Billy Paul Biography

Paul Williams, 1 December 1934, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Although Paul had been an active singer in the Philadelphia area since the 50s, singing in jazz clubs and briefly with Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, it was not until he met producer Kenny Gamble that his career prospered. After signing to the Neptune label, he enjoyed a successful spell on the Philadelphia International Records label. His instinctive, jazz-based delivery provided an unlikely foil for the label’s highly structured, sweet-soul sound but Paul’s impressive debut hit, 1972’s US chart-topping ‘Me And Mrs Jones’, nonetheless encapsulated the genre. A classic confessional tale of infidelity, Paul’s unorthodox style enhanced the ballad’s sense of guilt. His later releases included ‘Thanks For Saving My Life’ (1974), ‘Let’s Make A Baby’ (1976) and ‘Let ’Em In’ (1977), the last of which adapted the Paul McCartney hit to emphasize lyrical references to Dr. Martin Luther King. Paul continued to make excellent records, but his last chart entry to date came in 1980 with ‘You’re My Sweetness’. He recorded for Total Experience and Ichiban Records in the 80s, and continues to perform throughout the world in addition to running his own production company.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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