BO DONALDSON AND THE HEYWOODS had been performing for nearly a decade when they hit Teen-Idol pay dirt. Touring in the mid 60's as an opening act for supergroups like The Rascals, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Box-Tops, Grassroots and Herman's Hermits gave the group enough exposure to garner them a strong following on the live circuit. An opening stint for The Osmond Brothers and appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and "Action '73" TV shows poised Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods into the right realm for the stardom they would soon achieve.
The first single, "Special Someone," hit the charts in 1972 then the next single "Deeper and Deeper' came in 1973. "Billy, Don't Be A Hero" was all that was necessary to shoot Bo and The Heywoods up to the #1 spot for two weeks, sell more than three million copies and earn The Heywoods a gold record. Four more Top 40 singles followed on the heels of "Billy, Don't Be A Hero." The Top 15 follow up hit, "Who Do You Think You Are," was an utterly irresistible pop song from the pens of Jigsaws Clive Scoff and Des Dyer. The acts next Top 40 hit, "The Heartbreak Kid," was written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, who had written hits for The Grassroots. The next single "House on Telegraph Hill" dealt with the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The band's last chart showing was the ballad, "Our Last Song Together'wriften by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.
Although "Billy, Don't Be A Hero" went to #1 over twenty-five years ago, it has maintained a presence in the entertainment industry even today. Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods and "Billy, Don't Be A Hero" have been mentioned in Stephen King's book "The Stand" and also in such Television shows as "Get A Life," "ALF," and "Friends". The song was also used in such feature films as Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" and in the unique film "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert". VH-l's 8 Track Flashback with Suzanne Summers featured The Heywoods and "Billy."
"Billy, Don't Be A Hero" can currently be found on Rhino Records "Super Hits of the 70's" and on the 7 CD box set "Have a Nice Decade."