Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods


Describing their sound as "light, happy music", Bo Donaldson And The Heywoods were a 1970s pop act who scored the massive hit single Billy Don't Be A Hero. Originally formed in Cincinatti, Ohio in 1965 by keyboard player Robert 'Bo' Donaldson, they were inspired by the British beat invasion and the summery, melodic West Coast groups of the era and worked as an opening act for Herman's Hermits and The Box Tops. Getting their big break when they supported The Osmonds, they had minor success with singles Special Someone and Deeper And Deeper, but it wasn't until Billy Don't Be A Hero came out in 1974 that they became major stars. Originally a UK number one for Nottingham R&B group Paper Lace, the song was about a young man who leaves his lover to enrol in the army. With the controversial Vietnam War raging at the time it struck a poignant chord and went on to top the US charts, sold over 3.5 million copies and landed the band appearances on the hugely popular television shows American Bandstand and Action 74. Follow-up singles Who Do You Think You Are and The Heartbreak Kid also made the top 40, but a turn to country music towards the end of the decade made little impact and they split in 1980.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved