The Bill Wilson Archive

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Bill Wilson shared lead singing duties with Peabo Bryson and Moses Dillard in the early 1970’s Greenville South Carolina underground soul legends, Moses Dillard and the Tex-Town Display. He was in that band with Leo Adams, Daniel Dillard, James Ivory, and James Madison. They recorded on Curtom Records. 

Moses Dillard had a dual career in music for more than 20 years, leading his own bands, and as a guitarist working out of Muscle Shoals. Born in Greenville, SC, he put together a touring band of his own, the Dynamic Showmen, before he was 20 and saw some local success. Dillard later teamed up with James Moore in a duo called Moses & Joshua, recording for Don Schroeder’s Papa Don Productions out of Pensacola, FL; scoring hits with “My Elusive Dreams” and “Get Out of My Heart” on the Mala label in 1966-1967, and “Soul Symphony” for Coral in 1968.

While working for Schroeder, Dillard’s guitar virtuosity came to the fore, and he played sessions with most of the company’s acts, including James and Bobby Purify during the tail end of their history, and Oscar Toney, Jr. and Mighty Sam. His playing can be heard throughout their respective late-’60s outputs, and recording and touring with these and other acts kept Dillard busy until the close of the decade.

Dillard returned to Greenville in 1970 to resume his own career and put together the group Tex-Town Display, with a lineup that included Bill Wilson, Peabo Bryson,eo Adams, Daniel Dillard, James Ivory, and James Madison. Their 1970 recording of “I’ve Got to Find a Way” got serious local airplay, enough to get it (and their contract) picked up by Curtom Records for national distribution, selling 250,000 copies. Tex-Town Display earned a follow-up shot with “Our Love Is True,” which didn’t sell nearly as well, and by 1971 the group was recording for the much smaller Shout label of Atlanta, before it broke up after Bryson exited.

Dillard continued to be based in Atlanta with his next group, the Lovejoy Orchestra, who had an instrumental hit with a self-titled theme in 1975. The 1970s saw Dillard get an increasing number of opportunities with major labels; he kept busy recording under a multitude of names, including Moses, and Dillard & Johnson in partnership with Lorraine Johnson, the latter act signed to Epic Records.

Dillard had success during the disco era with the Constellation Orchestra, and he later reunited with his one-time Dynamic Showmen bassist/singer Jesse Boyce as Dillard & Boyce, on the Mercury label in the early ’80s.