Monday, June 8, 2009

George Hamilton IV

The Capital Record Club, or Columbia Record Club, one of them, used to offer an album, in the weekend magazine supplement, by George Hamilton IV, called Lightfoot Country. And that’s always been the image of George Hamilton IV that’s stayed with me. It was an album of songs by Gordon Lightfoot.

And thinking about this now, and reading about Hamilton (not to be confused with actor / producer George Hamilton), and listening to Abilene, I think I need more Hamilton in my collection. So I think I’ll order something from eBay. Stay tuned…

George Hamilton IV:

· A Rose And A Baby Ruth – A flower and a chocolate bar, the ultimate way to say I’m sorry. I wonder what real teenagers thought of a song that so openly and patronizingly billed itself as a teenage song. This was George Hamilton the teeny bopper star, with a song that was a hit late in 1956. Written by John D. Loudermilk. I got this and the next one right off the original singles, probably from Argy’s.
· Why Don’t They Understand – Another teenage song; this one carries on the tradition of Too Young, and Puppy Love would come later. This is a bit like what Ricky Nelson sounded like on songs like Young Emotions. From late 1958.
· Abilene –In the early 60s Hamilton switched to RCA and country. Abilene was his swansong on the top 100, and that was in the summer of 1963. The song is seductive, Hamilton croons about this Texas paradise like there’s no tomorrow, as the women’s chorus sounds like angels in the background. This reminds me a bit of Bobby Bare, but without the angst. This comes from a reissued single. I don’t remember what was on the other side, but it wasn’t Hamilton. Another Loudermilk song.

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