The Professional Work of James William Stallard (aka Billy Starr)
Born James William Stallard (Dec. 30, 1913 ~ Jun. 4, 1981) in Wesleyville, Kentucky), fans knew him as Billy Starr. He used the names Bill Stallard, Indian Bill and Billy Starr. At age fifteen Billy left home and settled in Portsmouth, Ohio. The station manager there was impressed enough with his talents to give him a spot over the air. By 1942 Billy was at WSAZ in Huntington, West Virginia working with for Natchee the Indian along with Cowboy Copas.
In 1945, Bill Stallard was working on the famed WOWO Hoosier Hop that aired over the ABC Network. A versatile artist, Billy did the calls on the square dance numbers and also sang solo numbers on the show. Billboard reported in September 16, 1946, Billy Starr as he was known then promoted one of the largest country music shows in Chattanooga, Tennessee. On that particular show was Uncle Dave Macon, the Cackle Sisters, Curly Fox and Texas Ruby and the Grand Ole Opry road show. Natchee the Indian also appeared on the show and did a bit of a dual with Curly Fox on the fiddle that Curly apparently won. During that time Starr was part of the infamous group, The Down Homers.
A song folio published around that time shows that Billy wrote a few songs including: Headin' Back Home, The Old Deserted Church By The Graveyard, Just a Little Lovin', Dear, It's A Crying Shame, I'll Die Before I'd Tell You Goodbye, Four Walls Around Me, Counting Tears (with Shorty Cook) and You're Free To Go (with Shorty Cook).
In February of 1946, Little Jimmy Dickens and Billy Starr had joined the staff at radio station WIBW in Topeka, Kansas. By July that year Billie Starr, once known as Indian Bill was on the air at KMOX in St. Louis, Missouri. Billy had a show over KMOX at 8:30am each day. He was also the emcee for the National Champion Hillbillies show. In 1947, Billy recorded the tune, Truck Drivers Blues along with three other tunes.
By 1948, Little Jimmy Dickens had moved on to WKNX (Saginaw, Michigan) and Billy Starr moved on to KXLA (Pasadena, California). Later on that year, Starr began working at KMPC. In 1949, Starr was working at the Party House (Compton, California) in addition to airing over KGER (Los Angeles, CA).
In 1950, Starr was hired by Cowboy Copas to be his road manager. In 1951, Billy recorded a song called Steppin' Out, at the Castle Studio, Tulane Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee. The song was covered by other country music artists such as Cowboy Copas, Johnny Bond and Jimmy Wakely
Bill's career spanned many a year, with its ups and downs. When he died, he was virtually penniless.
Professional Carreer Track of Billy Starr
Billy Starr, Columbia Discography
Recordings of Billy Starr, Imperial Discography