US news sources are reporting the death “sometime in April” of veteran R&R and R&B singer Billy “the Kid” Emerson. Few details are forthcoming, save that he was 97.
Born in Florida in 1925, Emerson started his music career working with Ike Turner before going solo. He recorded for labels like Sun, Chess and Vee Jay before setting up his own label, Tarpon Records, named for Tarpon Springs, the Florida town where he’d been born. His biggest hit was 1955’s ‘Red Hot’. In the late 70s Emerson turned to gospel music eventually becoming an ordained minister with a church in Oak Park, Illinois.