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Saturday, 27 June 2015

Ersel Hickey born 27 June 1934

Ersel Hickey (June 27, 1934 in Brighton, New York - July 12, 2004 in New York City) was a rockabilly singer best known for "Bluebirds over the Mountain."
He was born Ersel O'Hickey, named after the family doctor, Dr. Ersel. His mother was from Kingston, Ontario; his father, who was Irish, died when Hickey was four. He was one of eight children. His mother had a nervous breakdown and was put into a mental hospital, while he was put into foster homes. He would frequently run away, living in different parts of New York State.
When Hickey was 15, he started traveling with his sister Chicky Evans, an exotic dancer. She was very popular in the carnival circuits and together they traveled for about a year. He decided to go on his own and travel with the carnival, then left and then began living in Columbus, Ohio. From there he was sent to a "tough kids" home, where he became familiar with the main rhythm and blues groups and started singing with the gospel group there.

In 1954, Hickey heard Elvis Presley's "I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine" and became a devoted fan of rock and roll. He was playing a few places in Rochester, New York that his brother booked him in; he was drawing very well. 

It was around this time that he made his first record on Fine Records. One side was "Then I'll Be Happy", an old song; the other side was "Baby You're No Good", a song he had written. The single was released locally, but not much happened with it.

While visiting Rochester in 1957, Phil Everly told Hickey he should write his own material. That night Hickey wrote "Bluebirds Over the Mountain", which he subsequently recorded and charted at #75 in the United States.

The song was later recorded by Ritchie Valens in 1958 and was a top 100 hit for The Beach Boys in the United States and the United Kingdom in 1968.
Making ends meet as a songwriter, in 1964 he did pen the Serendipity Singers' hit "Don't Let the Rain Come Down." The Toot label issued his 1967 comeback single, "Blue Skies," with "(Play On) Strings of Gitarro" appearing a year later.

He recorded intermittently in the decades to follow, cutting "Oh Lord, Look What They've Done to Your Garden" for Black Circle in 1971, "Waitin' for Baby" for Rameses III in 1975, and "Let Me Be Your Radio" for Parkway in 1982.

Later the subject of Bluebirds Over the Mountain, a typically excellent and comprehensive Bear Family retrospective, Hickey died from infection following bladder removal surgery on July 12, 2004. He was 70 years old.

Ersel Hickey's contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. (info maily from Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Ersel Hickey - Hangin' Around At Heartbreak Hotel go here:

1. Ersel Hickey - Bluebirds Over The Mountains (1:32)
2. Ersel Hickey - Goin' Down That Road (1:51)
3. Ersel Hickey - Then I'll Be Happy (1:57)
4. Ersel Hickey - You're No Good (1:43)
5. Ersel Hickey - Hangin' Around (2:22)
6. Ersel Hickey - Pushin' (instr.) (1:45)
7. Ersel Hickey - You Threw A Dart (2:06)
8. Ersel Hickey - Upside Down Love (1:26)
9. Ersel Hickey - The Millionaire (1:46)
10. Ersel Hickey - I'm Walkin' (1:48)
11. Ersel Hickey - Street Car Of Desire (1:45)
12. Ersel Hickey - Juliet (2:46)
13. Ersel Hickey - You Never Can Tell (1:52)
14. Ersel Hickey - (Play On) Strings Of Gitarro (3:02)
15. Ersel Hickey - Put Your Mind At Ease (2:14)
16. Ersel Hickey - Some Enchanted Evening (1:34)
17. Ersel Hickey - Trying To Get To You (2:22)
18. Ersel Hickey - Blue Skies (2:25)
19. Ersel Hickey - Stardust Brought Me You (2:00)
20. Ersel Hickey - Heartbreak Hotel (1:53)
21. Ersel Hickey - Slidin' Home (2:34)
22. Ersel Hickey - Bluebirds Over The Mountains II (2:09)
23. Ersel Hickey - Teardrops At Dawn (2:31)
24. Ersel Hickey - Rockabilly Dreams (2:29)
25. Ersel Hickey - In Spite Of The Fool I Am (2:03)
26. Ersel Hickey - Country Tough (2:28)
27. Ersel Hickey - Music Man (1:52)
28. Ersel Hickey - Twice Times Down (2:51)
29. Ersel Hickey - Let Me Be Your Radio (2:42)

A big thankyou to the Rockin’ Bandit for original link