William McCord, 28 May 1944, Riverside, California, USA. Vocalist and guitarist Vera was raised in the New York City metropolitan area, absorbing the sounds of the citys extensive R&B scene. During the mid-60s he worked as a songwriter, with Rick Nelson and Barbara Lewis among the singers recording his songs. In 1967 he had a modest duet hit with Judy Clay, Storybook Children (number 20 R&B), a wonderfully evocative ballad that was never matched by his subsequent soul hits. Country Girl-City Man, also with Clay (number 41 R&B), followed in 1968. A solo release, With Pen In Hand, and an album of the same name did little upon release in late 1968. In 1979 Vera formed Billy And The Beaters, a 10-piece aggregation comprised of Los Angeles studio musicians including ex-Steely Dan / Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff Skunk Baxter. Two of their singles, I Can Take Care Of Myself and At This...