Billie Jo Spears dies at 73

Country singer's 'Blanket on the Ground' was No. 1

Singer Billie Jo Spears, whose performance of “Blanket on the Ground” went No. 1 on the country charts in 1975, died of cancer on Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Vidor, Texas. She was 73.

No cause of death was stated.

The Beaumont native performed as a 13-year-old on the Louisiana Hayride radio program out of Shreveport, La., considered a stepping stone to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry at the time.

She worked as a secretary until her music career took off and left Texas for Nashville in the mid-1960s. She had trouble with her vocal cords in the early 1970s but scored her chart-topper in 1975 and was voted most promising female vocalist by the Academy of Country Music in 1976.

Her other hits included “Mr. Walker, It’s All Over in 1969; “What I’ve Got in Mind’ in 1976; “Misty Blue” in 1976; and “If You Want Me” in 1977.

Spears recorded duets with country singer Del Reeves and performed at the prestigious Wembley Festival in England a few times in the 1970s, cementing her following in the U.K. before her recording career tailed off in the mid-1980s.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Marketplace

    Leave a Reply

    No Comments

    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    More Music News from Variety

    Loading