IN MEMORIAM 2
GRAEME CROUCH Contd.
build up his strength again enough to do the Redcliffe appearance, and Sheila Bradley, who was another guest artist on the same bill, this morning told me that he had sung fantastically and his gags were greatly appreciated by his audience and he was in fine form.
FROM IAN MACDONALD, 17 May 2013
Should auld acquaintance be forgot ….
Lesley and I were saddened to hear of Billy’s passing - more so because John was not there, and from what I am told, will not even comprehend the passing of his best mate.
Lesley and I go back a long way with Billy and John.
We first ‘knew him’ on those interminable K-Tel ads promoting “Australia’s Favourite Scot” and we contributed to his early wealth buying his records which as fanciers of good Scots music, we so loved.
Imagine our delight when, on our honeymoon cruise to Fiji on the Arcadia in 1977, who should be principal guest entertainer but Billy Raymond! We saw every show, and purchased and had personally autographed his album, proceeds of course going to Mission to Seamen or some other worthwhile-sounding maritime charity!
With amazing coincidence, as we honeymooned on Fiji, Billy returned to his hectic round of appearances, one of which was at the Apex National Convention on the Gold Coast. Now, at this time I was the local President of the Apex Club in Ayr, and had sent my trusted Deputy and a Team to the National Convention to represent our Club and its President, in my absence on my honeymoon. Not surprisingly my Club mates, after Billy’s show at the Convention, got on the Scotch with him and, with that courage, made the ridiculous arrangements to invite this highly sought-after and big costing TV and Recording Star to come to little ol’ Ayr to do a show for that year’s National Apex charity “Help a Kid Make It”. Imagine my horror as President to hear when I retired that all we had to do was fly him up - Business Class mind you - with his “Manager”, accommodate them both, get him a decent backing band - and he would do it for free - a genuinely generous offer but those costs were well outside the capability of a small town young men’s service Club. Nevertheless, the visit went ahead and, while the backing group was not quite what Billy had expected or wanted, the visit was a roaring success and we made enough to cover our costs with a good contribution to our Service project.