#4 My Top Ten British Big Bands…No 3…Billy Cotton

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I can still hear his catch phrase on the TV “Wakey Wakey” I think his huge personality was the drive behind this very popular band. Like other musicians of the era, Billy and his band toured France with the Entertainments National Service  Association. After the war, he started his successful Sunday lunchtime radio show on the BBC, the Billy Cotton Band Show, which ran from 1949 to 1968. From 1957, it was broadcast on BBC Television.

I’ve put Billy Cotton at number 3 in my list because I do remember him on the TV, but this was entertainment for my parents. The Beatles performed live at the London Palladium in 1963 I was 11 years old and this changed my life course because I was now a Beatle fan. Billy Cotton was a great entertainer, and I have fond memories of him because my Mum and Dad liked him. So Billy Cotton is at number 3 mostly for that personal reason.

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