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Billy Strange Passes Away – February 22, 2012
September 29 1930 – February 22 2012
Billy Strange co-wrote w/Mac Davis “Little Less Conversation”
Also wrote Memories & theme to Charro.
His lst wife was Joan O’Brien of “It Happened At The Worlds Fair”
Billy also arranged and played on albums for Nancy Sinatra Dean Martin F. Sinatra.
Their son Rusty worked for John Conlee when he lived in Nashville.
Taken from Wikipedia:
Billy Strange was born in Long Beach California in 1930.
Recordings and songwriting
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 Beach Boys hits 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 forFrank 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.
Strange wrote such hits for Presley as “A Little Less Conversation” and “Memories”. “A Little Less Conversation (Junkie XL Remix)” which he wrote with Scott Davis was on the soundtrack of both the DreamWorks animated feature films Shark Tale (2004) and Megamind (2010).
He sang his own composition “The Ballad of Bunny and Claude” in the Merrie Melodies Bunny And Claude (We Rob Carrot Patches)(1968) and The Great Carrot-Train Robbery (1969).
Strange was married to singer and actress Joan O’Brien from 1954-1955. They had a son: Russell Glen Strange who was born October 4 1955.
He was also married to Betty Jo Conrad from 1960-1978. They had a daughter together: Kelly Kimberly Strange born on November 11 1964 and a stepson from Betty’s previous marriage: Jerry Joseph Mitchell who was born October 23 1954. He was married and loved by his wife Jeanne Black (singer) in his last years.
Billy Strange died on February 22 2012 at the age of 81.