Billy Martin was born in Gateshead in 1923, but the family moved to Newcastle when he was a child. He was fond of saying how he ‘escaped' from Gateshead by swimming across the Tyne!
Billy's career really took off when he formed the Dixielanders with Bobby Hooper. The show was a tremendous success in clubs around the North East. In the late 70s, they launched the Dixielanders Music Hall, playing to packed houses of over 300 every night.
Billy died in 2002 after a short illness.