Willy Billy / Bio

Boogie Woogie Willie (William Shepard, AKA Billy Stranger) performs on the grand piano, Hammond B-3 organ, portable 88 key electric piano, accordion, clarinet and sax and sings lead vocals. He was born in the southwest delta of Georgia and traveled all of his life around the world with his Army Sergeant father (Hawaii, Guam, the South Pacific 300 miles from Japan.) He began playing music at 6 and got his first paying job at 10. Billy settled in the Panama Canal Zone and spent his formative years there. He came to the US on a full music scholarship from New Mexico State Univ. He joined a rock ‘n Roll band that had a regional hit and left school for California. Billy went to Denton (TX) where he enrolled at N Texas State Univ. renowned school of jazz and learned of real life and music in the bars of Dallas. He began touring the US with considerable success. Billy toured Amsterdam, Norway, Scotland, Greece, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. He’s appeared on TV, in large concert venues (including the 2008 Montreal Jazz Festival), big hotels and 4 star restaurants, dinner/show venues, piano bars, on the radio and has recorded. Billy Stranger tours the entire US every summer, coast to coast. JOHN LEWIS has played blues guitar from an early age. John also sings and fronts the band. John hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and toured 14 years with well known blues artist Sonny Hill. He won the "Best Blues Band" 1999 City Beat Magazine award. He has performed with other notable blues artists such as Otis Rush, Luther Allison, Kenny Neal and Coco Montoya. John came south to Florida in 2010. MARK SMITH is a Michigander and has spent 13 years playing drums, guitar and singing. He performed with Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, Kentucky Headhunters and many touring 50's acts and blues groups. Mark also has a CDL Class A (commercial drivers license - semi trucks) . . . think Elvis . . . qualifying him to drive semi's anywhere: "He's Bad, He's Nation- Wide." Mark also fronts the group.

General Info

Band Members
solo and w/John Lewis (guitar/vocals) Mark Smith (drums/vocals)
Artist Name
Willy Billy
Profile Page
R&B/Soul / Classic Rock / Jazz

Contact Info

Fort Myers, FL