Hal Willis (singer)

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This article is about the Canadian country singer. For 'Hal Willis, student at law' the 19th century English writer, see Charles Robert Forrester.
Hal Willis
Born Leonald Francis Gauthier
(1933-07-15)July 15, 1933
Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada
Died September 4, 2015(2015-09-04) (aged 82)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Ginger Willis
Musical career
Genres Country, rockabilly
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1950s-2015
Labels Sims Records, Decca Records, Atlantic Records, Mercury Records, Arc international Records, Bonanza Records

Hal Willis (born Leonald Francis Gauthier; July 15, 1933 – September 4, 2015) was a Canadian country singer who lived in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. He was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec the youngest son of Alfred and Evelina Gauthier.[1]

Career[edit]

His famous country single was "The Lumberjack," an international hit that sold over 1.5 million copies. In 1965, it peaked at number 5 on the Billboard country charts in the USA. This success was such a phenomenon that he was nicknamed "Mr. Lumberjack."

His popularity started rising in 1956 when he and his wife, Ginger Willis, were hired by Colonel Tom Parker to tour with the music phenomenon of the hour, Elvis Presley. At this time, Hal and Ginger were also rock and roll singers recording songs like "My Pink Cadillac" and "Bop a Dee Bop a Doo." Hal and Ginger, along with Hank Snow, were the only Canadian performers to tour with Elvis Presley. He also performed and toured through his career with many American Country Music Hall of Fame singers such as Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.

Hal and Ginger Willis were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.[2]

On May 27, 2012, Hal Willis was also inducted to the Quebec Museum of Rock & Roll through a ceremony held in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada at the international Festival des guitares du monde de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue:www.fgmat.com.

In March 2013, at the age of 79 years, Hal Willis released a new single "Working in the Goldmine".

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Label
1966 Mr. Lumberjack Arc
1967 Mr. Lumberjack: Volume 2
1972 Hal Willis Bonanza
1999 Santa's Clones Pearl
2000 Coast to Coast
2006 A Cut Above
Better 'N Ever

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Positions
CAN Country US Country US
1964 "The Lumberjack" 1 5 120
1965 "Nopper the Topper" 7
"Klondike Mike" 1
1966 "Doggin' in the US Mail" 45

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LifeNotes: Canadian Country Star Hal Willis Passes". MusicRow - Nashville's Music Industry Publication - News, Songs From Music City. 
  2. ^ "Hal & Ginger Willis biography". Canadian Country Music Association. Retrieved November 1, 2010. 

External links[edit]