Roy Hamilton

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For the basketball player, see Roy Hamilton (basketball). For the record producer, see Roy "Royalty" Hamilton.
Roy Hamilton
Roy Hamilton 1957.JPG
Hamilton in 1957.
Background information
Birth name Roy Hamilton
Born (1929-04-16)April 16, 1929
Leesburg, Georgia, United States
Died July 20, 1969(1969-07-20) (aged 40)
New Rochelle, New York, United States
Genres Pop, R&B, rock and roll
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1947–1969
Labels Epic, MGM, RCA
Website Official website

Roy Hamilton (April 16, 1929 – July 20, 1969)[1] was an American singer, who achieved major success in the United States R&B and pop charts in the 1950s. He is best known for his recordings of "You'll Never Walk Alone", "Unchained Melody" and "You Can Have Her".[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in Leesburg,[1] Georgia, United States, Hamilton moved to Jersey City in 1943, studied commercial art, had operatic and classical voice training, and was a heavyweight Golden Gloves boxer,[2] before joining the gospel quartet, The Searchlight Singers in 1948.[3] In 1947, he entered and won an amateur talent show at the Apollo Theater with his rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone". However, he did not record commercially until 1953, when he was discovered singing in a New Jersey club by a local DJ Bill Cook, who became his manager.[4] Columbia Records saw him as a possible "crossover" singer with a foothold in both pop and R&B, and signed him to their subsidiary label Epic.[4] His first single, "You'll Never Walk Alone", became an R&B number 1 for eight weeks, and a national US Top 30 hit in 1954, and shot Hamilton to fame.[5]

He followed up with a string of singles that reached both R&B and pop audiences, many of which were popular show tunes of the day. These included "If I Loved You So" (#4 R&B), "Ebb Tide" (#5 R&B), "Hurt" (#8 R&B), "Unchained Melody" (#1 R&B, #6 pop), and "Don’t Let Go" (#2 R&B, #13 pop).[6] His style and sound directly influenced later artists such as Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and The Righteous Brothers, all of whom covered his music.[citation needed]

In mid-1956, Hamilton announced his retirement due to his illness with tuberculosis and exhaustion, but returned the following year.[citation needed] When he came back, he adopted the harder gospel sound of his youth, to compete with rock and roll and the emerging soul sound.[vague] Hamilton appeared in the film Let's Rock, in 1958. His last hit record, "You Can Have Her" (#6 R&B, #12 pop), came in 1961, and was followed by the album Mr. Rock And Soul (1962). The Epic label treated Hamilton as a major star and issued sixteen albums by him. However, by the mid 1960s, his career declined while recording with MGM and then RCA. In 1959, Roy was cast, as cameo role, in Filipino motion picture produced by People's Pictures "Hawaiian Boy" where he sings "Unchained Melody".

Hamilton's "You'll Never Walk Alone" disc was brought in from the US by a sailor friend of Gerry Marsden.[7] As a result, Gerry & the Pacemakers recorded the track to further success.

His final recordings were made in Memphis, Tennessee, at record producer Chips Moman's American Sound Studio at the same time that Elvis Presley recorded there in early 1969.[8] Songs released from those sessions were versions of James Carr's "The Dark End of the Street", Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe", and "Angelica", a Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil song that had been submitted to Presley, but which he then turned over to Hamilton.[9]

Later years and death[edit]

