IT ALL STARTED WHEN...
Billy McGuigan grew up as an Air Force brat; the kind that moved around to various installations and lived in base housing. When his Dad, a Tech Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, was home from duty, he entertained the Billy and his brothers with his guitar – and his love of the Beatles.
“There was always music in our house. Whether it was background for dinner, up front for parties or required listening because of the release of a Beatles-related album, music was always the forefront of our family. I can remember my dad borrowing a friend’s Beatles chord book and meticulously copying it onto regular lined paper. I was in 2nd grade at the time, and I remember that I’d sit and watch him do this for hours. The end result was, of course, that we could sing the magic that was on the Beatles records. In fact, one of my first musical memories was of my dad teaching my brother Ryan and I (Matthew was an infant at the time) to sing the high harmony lines on 'She’s Leaving Home.' There we were, Ryan, age 5 and I, age 8 singing these high parts terribly, while my dad did his best Paul impersonation… I can still remember the smile on his face! Little did he know he was planting the seeds of a career in music!”
What this upbringing did for Billy was instill a love of the songs that take him back to those days playing and singing with his Dad and brothers. Today those memories fuel Billy’s innate talent and desire to bring good times through music to others across the nation.
Creator and producer of three national hit shows, Billy developed the live request format for Yesterday and Today, featuring Billy and his brothers, Matthew and Ryan, complete with the requirement that all the band members memorize and be able to play on a second’s notice all 200+ songs in the Beatles anthology. “But it’s not your typical request show. Along with a request, we ask for the reason behind it and we chat a little with the person who made it, which makes the show interesting and interactive.” No wigs or accents here, the show incorporates a 1960s style set and modern day lighting scheme to create an extraordinary theatrical concert feel.
Buddy Holly seems to be the part written just for Billy McGuigan. He’s emulated the rock n’ roll pioneer in the role more than 2500 times in his own stage show paying homage to the late Buddy Holly in Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience, in addition to over 450 performances in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story across the country. Rave On! is an award winning show that has shattered box office records across the country.
Rock Twist is a brand new show to the McGuigan catalogue. Piggybacking off of his record breaking appearance at Omaha's Jazz On The Green, Rock Twist creates an entirely new and unique sound. It combines musical elements of big band, swing and jazz and classic rock n' roll, and is performed with horns, strings and rock and roll rhythm section. Hear Sinatra and Connick alongside Joel and McCartney. The show made its world premier in 2017 at the Omaha Playhouse to glowing reviews and left audiences dazzled by its unique approach.
When he’s not on the road, Billy is the owner and creative director of Rave On Productions, acting in industrial films and commercials and doing voice-over work. He is actively involved in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and balances all this with the real reason he’s doing it all; for his kids, Cartney and Ciaran.