Billy Rice is a legend in our town. He has been playing music for over 50 years and is loved by all. I met Billy over 6 years ago when he was performing at The Flying Dog Café in Bradenton. After his show I went up to him and said, “your band is fabulous, but your website needs a lot of work!” He said, “I know who you are and what you do so build me a new website.” No questions asked! He never even asked for a price.
Through the Years
As they say, the rest is history. Our company, Sande Caplin & Associates produced 2 music videos for Billy, “I’m Just Sayin” and “Back to the USA”. Both videos can be seen on YouTube. They were huge projects and our team had so much fun producing them. One of the biggest highlights was the CD Release Party at the Seafood Shack in Cortez in October 2015. Through-out the night it was a packed house with over 600 people coming and going. Billy gave away the CD’s with a donation. Over $7000.00 was raised and donated to Manatee Children’s Services. It was after this event that I became the band manager! Now if you know Billy, it was a challenge. A Florida local and a New Yorker working together….. oh my! We only had 1 legal separation over the years. (My fault!)
So, I handled the band business for about 4 years. It was time pass the torch at which time “Billy’s pal” took over and had a great friendship and working relationship with him. Well as they say, shit happens. Another pandemic casualty. Billy and I talk almost every day. Obviously, the pandemic changed everything. Billy and the Band actually played one of the last major events in Sarasota in March on the big stage with Twinkle Rock Soul Radio at the Seafood & Music Festival in Sarasota. As we all know, there is not a lot of live music around town. Just enough to whet our appetites. Billy always takes the summer off to relax and go fishing although he still works very hard at his real job as the owner of Commercial Plastering!
Looking Toward the Future
I asked Billy if I could get involved with the band again. I really missed the comradery. We talked about it and he said “yes.” I’m excited and up to the challenge. Obviously, it’s going to be a while before there will be big crowds at venues. Dancing via social distancing is fun, but we all know it’s not the same. We are working on some projects for the “Fall”. Once the details can be worked out, we will certainly share them with all of Billy’s friends and fans. And, I can always use some help! If you’re interested in working with me to promote the band or have questions about this story, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941 347-4500.
In the meantime, please stay safe and wear your mask. We are all in this together.
Photo from Sande Caplin & Associates