Local native music legend dies at 70
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rhythm and blues and beach music singer Billy Scott, a Huntington native, has died in North Carolina at age 70.
Bill Kopald with the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame said Scott died from pancreatic and liver cancer Saturday at his home in Charlotte.
Born Peter Pendleton in Huntington, he began singing with various groups while in the Army. He was discharged in Augusta, Ga., in 1964. He changed his name and with his wife Barbara in 1966 began recording as The Prophets, with their first gold record in 1968, "I Got The Fever." Other hits included "California" and "Seaside Love" as the Georgia Prophets.
The group recorded a number of beach music hits in the 1970s. Scott was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
Scott, a 1961 graduate of St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, returned to Huntington in 2011 to perform with The Prophets for a 50th reunion celebration at the former Veterans Memorial Field House.
Scott, who used his grandfather's name for the entertainment business, started the Georgia Prophets when he left Huntington after graduation in 1961 and went to Georgia to be in the Army.
"It has been very good to me to be called a beach music artist," Scott said in a 2011 interview. "Before that it was soul music and R&B and those were the genres I thought I was in, and I was."