Unknown Hinson

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Unknown Hinson
Unknown Hinson 2010.jpg
Background information
Birth name Stuart Daniel Baker
Origin Albemarle, North Carolina, United States
Genres Country, psychobilly, rock
Occupation(s) Musician, voice actor
Years active 1993–present
Labels Uniphone, Capitol, Coffin Case
Associated acts Squidbillies
Website unknownhinson.com

Stuart Daniel Baker (born 1954, in North Carolina), better known by his stage name, Unknown Hinson, is a comedic country musician, songwriter, and voice actor. He is perhaps best known for his role as the voice of Early Cuyler on the Adult Swim cartoon series Squidbillies.[1][2]

The character[edit]

Persona[edit]

Unknown Hinson, dressed in his signature rodeo tailor coat and black ribbon necktie, is a dark parody of the country western stars from the 1950s through the mid-1980s. His recorded material has the sonic qualities of a regional country star with access to cheap recording studios and hack producers. With his glued-on sideburns, blacked-out front teeth, and dark hair slicked back to reveal a prominent widow's peak, he has been referred to as the "hillbilly vampire." The self-proclaimed "king of country-western troubadours" speaks and sings with an authentic southern drawl, commonly pronouncing words like woman "womern," and window "winder." Hinson's personality is that of a hell-raising and hard-drinking country western singer with a preference for "party likker," sexy womerns, and fine "git-tars [guitars]." Baker has carefully cultivated his alter ego. Much like Andy Kaufman's alter-ego, Tony Clifton, Unknown Hinson never breaks character in public and adamantly denies having any connection to Danny Baker.

Fictional background and arrest[edit]

Unknown Hinson was an only child named after his father "says right there on my birth certificate—Mama: Miss Hinson. Daddy: Unknown." and raised by his mother who gave him his first guitar. After his mother's mysterious disappearance, Unknown ran off and joined the circus as part of the sideshow, where he learned how to lift 25-pound weights with his tongue and a variety of other skills.

Later, Hinson was convicted of various trumped-up charges, including three counts of murder, 19 paternity suits, vampirism and random grave-robbing offenses and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. He was released in 1993 and set forth to reclaim his long-denied musical legacy.

Origins[edit]

Stuart Daniel Baker, a music teacher and studio musician from Albemarle, North Carolina, created his alter-ego for The Wild Wild South, a Charlotte area public-access program that featured comedy sketches and concert footage. Baker along with co-star Don Swan played the characters of Unknown Hinson and Rebel Helms. After Swan's death in 1995, Baker created "The Unknown Hinson Show", a direct spin-off of "The Wild Wild South". The Unknown Hinson Show won Creative Loafing's "Best Of" poll for Best Public-Access Television Show four years in a row.[3] After the series ended, Baker continued in his role as Unknown Hinson, performing live concerts and releasing several recordings.

Music[edit]

Live performer[edit]

As a live performer, Unknown Hinson has been known to tour for months at a time. After his shows, he takes the time to meet as many of his fans as want to stay, and graciously takes pictures and signs shirts, posters, CDs, and body parts. Hinson is known to always fire his signature gun on the up swing, a true mark of his skill. He has shared the stage with many notable rockabilly, country, and psychobilly acts such as The Reverend Horton Heat, Marty Stuart, Hank III and, in a rare appearance in Nashville, Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd fame, joined Unknown on stage at the Exit/In. He has a strong cult following and many high-profile fans, including Ed King, Waylon Reavis of Mushroomhead, Billy Bob Thornton, and Matt Groening. Hank III, grandson of Hank Williams, has Unknown's face tattooed on his biceps.[4] In late 2008, working under his real name of Stuart Baker, Hinson was hired to play bass as well as lead guitar in Billy Bob Thornton's band The Boxmasters. For this hired-gun gig, Baker appears without the familiar Unknown Hinson wardrobe and makeup, instead appearing in a vintage '60s suit, white shirt, and black pencil tie. His manager and booking agent was his wife, Margo Baker (b. 1952, d. 2013).[5][6]

According to a November 10, 2012, post on his Facebook page, Unknown decided to quit touring after 17 years. His planned last three shows were Fort Wayne on November 15, Evanston on November 16, and November 17 in Covington Kentucky being the finale. He cites rising costs and indicates he plans to find something new to do.

After the untimely passing of his beloved wife, Margo Baker, Unknown Hinson has returned to the road. New tour dates have been listed on his official website since July, 2013.[7]

Recording artist[edit]

Unknown Hinson writes his own music, performs live, and produces all of his own recordings. His music often parodies the dark elements of today's country and redneck culture. In early 2009, Hinson's 'Torture Town' won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards and Vox Pop vote for Best Alternative Country Song "Torture Town".

Discography[edit]

Year Album Label
1999 21 Chart-toppers Uniphone
2000 The Future Is Unknown Uniphone
2002 Rock n Roll Is Straight From Hell Capitol
2004 The Future Is Unknown (re-release) Capitol
2006 Target Practice Coffin Case
2008 Unknown Hinson: Live and Undead Uniphone Records/sdbmusic
2012 Reloaded Uniphone Records/sdbmusic

Voice acting[edit]

Hinson, credited as Baker, provides the voice of Early Cuyler, a balding hillbilly squid from Georgia, on Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim program, Squidbillies. The Early Cuyler character echoes Unknown Hinson in several ways, including an affinity for guns and liquor, and a "no-nonsense" alpha-male attitude.

Year(s) Production Role(s) Other notes
2004–present Squidbillies Actor Lead role
2004 Anime Talk Show Actor TV Special
2010 Carl Actor Guest, 1 episode

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Squidbillies Characters". AdultSwim.com. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  2. ^ "It's good to be King: Unknown Hinson is a legend of his own making". TheDailyTimes.Com. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Into the Unknown | Asheville Arts and Entertainment | Mountain Xpress". Mountainx.com. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Margo Elizabeth Cogan Baker Obituary: View Margo Baker's Obituary by Charlotte Observer". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  6. ^ "Unknown Hinson: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  7. ^ "Home". Unknown Hinson. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 

External links[edit]