Nation: Billy Speaks Up

October 1976: Appearing before a civic club in Albany, Ga., he declares: "There's not much difference between Jimmy and George Wallace on basic things."

February 1977: Signing up with a booking agent for public appearances, he sets his fee: up to $10,000. Takers include Miss Piggy's Pizza Beauty Pageant in Boston and the Vancouver World Belly Flop and Cannonball Diving Contest.

October 1977: As "Billy" brand beer goes on sale, he observes: "There are more beer drinkers in America than there are born-again Baptists."

December 1978: Meeting Atlanta Braves Pitcher Phil Niekro, he notes: "I didn't know you were a Polack. I thought you...

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