Billy Belton Profile

John Dix
4 May 2016

Through the late 1950s and the mid 1970s, Billy Belton was a stalwart of the Auckland music scene. A guitarist later turned bassist, he worked at Sydney Eady’s music store for eight years, bringing him in contact with almost every Auckland musician of the time.

He grew up in Herne Bay, where his next door neighbours were the Keil family of Keil Isles fame; Herma Keil, Frank Gibson Jr and Brian Henderson (also of the Keil Isles) were school mates at Mt Albert Grammar.

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Vic Williams, Ray Woolf and Billy Belton at Billy's wedding, 1965
Vic Williams, Ray Woolf and Billy Belton at at Billy's wedding, 1965
The Newsounds on an inner-city Auckland rooftop, with Ian Laird, Rod Gibson, Billy Belton, Brian Biddick and Al Patchett. Ray Woolf is sitting to the left but for some reason was cut off the print.
Photo credit: Phil Warren Collection
Checkers nightclub, late 1960s
The Trinity, circa 1970: Vic Williams, Billy Belton and Mike Harvey
Tommy Ferguson, Ray Woolf, Billy Belton and Travis Woolf (Ray’s son)
Ray Woolf and The Avengers: Norris Nutsford, Tony Blomfield, Billy Belton, Ray Woolf and Danny Stradwick
Ray Woolf and The Avengers: Norris Nutsford, Tony Blomfield, Billy Belton and Ray Woolf
The International Gold Disc Show in the late 1960s, not to be confused with The Loxene Golden Disc Awards, featuring Gray Bartlett, Billy Belton, Mike Durney, Lew Pryme, Ray Brooks and Yolande Gibson
A gathering of Auckland rock and roll heroes from the 60s and 70s, at guitarist Warren McKinman's funeral: Bruce Jarvis, Andy Shackleton, Gary Daverne, Richie Sims, Don (surname unknown), Mal Finlayson, David Smith, Bill Belton, Kerry Hawksworth, Peter Traille, Dennis Shearer, Norris Hanna, Nookie Stott and Keith 'Haggis' MacIntyre.
Mr. and Mrs. George Vanderloo, Mr. and Mrs. John Hartnett, Mr. and Mrs. Tiger Colicutt (Prestige Ballroom Managers and Door Security) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
The Newsounds in 1966 Billy Belton, Ray Woolf, Ian Laird and Al Patchett
Mr. and Mrs. George Vanderloo (a venue manager for Phil Warren's Prestige Promotions) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Cris Simmons, Ian Saxon, Pat Simmons, Bill Belton and Pye/WEA boss Tim Murdoch - Santos cafe, Auckland
Dick Rogers (Red Hewitt and the Buccaneers) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Billy Belton, 2006
Dave McArtney, Bill Belton, Mark Sandman, and Kelvin Gibson
The Doobie Bros.' Pat Simmons and Billy Belton
Billy Belton and Ray Woolf
US bassist Stanley Banks (George Benson) and Billy Belton
Part of the Freddie Keil and The Kavaliers line-up: David Paul, Jimmy Murphy, Brian Smith, Helga Keil, Bill Belton, and David Smith
Sue and Dave Russell (Ray Columbus and the Invaders) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Ian Laird (Bob D Five, The Newsounds) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
The Commodores, circa 1960: Sonny Manihera, Bill Belton, Jeff Bolton, Tiger Purdy and David Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Ray Columbus at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965.
The Commodores, circa 1960: Billy Belton, Jeff Bolton, Bob Wynyard, Tiger Purdy and David Smith
The Commodores, circa 1960: (back) Tiger Purdy, David Smith, (kneeling Bill Belton, Sonny Manihera), and Jeff Bolton
Mr. and Mrs. John Hartnett (a venue manager for Phil Warren's Prestige Promotions), at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Billy Belton (4th from left) in his first paying band, age 14, 1958.
Billy Belton and Bob Wynyard in The Commodores, circa 1960
Billy Belton and Boz Scaggs
A later line-up of Freddie Keil and The Kavaliers: L to R: Vic Williams, Dave Paul, Freddie Keil, Billy Belton, Jimmy Murphy. Front: Dave Smith, Brian (Tuffy) Smith
Photo credit: Phil Warren Collection
John "Yuk" Harrison, John Williams (Larry's Rebels) and Billy Belton
Mr. and Mrs. Herma Keil at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Freddie Keil and the Kavaliers: Dave Paul, Ian Saxon (guesting), Freddie Keil, Billy Belton, Vic Williams, Brian Smith, Jimmy Murphy and David Smith
The Newsounds with Billy Belton, Al Patchett, Laurie Simpson and Ian Laird
Photo credit: Phil Warren Collection
Mr. and Mrs Billy Karatiana (Kristian) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Rod Gibson, Yvonne McGregor, Brian Biddock (first and last, members of The Newsounds) at Billy Belton's wedding, 1965
Billy Belton and Harry Lyon at Auckland's Real Groovy Records, 2014
Photo credit: Photo by Bobi Petch
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