As a youth in New York, Billy Vera wrote songs that were recorded by Ricky Nelson and Barbara Lewis, leading to his signing by Atlantic Records’ famed producer Jerry Wexler. Vera had two hits with Dionne Warwick’s cousin Judy Clay, “Storybook Children” in 1967 and “Country Girl—City Man” a year later. “With Pen in Hand” was a solo success, and Dolly Parton had a country chart topper with his “I Really Got the Feeling.”
Vera moved to Los Angeles and in 1979 formed Billy & the Beaters, which became a staple on the city’s thriving club scene. The group's single “At This Moment” stalled when its label, Alfa, folded. Five years later, the song appeared in the sitcom “Family Ties” and its reissue on Rhino Records went to No. 1 early in 1987.
Vera has also served as a record producer for Lou Rawls, an actor (“The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai,” “The Doors” and “Baywatch”), a radio host, a voiceover artist and a music historian who has supervised many notable reissue packages.