Billy Wayne Craddock was born June 16, 1939 in Greensboro, North Carolina. He learned how to play guitar from his oldest brother when he was six. At age 11, he entered a local television talent contest and was voted top winner for fifteen consecutive weeks.
Craddock received the nickname "Crash" while a running back for his high school football team. After he left high school, he formed a rockabilly band with one of his brothers called The Four Rebels.
Craddock's first release was "Smacky-Mouth," which was recorded in 1957 for the local Greensboro Sky Castle label. He released his next single, titled "Birddoggin'," on Colonial Records. It was also released in 1957. He soon got a deal with Columbia's Date Records. He released "Ah, Poor Little Baby" with no success. The song was covered in England by Adam Faith. He began recording for Columbia Records in 1958, recording rockabilly and pop tunes.
He was marketed as a teen idol by Columbia, as they needed an artist to compete with Elvis. He appeared twice on American Bandstand but failed to have a hit in the U.S. The only song that charted in the U.S. was "Don't Destroy Me," which peaked at #94 for one week in November 1959. He did, however, become very popular in Australia.
In 1959, Craddock traveled to Australia with Bobby Rydell, The Everly Brothers, Santo and Johnny, and The Diamonds. He didn't know how popular he was in the country and didn't think that anyone would recognize him there. When the plane arrived at the airport, there were thousands of screaming teenagers. Craddock didn't know that he had the number one record in the country. He soon became the most popular teen idol in the country and is still popular today.
After his hits in Australia, he recorded one album and several singles during the 1960s. "I'm Tore Up" was released in 1964 on King Records. He released two singles with Mercury Records in the early 1960s.
Switching to country music, he gained popularity in USA in the 1970s with a string of top ten country hits, several of which were number one hits, including "Rub It In," "Broken Down in Tiny Pieces," and "Ruby Baby." Craddock is known to fans as "Mr. Country Rock" for his uptempo rock-influenced style of country music.
In 1972, Music City News Country voted him the Most Promising Male Artist of the Year. He moved to Atlantic Records in 1989, and released Back on Track. The album yielded one minor hit, "Just Another Miserable Day Here in Paradise," which reached #74 on the charts. C
Craddock released a new album of Christmas songs in 2006, titled Christmas Favorites. A new live album, Live -N- Kickin', was recorded and released in 2009.
In 2011, Craddock was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of fame.
For more about Billy, visit his Website at -