhat vulgar, and for being very critical towards respected institutions.

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In 1965, together with Tam Harvey, Connolly started a group called the Humblebums. At their first gig, Connolly introduced them both to the audience by saying, “My name’s Billy Connolly, and I’m humble. This is Tam Harvey, he’s a bum.” The band would later include Gerry Rafferty. Connolly sang, played banjo and guitar, and entertained the audience with his humorous introductions to the songs.

In his World Tour of Scotland, Connolly reveals that at a trailer show during the Edinburgh Festival, the Humblebums took to the stage just before the late Yehudi Menuhin.

The trio broke up in 1971, at which point Connolly went solo. His first solo album in 1972, Billy Connolly Live! on Transatlantic Records, features Connolly as a singer, songwriter, and musician.

His early albums were a mixture of comedy performances with comedic and serious musical interludes.

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