Monday, 9 April 2018

Gus Hardin born 9 April 1945

Gus Hardin (April 9, 1945 – February 17, 1996) was a country music singer. Her mixture of Blues, Rock, Gospel and Country typified the "Tulsa Sound" of the 1970's

Biographical information on Gus Hardin is fairly sketchy, although she is known to have been at least part Cherokee. She was born Carolyn Ann Blankenship on April 9, 1945 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and grew up in the Tulsa area, where she picked up the nickname “Gus” as a teen. After high school, she attended Tulsa University. Although she initially planned on being a teacher of the deaf, marriage, music and a pregnancy derailed that plan.

Hardin seemed to have a tumultuous personal life having been married at least six times, thrice by the time she was 23. Marriage number three was to keyboard player Steve Hardin who had previously played in Jody Miller’s band and later played for Glen Campbell. After their divorce, she retained the last name as her professional name.

Her rise to country music popularity began in 1983 with her first RCA Nashville single, the top 10 hit "After The Last Goodbye." Several other singles from her albums reached the Top 40 over the next few years. None of her solo efforts ever again reached the level of her first single. Hardin's unique voice has been compared to others, but in reality it has not counterpart. Leon Russell called her a combination of Tammy Wynette, Otis Redding and a truck driver.

Although she was named ‘Top New Country Artist’ by Billboard magazine in 1983, it did not lead to great commercial success as her voice was ill-suited for the synthesizer-driven sound of the early to mid 1980s country music. A 1984 duet with fellow RCA recording artist Earl Thomas Conley, “All Tangled Up In Love” reached #8, but other than that, none of her subsequent records even reached the Top 25.

She recorded and released "One of the Boys" and "Mama Knows" by songwriter Kevin Weyl, and "Tornado" by Kevin Weyl and Steve Robertson which is featured in the sound track of the Kevin Pollak film Deterrence. Garth Brooks' sister, Betsy Smittle, was one of Gus's band members and did background vocals on Gus's album "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can."  
Gus Hardin won the “Best New Female Vocalist” award from the Academy of Country Music in 1984. It should be noted that the Academy of Country Music was much more oriented to west coast based artists during that period.

In all, Hardin charted 10 singles, the last occurring in early 1986 when “What We Gonna Do” peaked at #73. Although she charted over a four year period, all of her recordings for RCA were recorded within a span of less than two years. She released three albums on the RCA label for a total of 25 songs. After her chart career ended, she continued to perform regularly.   
Hardin died in a car crash on highway 20 east of Claremore, Oklahoma on the way home from singing at a Sunset Grill in Tulsa, on February 17, 1996. (Info edited from Facebook & Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For “Gus Hardin - Fallen Angel (1984) go here;

01 Fallen Angel
02 Not Tonight, I've Got A Heartache
03 One Night A Week Lovers
04 Still Hold On
05 Where's The Fire
06 I Pass
07 Are We Still In Love Or Just Lonely
08 The Woman In Me
09 How Are You Spending My Nights
10 Night Lights

A big thank you to Maria @ El Rancho blog for active link.

charles said...

Thanks for Gus Hardin.