Billy was born in England on March 29th, 1946, and arrived in Australia with his family ten years later. When he was 12 years old, the family moved to Brisbane, where Billy attended Salisbury High School. This was the year he made his debut in show business, when he appeared in a show on a major television station in Brisbane. At school, Billy was interested in all forms of sport, and particularly in judo, leading him to form the first judo club in the school. Billy was still at school when he made his second very successful appearance on television, on the Russ Tyson TV show, "Anything Goes."
Shortly after he left school, Billy's singing carreer began in earnest, when he signed a contract with Channel 9, Brisbane. After a time, he left Brisbane for Sydney, and there his successful carreer continued, until eventually he was awarded the TV Logie for the Best Male Vocalist in 1964.
Billy Thorpe and his backing group, the Aztecs, were at this time to be seen frequently on all television networks throughout Australia, and also giving live concerts in all capital cities and major country towns. They were rated the most popular group in Australia, when they recorded four number one hits, consecutively. On of these hits was "Over the Rainbow," the first Australian record ever to appear on the American charts. More appearances on television followed, when Channel 7, Sydney, signed on Billy and his group, and Billy acted as star and compere of "It's All Happening," a one-hour pop show.
In April, 1965, the four instrumentalists in the Aztecs were replaced when the original members left to make their own way in show business. This resulted in Tony Barber becoming a recording star and composer in his own right, and also in Vince Melouney going to England, where he became lead guitarist for the world-famous group, the Bee Gees. The new Aztecs were Colin Risby, lead guitar, Ted Toi, bass, John dick on drums, and Mike Downes, rhythm guitar.
Billy Thorpe and his group, the Aztecs, have been presented with awards from television and radio companies throughout the nation, both for appearances on television, and for the success of their records. These awards, along with the support of the record buying public, show that Billy Thorpe has proved himself to be one of the most talented artists ever to appear on the Australian music scene.
Don't you Dig This Kind of Beat (reissued as: I Got A Woman)1966
The tracks on this album were selected from a cross-section of Billy's extensive repertoire, and whether you like fast, slow, rock, medium tempo, blues, jazz, or up tempo, there is something for you on this record
01 Don't You Dig This Kind Of Beat
02 Dancing In The Street
03 Lindy Lou
04 Tennessee Waltz
05 A Worried Man
06 I've Got The Blues
07 Jenny Jenny
08 Love Letters
09 For Love
10 Take Out Some Insurance
11 I Got A Woman