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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.