29 September 1930
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, United States
22 February 2012 (aged 81)
William Everett "Billy" Strange (September 29, 1930 – February 22, 2012) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor. He was a session musician with the famed Wrecking Crew, and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum as a member of The Wrecking Crew in 2007.
Billy Strange was born in Long Beach, California on September 29, 1930.
Strange teamed up with Mac Davis to write several hit songs for Elvis Presley including "A Little Less Conversation", the theme from Charro!, and "Memories". Strange also composed the musical soundtrack for two of Elvis' films Live a Little, Love a Little and The Trouble With Girls. He also wrote "Limbo Rock" for Chubby Checker.
Strange recorded many cover versions of James Bond movie themes for GNP Crescendo Records and provided the instrumental backing and arrangement for Nancy Sinatra's non soundtrack version of "You Only Live Twice" as well as Nancy and Frank's "Somethin' Stupid". He has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for his pioneering contribution to the genre. Billy Strange was inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame & Museum.
Strange played guitar on numerous hits by the Beach Boys including "Sloop John B" and the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album. He has also played guitar for Nancy Sinatra, Jan & Dean, The Ventures, Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers, Wanda Jackson, Randy Newman and Nat King Cole among others. One of his most famous performances is on Nancy Sinatra's version of Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).
Strange arranged and conducted all of Nancy Sinatra's Reprise albums as well as Nancy & Lee's 1972 RCA Records release, Nancy & Lee Again and their 2003 album, Nancy & Lee 3. He also arranged the 1981 Nancy Sinatra & Mel Tillis album, Mel & Nancy. He has arranged and conducted for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Duane Eddy, and Elvis Presley. One of his most famous arrangements was "These Boots are made for Walkin'" for Nancy Sinatra. Strange also performed the vocals for Steve McQueen in Baby the Rain Must Fall.
Billy Strange died on February 22, 2012 at the age of 81.
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