Artists – B

Bees Make Honey

Barry Richardson was playing bass in one of the part-time jazz combos which regularly appeared at the Tally Ho pub in Kentish Town (London) when he first saw Eggs Over Easy. A veteran of the Irish country showband circuit - now with a very good 'straight' job in marketing - Richardson realised he could put together(...)

Belle & Sebastian

Formed in Glasgow in 1995, Belle and Sebastian were initially brought together to complete singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch's music course at Stow College. They became one of indie rock's best-loved institutions . . . The initial line-up created a 60's-influenced folk, soul and baroque pop that was labelled twee, despite a penchant for smutty, witty lyrics(...)

Belle & The Devotions

  Kit Rolfe Vocals Laura James Vocals Linda Sofeld Vocals

Belle Stars, The

London's Belle Stars came together in 1981 from the ashes of 2 Tone act, The Bodysnatchers, when it was Rhoda Dakar, not Jennie McKeown fronting the band. They couldn't really play, but they had a single - a hit single - called Let's Do Rock Steady. It was ska beat, they were all girls. Rhoda left and the Snatchers turned into the Stars.(...)

Ben E. King

Ben E King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, North Carolina, in September 1938. After moving to New York in 1949 he was reputedly discovered by Lover Patterson of The Five Crowns and joined his doo-wop group. In 1959 The Crowns became The Drifters after the original outfit of that name split up, and(...)

Berry Gordy Jr

Berry Gordy's family, like thousands of others, had moved from the southern states of the USA to Detroit, whose automobile industry in the years between World War I and World War II was a massive honeypot to Americans keen for a good wage and the promise of a better life. After World War II, among(...)

Beryl Marsden

Merseybeat was a male-dominated sound. Cilla Black and Beryl Marsden were the best-known female performers, but rather than form backing bands of their own, they sang with established groups. Beryl Marsden (no relation to Gerry) worked with Lee Curtis & The All Stars for a while and made her first single when she was only 16.(...)

Bessie Banks

Bette Bright & The Illuminations

Criminally underused in Deaf School, Bette Bright blossomed into an exciting performer on Rhythm Breaks The Ice, thanks partly to the help of clever friends. The album was produced by fellow DS graduate Clive Langer and his partner, Alan Winstanley, the team behind the phenomenal early success of Madness. Bright further intertwined the family trees by marrying that(...)

Bette Midler

Bette Midler grew up in Hawaii, where her parents Fred and Ruth had moved in the early 1940s from Paterson, New Jersey. The family subsisted on the modest income Mr Midler made painting houses and doing civilian work for the US Navy. Ruth, meanwhile, escaped their threadbare circumstances through a consuming interest in Hollywood films and(...)

Betty Everett

Born in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1939, Betty Everett was playing piano and singing in church by the age of nine. In 1957, she moved to Chicago where she cut religious songs for small labels before being discovered by Calvin Carter of Vee-Jay Records in 1963. That same year her second single for Vee-Jay, You're No Good,(...)

Betty McQuade

Betty Wright

Miami queen of soul Betty Wright served her apprenticeship in the church with family gospel group The Echoes of Joy. By the time she was 13 she had recorded her debut single and was soon helping sculpt what became the Miami Soul Sound - a sassy coming-together of soul, calypso, and reggae. The feisty Clean Up Woman was(...)

Bettye Lavette

Bettye Lavette

Bettye LaVette was born Betty Haskins in Muskegon, Michigan on 29 January 1946. Raised in Detroit, she was signed by a local record producer called Johnnie Mae Matthews and in 1962, aged sixteen, she recorded her first single, My Man He's A Lovin' Man. The song became a Top 10 R&B hit after Atlantic Records bought the distribution(...)

Bettye Swann

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