Sunday, 19 January 2014
Russ Hamilton born 19 January 1932
Russ Hamilton (19 January 1932 - 11 October 2008) was an English singer and songwriter.
Born as Ronald Hulme in Everton, Liverpool, he was one of the first singer-songwriters of pop music to have come out of the city, and he was the first Liverpool artist to hit the United States music scene with his song "Rainbow" several years before The Beatles. In 1957, chart success in the U.S. was a very unusual feat for an English performer and so it made Hamilton a hot property for a while. As a result, Hamilton had to commute from one side of the Atlantic to the other to meet the demands for live performances.
A former Redcoat, Hamilton's first hit in the United Kingdom was "We Will Make Love", which he recorded in 1957 for Oriole Records. However, in the U.S., it was the B-side "Rainbow" that became the hit because, according to Hamilton himself, it was due to the U.S. mistaking "Rainbow" to be the A-side of the single. This led to the possibly unique situation of a single reaching the Top 10 in the UK while its flipside achieved the same result across the Atlantic - "Rainbow" reached #4 on Billboard 's Hot 100. The record sold over one million copies, and reached gold disc status.
Hamilton followed his first success with another self penned item, "Wedding Ring" which managed to reach the Top 20. In 1960, he was invited to Nashville, Tennessee and signed up with MGM Records. In Nashville he recorded "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird" with The Jordanaires and Chet Atkins. His success with record releases did not improve, and by the early 1960s he had dropped away from the foreground of the pop music scene.
He has written many songs which were popular, especially in Asia. "Little One" a song he wrote for his niece in Canada was his personal favorite.
Other songs such as "I Still Belong to You", "I Had a Dream", "My Mother’s Eyes" and "Reprieve of Tom Dooley" were quite popular. He performed the song "I Had A Dream" on the Six-Five Special. However, this hit faded rapidly and has received little airplay in recent years. He also toured with the Rolling Stones and appeared on "The Patti Page Show". In the 1980s, his music catalog was owned by Paul McCartney.
Hamilton passed away on 11 October 2008, at the age of 76, at his home in Buckley, North Wales surrounded by his family. (Info mainly Wikipedia)