- George Hamilton IV
Infobox Musical artist
Name = George Hamilton IV
Background = solo_singer
Born = Birth date and age|1937|7|19|mf=y
Genre = Country
Label = ABC, Colonial, RCA Victor, Lamon
George Hamilton IV (born
July 19, 1937in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is an American country musician. He began performing in the late 1950s as a teen idol, later switching to pop-country and folk music.
June 18, 1956, while a 19-year-old student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton recorded “ A Rose and a Baby Ruth" for Chapel Hillrecord label Colonial Records. The song, written by John D. Loudermilk, climbed to number 6 on the American pop charts. By 1960, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" had attained gold recordstatus for ABC-Paramount (who had acquired the song from Colonial). The B-side of the record, "If You Don't Know," revealed Hamilton's ambitions to be a country singer. In late 1959, Hamilton moved his family to Nashville, Tennesseeto further his work as a country musician. [ [http://www.georgeiv.net/biog.html George Hamilton IV and Friends Biography Page] ] Shortly thereafter, on February 8, 1960, Hamilton officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Later that same year, he began recording for RCA Records, having been signed by Chet Atkins.
Hamilton's breakthrough hit was the 1961 song "Before This Day Ends." His biggest hit came two years later with "Abilene," another song penned by
John D. Loudermilk. The song spent four weeks in the number 1 spot on Billboard magazine's country singles chart and reached the top 20 of the Billboard pop charts. The success of "Abilene" was followed with the song "Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston" (a top 5 hit in late 1964).
By the mid-1960s, Hamilton's music began showing a decidedly folk influence. This was especially evident with 1966's "Steel Rail Blues" and "Early Morning Rain" (both by
Gordon Lightfoot), and 1967's "Urge For Going." Another 1967 hit was "Break My Mind." One more George Hamilton IV song of this genre was a moderate hit in 1969 - the Ray Griff-penned "Canadian Pacific." His last Top 5 single came in 1970, with "She's a Little Bit Country."
After his American chart success declined in the early 1970s, Hamilton began touring the world, across the
Soviet Union, Australia, the Middle Eastand East Asia. These widely-acclaimed international performances earned Hamilton the nickname The International Ambassador of Country Music. [ [http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/h/Hamilton,George%5FIV.html Inventory of the George Hamilton IV Papers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] ] He also hosted several successful television shows in Britain and Canada during the 1970s and in the 1990s he played himself in the West End musical "Patsy" based on the life of Patsy Cline.
George Hamilton IV is still a regular at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and in country shows throughout America and Britain. He mainly concentrates on Gospel tours both at home and abroad. In 2007 he collaborated with a group of musicians from Northern Ireland called "Live Issue" to record a live album based on the life of
Joseph Scriven, who wrote the hymn, "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."
Hamilton is not related to actor George Hamilton, who appeared in a number of movies, including Evel Knievel. [ [http://www.cigaraficionado.com/Cigar/CA_Profiles/People_Profile/0,2540,61,00.html Cigar Aficionado | People Profile | George Hamilton ] ] and Your Cheatin' Heart (1964).
As of June, 2008 George has a new song out called "Gasoline" which he has been playing on The Grand Ole Opry and has recorded as a single. The song is slated to begin radio airplay on August 6, 2008. George has added "Gasoline" to his myspace page and has a live performance playing on Youtube.com .
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