Billy "Crash" Craddock
Billy "Crash" Craddock was born the youngest of 13 children in Greensboro, NC. A good portion of his childhood was spent surrounded by music and love of his family. His father, typical of musicians of his day and time, played harmonica, spoons, washboard and buck danced. His mother and older brothers and sisters regularly sang old gospel standards and folk tunes, harmonizing beautifully amongst themselves.
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Craddock remembers listening to Little Jimmy Dickens, Lefty Frizzell and Faron Young on the radio, singing as they sang, knowing he'd only have to hear a song once or maybe twice before he knew the lyrics and melody by heart. His family was very supportive of Craddock's talents; one brother even paid Craddock a nickel for every song he could sing and not miss a word. But it wasn't until Elvis Presley stormed into the entertainment field that Billy Craddock thought he, too, might be able to combine his love for music and his need for earning a living.
By this time the high school football field had given "Crash" Craddock his unusual nickname, one that would stick on and off the playing field for the rest of his life. Craddock got his first recording contract with Colonial Records in Durham, North Carolina shortly after high school--and he was on his way.
It wasn't too long until Craddock signed with Cartwheel Records and released the fateful record, "Knock Three Times." That song was to become the first hit for Craddock and literally paved the way for his phenomenal worldwide success. His No. 1 hits include "Rub It In" and "Ruby Baby;" and "Broken Down In Tiny Pieces," "Easy As Pie," "Sweet Magnolia Blossom," "Ain't Nothin' Shakin'," "Still Thinkin' 'Bout You," and "Dream Lover" all cracked Billboard's Top 10.
Billy "Crash" Craddock has achieved every one of his career goals. He has sung on the Grand Ole Opry, has donated memorabilia to the Country Music Hall of Fame, has toured to sell-out crowds around the world on numerous occasions, and is able to superbly entertain audiences time and time again.
"I have a good time when the audience has a good time," said Craddock of his performances. "I look out at the faces and they entertain me. I get so much more from them than I give. The audience makes my show, not me." He added that he truly likes meeting people and, over the years, his fans have become as close to him as members of his family.
Billy "Crash" Craddock is truly a legend. He is a star in every country in the world, one of the most recognized performers on the planet. But the superstar remains the same Billy Craddock who is reminded of his mother every time he hears an old gospel hymn. And that's the secret to his success. He's real. He loves people. And, he's a dynamic entertainer!
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