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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Tommy Hunt born 18 June 1933

Tommy Hunt (born Charles James Hunt, June 18, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States) is an American soul/northern soul singer, and a 2001 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee as a member of famed R&B group The Flamingos. He is renowned for his deeply rich and powerful voice-.-his sharp, hip and downright impossible dance routines and his spellbinding charisma.
Born to Georgianna Derico, Hunt started his life in Pittsburgh, where his school friends, nicknamed him Tommy and it has stayed with him throughout his entire life. Music dominated his life and he was sent to reform school after spending his learning hours
practicing for and entering talent shows. He was released from reform school when he was 10, and he and his mother moved to Chicago.
After a stint in the United States Air Force, Hunt went AWOL in order to be with his mother who was dying. He served time in prison for deserting, and after his release, returned to Chicago and formed a group called The Five Echoes. While performing in a club, he was approached by Zeke Carey of The Flamingos, and asked to take Carey's place, as he had recently been drafted. Hunt was kept on after Carey returned.
In 1959 their biggest hit was "I Only Have Eyes For You" which remains their most popular song, being used in film soundtracks and on compilation albums to this date.
Hunt left the group in 1960 due to musical differences, but within three days he was approached by Luther Dixon and released "Parade Of Broken Hearts" which was slow to be picked up by the radio stations. In New York a disc jockey called Jocko Henderson introduced the song but played the B-side by mistake. The track aired was "Human", Hunt's biggest hit in the U.S. His 1962 B-side, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", written by Bacharach and David and produced by Leiber and Stoller, was the first recording of the song which later became a major hit for Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick and others.
Hunt became a regular performing at The Apollo in New York alongside such artists as Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Shirelles, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Sam and Dave. To the best of his knowledge, Hunt remains the only person to have his photograph framed twice in the Apollo foyer, both with the Flamingos and as a solo artist. Several years and a couple of minor hits later, Hunt sang for the U.S. Army in Germany. By 1969 he left his homeland, travelled back to Germany, through Belgium and across the English Channel to the United Kingdom.

After several performances in the theatre clubs throughout the UK, Hunt sang at the second anniversary of the Wigan Casino, and there followed success on the Northern soul scene. Hunt was approached by Russ Winstanly and Mike Walker of the Casino and released several hits on Spark Records. The first was a cover version of a song formerly sung by Roy Hamilton, entitled "Crackin' Up". It peaked at #39 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1975.This was followed by another chart success "Loving On The Losing Side" (UK #28, 1976). 1982/83 saw Hunt win the Male Vocalist of the Year, presented by Club Mirror. His track, "One Fine Morning", reached #44 in the UK chart in December 1976.
With the decline of the Northern soul, Hunt's shows dwindled and he hit the cabaret circuit further afield, moving to Amsterdam in 1986, and travelling the world. In 1996, the first of his recognitions came in the form of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for the Flamingos contribution to music. In 1997, Hunt relocated to the UK and embarked on a revived Northern soul scene. 
In later years, having turned his hand to song-writing, Hunt penned his autobiography, Only Human, My Soulful Life, with author, Jan Warburton, which was released in December 2008.
During 2011, Hunt stared in a new live show as Tommy Hunt & The New Flamingos, with members of the Spanish vocal group Velvet Candles. This show was presented during the Screamin' Summer Festival (Barcelona, Spain).
In 2016 Tommy (who still resides in Yorkshire U.K.) and local musician Paul Davies recorded one of Tommy’s songs.  Tommy told The Lancashire Telegraph "I wrote a song about 10 years ago called 'You' which had been lying around collecting cobwebs, but I thought I've found voice I wanted for this record. We've recorded it and I sent it over to America to a promoter I know in New York who loved it. He wants to work with it and I'm hoping that it has the possibility to do something great."

The 84-year-old’s career has spanned seven decades and Tommy is still active. He recently performed at the Genting Club Sheffield in April 2017. (Info various mainly Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For “ TOMMY HUNT - The Biggest Man - Scepter & Dynamo 61-68 recordings” go here;

01 The Biggest Man
02 I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
03 Human 04 Lover
05 New Neighbourhood
06 She'll Hurt You Too
07 You Made A Man Out Of Me
08 I Might Like It
09 Didn't I Tell You
10 Make The Night A Little Longer
11 This And Only This
12 Just A Little Taste (Of Your Sweet Lovin')
13 Coming On Strong
14 How Can I Be Anything (Without You)
15 Everybody's Got A Home But Me
16 Words Can Never Tell
17 False Alarm
18 I Am A Witness
19 Your Man
20 Don't Make Me Over
21 It's All A Bad Dream
22 Promised Land
23 Parade Of Broken Hearts
24 Poor Millionaire
25 So Lonely
26 It's All In The Game
27 Do You Really Love Me
28 I'm Wondering
29 Oh Lord, What Are You Doing To Me

A very big thank you to Twilightzone for active link. More can be found here:

Pudge said...

Another great post. Thanks Bob/