William Royce Scaggs was born in Ohio and also lived briefly in Oklahoma before his family finally settled near Dallas. He attended a private school where one of his friends gave him the nickname Boz. Steve Miller was one class ahead of him and taught Boz a few chords so he could join Steve’s band in the late fifties.
Steve graduated and left Texas to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he started up a new band, The Ardels. Two years later, Steve left school and relocated to Chicago. By then, Boz had graduated from high school and he moved to Chicago and joined Steve’s band there.
Steve moved to California and started a blues band while Boz travelled to London and Sweden. Boz recorded his first solo album in 1965 but nothing much happened as a result. In 1968, Boz moved to San Francisco to join the Steve Miller Band and played with them while they recorded their first two albums. Those albums didn’t garner much attention although the single Living In The USA managed some airplay and reached #94 on the Hot 100.
Boz signed a contract with Atlantic Records and recorded his second solo album. In spite of being recorded with backing from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and guitarist Duane Allman, the album failed to meet expectations and Boz moved on to Columbia Records. Boz released four more albums on Columbia between 1971 and 1974, but success continued to elude him.
In 1976 Boz recorded his break-through album, Silk Degrees, with the help of the studio musicians who eventually formed the group Toto. Four hit singles came from that album.
His next two albums did not do as well although he did rack up four top twenty singles in 1980. The first two came from the album Middle Man while the fourth came from a greatest hits album that was released near the end of the year.
The surprise hit in 1980 came when one of his songs was used in the soundtrack of Urban Cowboy. No less than ten hit singles were on the soundtrack album, which helped start the acceptance of pop-country in the early eighties. The only non-country single from the album was Look What You’ve Done To Me. The song was co-written by with David Foster, and while it was not on the Middle Man album, Boz was able to include it on his greatest hits album.
Boz took a long vacation after 1981 and did not record any new music until 1988. He recorded ten more albums and is currently touring in support of his 2019 album, Out of the Blues.