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William Campbell

William Shears Campbell is a fictional Paul McCartney look-alike whose purported existence arose from the fevered efforts of conspiracy theorists to find significance in album photos and hidden musical messages during the Paul is Dead hoax in the late 1960s.

According to this urban legend, a William Campbell won a "Paul look-alike" contest in 1966 and was induced to impersonate Paul after Paul died. In fact such contests were held, but no William Campbell ever won one.

In October 1969, Russ Gibbs, program coordinator for radio station WKNR-FM in Detroit, began a baseless rumor that Paul McCartney had been killed and replaced by a look-alike. Beatles fans scoured the Beatles' albums for hidden "clues" confirming this, and, demonstrating the human capacity to find meaning where no meaning exists, located dozens of "confirming" nuggets of information. These morsels were concocted together into one more-or-less cohesive tale: that the real Paul, killed by a banana lorry, had been replaced by an actor named either William Campbell or Billy Shears, who had undergone plastic surgery in order to effect a perfect likeness, and who had previously won a Paul McCartney look-alike contest. The letters "OPD," appearing on a costume in a photograph on the Sgt Pepper album were interpreted variously as standing for "Officially Pronounced Dead" and an indication that Billy Campbell had worked in the Ontario Police Department.

The badge on Paul's arm in the Sgt Pepper's album is that of the Ontario Provincial Police. The badge does not contain the lettering "OPD" but rather "OPP". Most Canadians would recognize this at first glance.

Also on Sgt. Pepper, "Billy Shears" is the name of the lead singer for the fictional Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that the Beatles were originally planning to "play" on the album. Though this concept was largely discarded, the end of the title track includes a lyric referring to the "one and only Billy Shears," played by Ringo Starr, who sings the lead vocal on the next song, "With A Little Help From My Friends."


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Though this concept was largely discarded, the end of the title track includes a lyric referring to the "one and only Billy Shears," played by Ringo Starr, who sings the lead vocal on the next song, "With A Little Help From My Friends.". Eddie Cantor died of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, California, and was buried in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that the Beatles were originally planning to "play" on the album. He was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1964. Pepper, "Billy Shears" is the name of the lead singer for the fictional Sgt. Cantor wrote eight books, including Caught Short (about the Crash of 1929) and his autobiography, My Life is in Your Hands. Also on Sgt. In the 1950s he hosted a television show.

Most Canadians would recognize this at first glance. In the 1940s his NBC national radio show was Time To Smile. The badge does not contain the lettering "OPD" but rather "OPP". However Cantor's career bounced back with the United States entry into World War II. The badge on Paul's arm in the Sgt Pepper's album is that of the Ontario Provincial Police. Wishing to distance themselves from any political controversy, many sponsors dropped Cantor's shows. The letters "OPD," appearing on a costume in a photograph on the Sgt Pepper album were interpreted variously as standing for "Officially Pronounced Dead" and an indication that Billy Campbell had worked in the Ontario Police Department. Cantor's career declined somewhat in the late 1930s due to his public denunciations of Adolf Hitler and Fascism.

Beatles fans scoured the Beatles' albums for hidden "clues" confirming this, and, demonstrating the human capacity to find meaning where no meaning exists, located dozens of "confirming" nuggets of information. These morsels were concocted together into one more-or-less cohesive tale: that the real Paul, killed by a banana lorry, had been replaced by an actor named either William Campbell or Billy Shears, who had undergone plastic surgery in order to effect a perfect likeness, and who had previously won a Paul McCartney look-alike contest. Cantor also served as first president of the Screen Actors Guild. In October 1969, Russ Gibbs, program coordinator for radio station WKNR-FM in Detroit, began a baseless rumor that Paul McCartney had been killed and replaced by a look-alike. He was a founder of the March of Dimes, and did much to publicize the battle against polio. In fact such contests were held, but no William Campbell ever won one. In addition to film and radio, Cantor recorded for Hit of the Week Records, then again for Columbia, for Banner and Decca and various small labels. According to this urban legend, a William Campbell won a "Paul look-alike" contest in 1966 and was induced to impersonate Paul after Paul died. Cantor's theme song was the 1903 pop tune "Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider", dedicated to Eddie's wife Ida.

William Shears Campbell is a fictional Paul McCartney look-alike whose purported existence arose from the fevered efforts of conspiracy theorists to find significance in album photos and hidden musical messages during the Paul is Dead hoax in the late 1960s. His radio shows began with a crowd chanting "We want Cantor - We want Cantor", said to have originated when a vaudeville audience used that chant to chase off an opening act who was on a bill before Cantor. In the 1930s he also began hosting his own radio show, and by 1936 Cantor was the world's highest paid radio star. He continued making feature films through 1948, the most notable including Roman Scandals, Ali Baba Goes to Town, and If You Knew Susie. Cantor had appeared in a number of short films in the 1920s, but became a feature star in 1930 with the film Whoopee!.

Cantor soon bounced back thanks to Hollywood movies and the radio. Cantor was one of the era's most successful entertainers, but the 1929 Stock market crash suddenly took him from multi-millionaire status to being broke and deeply in debt. He starred in the Broadway musical Whoopie! in 1928. From 1921 through 1925 he had an exclusive contract with Columbia Records, then returned to Victor for the remainder of the decade.

Cantor started making phonograph records in 1917, recording both comedy songs and routines and popular songs of the day, first for Victor, then for Aeoleon-Vocalion, Pathé, and Emerson. For some time Cantor co-starred in an act with pioneer African-American comedian Bert Williams, both appearing in blackface; Cantor played William's son. In 1912 he appeared in Gus Edwards Review, and in 1916 debuted in the Ziegfeld Follies, where he would appear for years. By his early teens he began winning talent contests at local theaters, and started appearing on stage and in 1907 became a billed name in Vaudeville.

He was orphaned in childhood and made a living entertaining for coins on the city streets of Manhattan's Lower-East-Side. Cantor was born as Edward Israel Iskovitz in New York City, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. His nickname was "Banjo Eyes.". Eddie Cantor (January 31, 1892 - October 10, 1964) was a comedian, singer, actor, songwriter, and one of the most popular entertainers in the United States of America in the early and middle 20th century.

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