Billy Lawson was born and raised in the Muscle Shoals area of Northwest Alabama. His next door neighbor was studio musician, Junior Lowe, who played on some of the early R&B classics by artists such as Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Clarence Carter and Aretha Franklin. When Billy was nine or ten years old, Junior would let him sit in and sing with his band at the Ponderosa Club on the Alabama-Tennessee state line. This club was owned by W.R. Morris, the author of a biography on the legendary Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser, which was later made into a motion picture titled “Walking Tall.” W.R. still likes to brag about being the first person to “discover” Billy’s talent.
Another friend of the family who influenced Billy was Carl Montgomery, the co-author of the truck driver hit “Six Days On The Road.” Carl was the brother of Earl “Peanut” Montgomery, writer of 38 singles by George Jones, and Melba Montgomery, star of the Grand Ole Opry.
Billy knew three chords on his Silvertone and could sing along with Charley Pride, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard by the time he entered grade school. Wherever there was live music, that’s where you could find Billy soaking it all up like a hungry sponge.
high school Billy started working the Alabama-Tennessee state line club
and dance hall circuit with his band. One night a CBS representative came
to a Muscle Shoals Club and signed Billy “on the spot” to an album deal
on Epic records. The legendary Sam Phillips was there that night to put
in a good word. But, as luck would have it, Billy’s key man at Epic was
moved to the West Coast and put in charge of the Pop and Rock division
of the label. Along with several other acts, Billy was lost in the shuffle.
Meanwhile, Orion Pictures was holding auditions in Selma, AL, for an up-coming
movie staring Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones and Powers Boothe. Billy and
his band got the part and Jessica Lange got an Oscar for best actress in
During all of these experiences, Billy continued to write songs--songs that were good enough to get the attention of Sony/Tree publisher and producer, Don Cook. Don signed him one week and by the next week, Billy had cuts on three major artists. Within a little over a year Billy had two #1 hits...”Learning As you Go” by Rick Trevino and “I Left Something Turned On At Home” by Trace Atkins.
The following is a list of some of the other artists that have recorded Billy's songs: