George Hamilton IV, named the “International Ambassador of Country Music”
by BILLBOARD MAGAZINE, Celebrates His 50th Anniversary in Music with a New Book!
George IV’s “50th Anniversary Scrapbook & PhotoBiography” is the brainchild of George Hamilton V who spent much of 2005 locating, researching and compiling Photographs, Press & other Memorabilia tracing his father’s illustrious music career through FIVE decades (1956 – 2006). The Photographs, including mostly Never-Before-Seen shots with countless celebrities and selections from the family album, are accompanied by Newspaper & Magazine clippings highlighting career achievements and numerous other assorted One-Of-A-Kind historic items.
George Hamilton IV: 50th Anniversary Scrapbook & PhotoBiography, which runs 100 pages, is published in the U.K. by George V in association with country music journalist Alan Cackett, editor of Maverick magazine.
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GEORGE HAMILTON IV - BIO:
Over the years, George Hamilton IV has become one of the best-known names in Country Music around the world via International Tours, Television & Radio Series and popular recordings of American and Canadian ‘Folk-Country’ Music. He has entertained on the renowned stages of Carnegie Hall, London's Palladium, Wembley Arena and Royal Albert Hall, to name a few. He’s even appeared in motion pictures ("Hootenanny Hoot” & “Second Fiddle To A Steel Guitar”) and one of his songs was featured in Clint Eastwood’s film "A Perfect World”.
It all began in 1956, when he recorded “A Rose And A Baby Ruth” which became the first million-selling record for ABC-Paramount and led to tours as a ‘Rock-a-billy Teen Balladeer’ with Gene Vincent & Eddie Cochran, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis among others. In the mid 1950s, Hamilton was a regular with Jimmy Dean and Patsy Cline on the “Town & Country” network Radio and TV shows from Washington, D.C. George IV also hosted his own Network Series on CBS-TV (1958) and ABC-TV (1959).
By the end of 1959, though he had achieved “Pop Star” status, George IV decided to establish a career for himself in Country Music – his First Love. This was considered a fairly radical move in those days, as it was the first time an established “Pop Artist” had 'gone country'. Conway Twitty, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and others later followed.
Hamilton moved his family to Nashville on New Year’s Day 1960, joined the Grand Ole Opry® in February and later signed with legendary producer Chet Atkins & RCA Records where one of his biggest Country and Pop hits became 1963’s “Abilene” followed by “Break My Mind” and many more. George IV, Waylon Jennings and Bobby Bare were the ‘Big Three’ of the 1960s ‘Folk-Country’ movement. George had major ‘Folk-Country’ hits with Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain” and “Steel Rail Blues” along with Joni Mitchell’s “Urge For Going”. Also in the sixties, Hamilton headlined the “Newport Folk Festival”; began Nashville’s first sightseeing tour, “HOMES OF THE STARS”; and made his first European tours.
Throughout the 1970s, George IV hosted his own long-running Country Music TV variety shows in Canada and on BBC-TV in Britain which were later broadcast in New Zealand, South Africa and Hong Kong. At the same time, he was a partner and co-star in the “Arthur Smith Show” nationally syndicated American TV series. George also narrated several popular & acclaimed series on the origins of American Country Music for BBC Radio.
In 1974, George Hamilton IV was invited by the U.S. State Department to be the first to take Country Music behind the ‘Iron Curtain’. In summarizing the year 1974, Encyclopedia Yearbook listed “Popular Music” highlights: the death of Duke Ellington – Bob Dylan’s tour of 21 cities – a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young summer reunion tour – and Frank Sinatra’s coming out of retirement. Finishing the entry with: “The hardiest bloom in America’s musical garden proved to be country and western music, which sent its own ambassador, with the blessing of the U.S. State Department. George Hamilton IV took the Nashville sound to Moscow’s Palace Of Culture of the Railway Workers in March after four concerts in Prague that drew audiences of 28,000.” He also gave a lecture-concert on the History of Country Music at Moscow University. Hamilton’s pioneering trip to Eastern Europe and continuing popularity overseas has earned him the title: “International Ambassador of Country Music”.
In the 1980s, George IV was a frequent guest artist with Dr. Billy Graham. In the 1990s, he received rave reviews as an Actor, narrating & co-starring in “Patsy Cline – The Musical”, in London’s West End Theatre District (‘Britain’s Broadway’) at the Whitehall Theatre near Trafalgar Square.
In 2000, George IV was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his home state of North Carolina and Harper Collins Publishing released his Biography “George Hamilton IV – Ambassador of Country Music”. In 2004, he became the first to receive the BCMA’s International Award for his outstanding contributions to the global popularity of Country Music. In February 2006 George IV celebrated his 46th Anniversary as a member of the GRAND OLE OPRY®. In April 2006, he was also inducted into the Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame…
George IV has recorded for ABC-Paramount, RCA, RCA & BMG Canada, RCA & BMG UK, MCA, WORD and EMI – releasing over 100 Folk-Country & Country-Gospel albums, including two with his son, George Hamilton V.