Hello, Roy Hamilton had one of the best voices in R&B and Pop music, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was born on April 16, 1929 in Leesburg, Georgia and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey. He had operatic and classical voice training and was a heavyweight Golden Gloves boxer. He won an amateur talent show at the Apollo Theater in 1947, but did not record commercially until 1953. Columbia records signed him to their R&B label Epic Records.
His first record for the label was, YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE. The record became a huge R&B hit, making its Billboard R&B debut on February 20, 1954. The single became a #1 hit and stayed at the top of the chart for 8 weeks. In June of 1954 he charted a #4 R&B hit record with, IF I LOVED YOU. It was followed by EBB TIDE a #5 hit in September and another 1954 hit HURT, in December of 1954, became a #8 R&B hit.
In April of 1955 Roy charted his first Pop and R&B hit with his classic version of UNCHAINED MELODY. The record became a #1 R&B hit and a #6 Pop hit. He continued charting Pop and R&B hits through 1957. In 1958 he recorded the R&B flavored rock song, DON’T LET GO, a song that sounds like it was recorded today…His big hit climbed the R&B charts to #2 and became a Billboard Top 100, #13 hit.
His next big hit, was the R&B and Pop smash, YOU CAN HAVE HER. The single record made its Billboard Hot 100 debut in January of 1961 and just missed the Top 10, charting at #12. Roy did better on the R&B chart, making his debut in February and climbing all the way to #6. The record would be his last R&B hit and last Top 40 Pop hit.
Epic Records issued 16 albums by Roy. By the mid 1960’s his recording career declined. He recorded for other labels but did not chart a record on the Billboard Hot 100. His wonderful voice was silenced in July of 1969. Roy died of a stroke at the age of 40. He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Just a listen to his music, can speak volumes…his wonderful voice, his fine selection of material…Roy Hamilton was one of the best of his era…he lives with the greats of the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”
Till the next time—Joe