Billy Nichols

The only side under his own name recorded by the very interesting musician Billy Nichols, who was born in Mississippi, that I could recommend is his first release – his own brilliant ListenYou Can’t Fool This Fool. This was cut for Juggy Murray’s redoubtable Sue label during one of Nichols stays in the Big Apple and is a wonderful deep soul piece of emotionally hard hitting pain. Nichols – who may well have contributed the guitar arpeggios – is suitably regretful in a sad and weary vocal that really hits home. This isn’t a rare 45 by any means but it is one for fans to treasure. It’s just a shame that Nichols didn’t attempt anything as heavy as this again in a fractured solo career.

But the Sue release wasn’t his first taste of studio work. He was the guitarist behind the excellent one off for Jimmy Vick which you can read and listen to here. Not a bad start at all!

But that disc and the Sue 45 aren’t the end of the Billy Nichols story – far from it. As a talented guitarist / writer and producer he worked with a great many star names in many cities in the US. He was a partner for Willie Collins on and off for 20 odd years while leading Marvin Gaye’s road band and writing / accompanying for such stars as Millie Jackson, Billy Stewart and during a stay in Cleveland performing with Kim Tolliver, Mabel John and Fontella Bass. BT Express were also on Billy’s increasingly impressive CV as were Garland Green, LJ Waiters and lesser known artists such as Flame ‘N The King and Eddie McLloyd.

Nichols moved into rap and hip hop as these new styles overtook soul and is still working behind the musical scenes for his own Boss label. You can read his whole musical story here.



Shake a leg  / ListenYou can’t fool this fool ~ SUE 10 (1969)
Treat your neighbour / Expressway to your heart ~ MERCURY 73024 (1970)
Give your body up to the music / Short version ~ WEST END 1218 (1986)
My woman / Diamond ring ~ WEST END 1226 (2001)


Whip your body ~ BOSS 1301 (2000s)


One day at a time ~ BOSS 1113 (2014)


Back to artist index | Top of Page

Back to artist index | Top of Page