Hamilton died later in 1969, not long after suffering a stroke, at age 40, in New Rochelle, New York.[1] Hamilton was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Label & number Chart positions Album
Billboard
Hot 100
[10]
US R&B[6]
1954 "You'll Never Walk Alone"
b/w "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)"
Epic 9015
-
1
You'll Never Walk Alone
"If I Loved You"
b/w "So Let There Be Love"
Epic 9047
-
4
"Lament"
b/w "I Taught Her Everything She Knows"
Epic 9061
-
-
Non-album tracks
"Ebb Tide"
b/w "Beware"
Epic 9068
-
5
You'll Never Walk Alone
"Hurt"
b/w "Star Of Love" (Non-album track)
Epic 9086
-
8
1955 "I Believe"
b/w "If You Are But A Dream" (from Roy Hamilton)
Epic 9092
-
-
"Unchained Melody"
b/w "From Here To Eternity" (Non-album track)
Epic 9102
6
1
"Forgive This Fool"
b/w "You Wanted To Change Me"
Epic 9111
30
10
"A Little Voice"
b/w "All This Is Mine"
Epic 9118
-
-
Roy Hamilton
"Without A Song"
b/w "Cuban Love Song"
Epic 9125
77
-
"Everybody's Got A Home"
b/w "Take Me With You" (from Roy Hamilton)
Epic 9132
42
-
Non-album track
1956 "Walk Along With Kings"
b/w "There Goes My Heart"
Epic 9147
-
-
The Golden Boy
"Somebody Somewhere"
b/w "Since I Fell For You" (from Roy Hamilton)
Epic 9160
-
-
"I Took My Grief To Him"
b/w "Chained"
Epic 9180
-
-
Non-album tracks
1957 "A Simple Prayer"
b/w "A Mother's Love"`
Epic 9203
-
-
"So Long"
b/w "My Faith, My Hope, My Love"
Epic 9212
-
14
"The Aisle"
b/w "That Old Feeling"
Epic 9224
-
-
"(All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings"
b/w "I'm Gonna Lock You In My Heart"
Epic 9232
-
-
1958 "Don't Let Go"
b/w "The Right To Love" (Non-album track)
Epic 9257
13
2
You Can Have Her
"Crazy Feelin'"
b/w "In A Dream" (Non-album track)
Epic 9268
-
-
"Jungle Fever"
b/w "Lips" (Non-album track)
Epic 9274
-
-
"Wait For Me"
b/w "Everything"
Epic 9282
-
-
Non-album tracks
"Pledging My Love"
b/w "My One and Only Love"
Epic 9294
45
-
With All My Love
1959 "It's Never Too Late"
b/w "Somewhere Along The Way"
Epic 9301
-
-
Non-album tracks
"I Need Your Lovin'"
b/w "Blue Prelude" (Non-album track)
Epic 9307
62
14
At His Best
"Time Marches On"
b/w "Take It Easy, Joe" (Non-album track)
Epic 9323
84
-
"On My Way Back Home"
b/w "A Great Romance" (from At His Best)
Epic 9342
-
-
You Can Have Her
1960 "The Ten Commandments"
Original B-side: "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen"
Later B-side: "Down By The Riverside"
Epic 9354
-
-
Spirituals
"The Clock"
b/w "I Get The Blues When It Rains" (from Have Blues Must Travel)
Epic 9390
-
-
Non-album track
"Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen"
b/w "Down By The Riverside"
Epic 9372
-
-
Spirituals
"I Get The Blues When It Rains"
b/w "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart"
Epic 9373
-
-
Have Blues Must Travel
"Please Send Me Someone To Love"
b/w "My Story"
Epic 9374
-
-
"Cheek To Cheek"
b/w "Something's Gotta Give" (from Why Fight The Feeling)
Epic 9375
-
-
With All My Love
"Blow, Gabriel, Blow"
b/w "Sing You Sinners"
Epic 9376
-
-
Come Out Swingin'
"Never Let Me Go"
b/w "A Lover's Prayer" (Non-album track)
Epic 9398
-
-
You Can Have Her
"Lonely Hands"
b/w "Your Love"
Epic 9407
-
-
Non-album tracks
1961 "You Can Have Her"
b/w "Abide With Me"
Epic 9434
12
6
You Can Have Her
"You're Gonna Need Magic"
b/w "To The One I Love" (Non-album track)
Epic 9443
80
-
Roy Hamilton's Greatest Hits
"No Substitute For Love"
b/w "Please Louise"
Epic 9449
-
-
Non-album tracks
"There We Were"
b/w "If"
Epic 9466
-
-
1962 "Don't Come Cryin' To Me"
b/w "If Only I Had Known"
Epic 9492
-
-
"I'll Come Running Back To You"
b/w "Climb Every Mountain"
Epic 9520
-
-
"I Am"
b/w "Earthquake"
Epic 9538
-
-
1963 "Let Go"
b/w "You Still Love Him"
MGM 13138
-
-
"Midnight Town-Daybreak City"
b/w "Intermezzo"
MGM 13157
-
-
"The Sinner"
b/w "Theme From 'The V.I.P.'s'"
MGM 13175
-
-
1964 "There She Is"
b/w "The Panic Is On"
MGM 13217
-
-
"Unchained Melody"
b/w "Answer Me, My Love"
MGM 13247
-
-
Sentimental Lonely & Blue
"You Can Count On Me"
b/w "She Make Me Wanna Dance"
MGM 13291
-
-
Non-album tracks
1965 "Sweet Violet"
b/w "A Thousand Tears Ago"
MGM 13315
-
-
"Heartache (Hurry On By)"
b/w "Ain't It The Truth" (from The Impossible Dream)
RCA 8641
-
-
"Tore Up Over You"
b/w "And I Love Her"
RCA 8705
-
-
The Impossible Dream
1966 "The Impossible Dream"
b/w "She's Got A Heart" (Non-album track)
RCA 8813
-
-
"Walk Hand In Hand"
b/w "Crackin' Up Over You"
RCA 8960
-
-
Non-album tracks
1967 "I Taught Her Everything She Knows"
b/w "Lament"
RCA 9061
-
-
"So High My Love"
b/w "You Shook Me Up"
RCA 9171
-
-
"Let This World Be Free"
b/w "Wait Until Dark"
Capitol 2057
-
-
1969 "The Dark End Of The Road"
b/w "100 Years"
AGP 113
-
-
"Angelica"
b/w "Hang-Ups"
AGP 116
-
-
"It's Only Make Believe"
b/w "100 Years"
AGP 125
-
-
"The Golden Boy"
b/w "You'll Never Walk Alone" (from Roy Hamilton's Greatest Hits)
Epic 10559
-
-
Roy Hamilton's Greatest Hits Volume 2

Bibliography[edit]

  • Guralnick, Peter (1999): Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, Little, Brown and Company, London. ISBN 0-316-64402-1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Doc Rock. "The 1960s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  2. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 11. CN 5585. 
  3. ^ "The Official Tribute Site". Roy Hamilton. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Biography". Royhamilton.net. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  5. ^ "Roy Hamilton". OLDIES.com. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  6. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 181. 
  7. ^ "Timeshift: Sailors, Ships and Stevedores (Series 16, Episode 2)". BBC iPlayer. British Broadcasting Corporation. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Jones, Roben (2010). Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios (1st ed.). Jackson: University of Mississippi. pp. 199–218. ISBN 978-1-60473-401-0. 
  9. ^ Jones, Roben (2010). Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios (1st ed.). Jackson: University of Mississippi. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-60473-401-0. 
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 299. ISBN 0-89820-155-1. 

External links[edit]