WHEN I MET BILLY 2
FROM SENATOR IAN MACDONALD:
You think Billy is ‘long winded’! Wait ‘til you hear how Lesley and I first met, and then continued meeting, Billy and John. It’ll go on for megabits - but then I am a politician - and you’d expect it.
Episode 1 - Les and I were on our honeymoon to Fiji and both (with Scottish forebears) were interested in Scottish music, and lo and behold who was the ‘guest entertainer’ - another junket for ‘Stars of the K Tel’ - on the cruise ship Arcadia? Billy Raymond!
But at the time I was also the President of the Apex Service Club in Ayr and, while I abrogated my duties as President and went on my honeymoon cruise instead of going to the National Apex Convention in Surfers Paradise, my trusty deputies went and got drunk on scotch with the official entertainer - who was - Billy Raymond!
Now, to cut short the very first part of a very long story, my loyal deputies - well under the influence of Scotland and scotch - had agreed to pay the superstar to visit Ayr to do a charity concert for the “Help a Kid Make It” charity which Apex was then sponsoring.
You get it? We met him on a cruise in Fiji - and at the same time my Club was getting smashed with him in Surfers and making him offers which we couldn’t possibly meet.
Anyhow, he did the first of many concerts for us - and started a long friendship with Les and I and many other Apexians who became very close friends with Billy and John.
Now, that is just the first of many episodes, but all a reader can bear for one night. Episode 2 of the serial will follow at some later time. Hope Billy is there to read it - although he knows the story anyhow. If only he would give up smoking!
FROM TERRY MASHFORD:
I met Billy in 1964 at Artransa Film Studios in Sydney on the making of Channel 7’s “The Golden Show”. I was camera grip on his show. I have attached a pic of Billy on set and one of myself around that time. Can’t remember what year, but it was in the 60s. I was referred to as the Billy Raymond look-alike, on set at least. I don’t remember who said that, but I took it as a compliment. I am now 69 and finally retired for 4 years now after working for 50 years in the film industry, the last 20 years at Warner Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast. It's great to see such a great guy is still performing, but Billy you are taking the old saying "break a leg" a bit too far, don't you think?
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