Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Musician, veteran Billy Terrell's milestones

An anniversary, and a return to Vietnam

Musician, veteran Billy Terrell's milestones


Vietnam interrupted Billy Terrell's songwriting career, but music will help him return to the scene of a wartime good deed.

Terrell, 68, of Delran, will star in a solo showcase Tuesday, August 20 at The Madison, in Riverside. The event will help pay for an upcoming trip to Vietnam, where he and other American soldiers assisted a Catholic orphanage called Mang Lang in 1966. Read my 2012 column here.

The trip reflects Terrell's personal mission to highlight the positive contributions of veterans -- many of whom still bear the scars of that conflict.  He also is working with PBS in New York on a proposed four-part documentary series, "The Other Side of War," that would include segments about Mang Lang.

"I'm amazed how my life seems to have come full circle over the last 50 years [since] officially entering the music business in the summer of 1963," says Terrell.

"I tucked the Vietnam experience away for decades until I finally entered PTSD counselling and joined a support group," he says, adding that the counselling "has helped prepare me to return to 'Nam and revisit the only positive memories I have of the war -- Mang Lang Orphanage and the children who meant so much to me."

As for the music,  "I sang "A Lotta Livin' To Do" from Bye Bye Birdie when I auditioned for my first manager shortly before being signed in the summer of '63," Terrell says. "Now, almost 50 years to the day, I will be opening the show with the song on Tuesday evening.  Only In America!"

Inquirer Columnist
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

Kevin Riordan Inquirer Columnist
Daniel Rubin Inquirer Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter