STUART HAMBLEN

Born Carl Stuart Hamblen, 20 October 1908, Kellyville, Texas
Died 8 March 1989, Los Angeles, California

Songwriter / country singer / actor / later gospel singer. The son of a preacher, Stuart Hamblen graduated from McMurray Teachers College in Abilene, but he chose a life in music instead. He first appeared on radio in 1925. After moving to California in 1928, RCA Victor Records recorded him in June 1929. During the 30's and 40's he was probably the most popular western performer on Los Angeles radio. He also appeared in cowboy films, usually as a bad guy. In 1934 he was the first West Coast artist to be signed by Decca Records. He became a top Western singer- songwriter with "My Brown-Eyed Texas Rose", "Out On The Texas Plains", "Golden River", "My Mary", etc. After a long hiatus, Hamblen's recording career began anew in 1949, this time on Columbia Records. During 1949-54 he scored four self- penned Top 10 country hits: - I Won't Go Huntin' With You Jake (But I'll Go Chasin' Women). This song was revived by Jimmy Dean on the B-side of his monster hit "Big Bad John" in 1961. - (Remember Me) I'm The One Who Loves You. A # 2 hit in 1950. Dean Martin scored a # 32 pop hit with this in 1965. - It Is No Secret (What God Can Do). This was a pop hit for both Jo Stafford (# 15) and Bill Kenny and the Song Spinners (# 18) in 1951. Elvis Presley recorded it in January 1957 ; it was included on his 1957 Christmas album. - This Ole House. Hamblen's own version (on RCA) went to # 2 on the country charts and # 26 on the pop charts, but in the version of Rosemary Clooney it topped the hitparade in both the USA and the UK (1954). It went to the top of the UK charts again in 1981, when Shakin' Stevens did a rock 'n' roll version of the song. Brian Setzer included it on his "Dirty Boogie" album (1998). Hamblen won the "Song of the Year" award for "This Old House" in 1954. In 1952 Hamblen ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. presidency on the independent Prohibition Party ticket. He found religion and started to syndicate the very popular "Cowboy Church of the Air" series, which ran until the late 1970s.

CD: I Gotta Feeling (Roots of Country), 2001, 2 CD-set, 28 tracks.

 
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