MTV Artists

Millions of artists.
Your pocket.
One app.
Download now

Download on the App Store Stay in
My Browser


Born in Greensburg, IN, on June 9, 1949, singer and songwriter Billy C. Farlow grew up in Alabama, Indiana, and Texas, relocating to Detroit with his family in the early '60s. By this time he was already a proficient guitarist and harmonica player and began sitting in with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Sippie Wallace, and Big Joe Williams at various Detroit-area coffeehouses and blues clubs. He formed Billy C & the Sunshine in 1966 with pianist Boot Hamilton and guitarist Larry Welker and began working with legendary Butterfield Blues Band drummer Sam Lay. Soon Farlow was also sitting in regularly with Ann Arbor-based Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, and when the band relocated to Berkeley, CA, in 1969, he officially joined the group and made the move with them. The band recorded several albums with Paramount and Warner Brothers and had a major hit in 1972 with "Hot Rod Lincoln" before disbanding in 1976. Farlow stayed on in California and formed his own rockabilly and Western swing outfit with pianist Billy Philadelphia and guitarist Tommy Thompson. Farlow returned to Alabama and the South in the mid-'80s and began a long association with Nashville producer and guitarist Fred James, releasing five albums over the next dozen years for a variety of labels. In the early '90s he reunited with Sam Lay for a trio of albums. Farlow, who is also a gourmet cook, continues to make his home in Alabama, recording and touring regularly. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi