- the official website of Andy Eastwood, international entertainer, recording artist and ukulele nut



Billy "Uke" Scott



Billy "Uke" Scott was born in Sunderland (England) in 1923. Taking an early interest in music, he began to study the piano and at school he became the singer in a jazz band. To give Billy something to do during the instrumental choruses, the band leader gave him a ukulele, with the words 'pretend you're playing this!' It was a moment that would change Billy's life, for he became one of Britain's finest ever ukulele artists.

The talented youth quickly progressed on the uke and banjo-uke, as well as developing his skills as a pianist and vocalist. On leaving school, his ever-improving performance graduated from church concerts via talent shows to theatre and radio appearances. He made his first broadcast at the age of 14!

During the war years Billy worked hard for ENSA (the Entertainments National Service Association) and began to make a name for himself as a brilliant and versatile artist. After the war, he was soon in demand with a busy schedule in variety, pantomime and radio. Although he never made records, Billy made over 1000 broadcasts during his career.

The multi-talented musician wrote his own comic songs (over 30 were published) with titles such as I've Got A Girlfriend, Queueing, You Go On With Your Show, What Is The Good of a Good Looking Girl?, Down By the Old Turnstile and A Nice Prefabricated Home. Several of these are still popular with British uke enthusiasts today.

For the songs, Billy accompanied himself on an Abbott banjo-uke (as pictured) but for his finale, he would take his Martin uke, announcing: 'And finally, to prove that melody can be played on the ukulele....' He would then launch into a stunning solo arrangement, such as Lady of Spain or Keep the Home Fires Burning.

At the age of 40, having appeared at the nearly every theatre in the British Isles and worked alongside some of the biggest names in showbiz, Billy left the stage to work in television, and was responsible for giving several great stars a break - talented newcomers such as Jimmy Tarbuck, Mike Yarwood and Tom O'Connor - who became household names in Britain.

He later went into the agency side of the business - another highly successful venture. But in 1982, he chose to perform again, and throughout his sixties, he scored many more successes in summer seasons and music hall shows. Billy spent his retirement years living in Southport with his wife Ann, occasionally making a very welcome appearance for his fans; he was also president of the Ukulele Society of Great Britain. He passed away on 13 November 2004, leaving happy memories for all who met him. Even in his eighties he still possessed the magical charm and charisma that made him such a success on the stage.