Billy Cotton, whose theme song was "Somebody Stole My Gal," was one of the most famous British dance band leaders. As both a drummer and vocalist, he had the talents to either stand in front of a band or back it up. Cotton's group was known not only for its dance numbers but for its well-mounted comedy skits as well. He began his career as a drummer in the Royal Fusiliers at a mere 15 years old, and by 18, he'd received a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. As might be expected, military music was only a part of the picture and by night he would be behind the drums in various camp combos. After the war his syncopation was at first limited to the activities of a bus conductor and he also worked at jobs such as a butcher's roundsman and a millwright's assistant. Meanwhile a few gigs trickled in such as a spot with Gilbert Coombes & His Fifth Avenue Orchestra in Kilburn.