|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
4 July 1945, Cregagh, Belfast, Northern Ireland, d. 9 January 2002, Northern Ireland. The subject of an overpowering publicity campaign engineered by his manager Phil Solomon, former engineering apprentice McWilliams was featured on the front, inside and back covers of several consecutive issues of the New Musical Express, which extolled the virtues of a new talent. He was incessantly plugged on Radio Caroline. Much was made of his rebellious youth and affinity with Irish music, yet the singers debut release, The Days Of Pearly Spencer/Harlem Lady, revealed a grasp of pops dynamics rather than those of folk. The former song, based on a homeless man in Ballymena befriended by the singer, was both impressive and memorable, as was the pulsating follow-up, Three OClock Flamingo Street, but McWilliams was unable to shake the hype tag which accompanied his launch. His manager believed that Williams was a...