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An accomplished singer and songwriter, Billy is perhaps the only artist that recorded for the "big three" independent record labels of the '50's and '60's - Sun, Vee-Jay and Chess. He toured the world and performed with Ike Turner, Little Milton, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson and countless others.
Billy's songs have been covered by Rod Stewart, Delbert McClinton, Ann Margaret, Elvis Presley, Brian Setzer, Ry Cooder, Rick Derringer, Billy Lee Riley, Jimmie Vaughan, Manfred Mann, Sam the Sham and many more.
Of all the African-American artists that recorded on Sun, it was Billy that had the most influence on rock and roll. No other African-American artist had as many releases on Sun Records as Billy “The Kid” Emerson.
In the early 1980’s, Billy “The Kid” Emerson retired from secular music and began his work as The Reverend William R. “The Kishi” Emerson.
Reverend Emerson’s work in the church began at the Christ Temple Apostolic Church located at 14 South Ashland Street in Chicago.
His ministry continues at the Holy Praise Apostolic Church of Jesus and the Good Spirit Music Ministry located along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Billy is currently working on some spiritual music that he says will be his best work yet!
Now in his 90’s, Billy “The Kid” Emerson is an American Music treasure.
“Billy Emerson wrote such great songs. He was one of the very best.”
Sam Phillips, SUN RECORDS