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Published on Feb 22, 2011
Billy [William Moses] Roberts [Jr.] (b. 1936, Greenville, SC) is an American songwriter and musician credited with composing the 1960's rock standard Hey Joe, the best known version of which is by The Jimi Hendrix Experience).
Roberts was a relatively obscure California based folk singer, guitarist and harmonica player who performed on the West Coast coffee-house circuit in the late 1950's and early 1960's. He registered Hey Joe for copyright in the U.S. in 1962. Roberts later recorded the country rock album Thoughts of California with the band Grits in San Francisco in 1975, produced by Hillel Resner.
After a severe car accident in the 1990's Roberts was hospitalized in Sonoma County, California for many years.