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George Hamilton IV
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    (July 19, 1937-September 17, 2014)
    Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
    Recorded the singles 'A Rose and a Baby Ruth' (1956), 'Why Don't They Understand' (1958), 'Before This Day Ends' (1960), 'Three Steps to the Phone' (1961), 'Abilene' (1963), 'Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston' (1964), 'Truck Drivin' Man' (1965), 'Early Morning Rain' (1966), 'Urge for Going' (1967), 'Break My Mind' (1967) and 'She's a Little Bit Country' (1970)
    He was sometimes confused with actor George Hamilton (who really was also a George Hamilton IV).
    He was given his own TV show by ABC after appearing on Jimmy Dean's show, but it was cancelled before the year ended (1959).
    His 'A Rose and a Baby Ruth' was banned by the BBC until he re-recorded it as 'A Rose and a Candy Bar' to get past the Beeb's policy against mentioning brand names.
    He started as a teen idol, moved to country when he became too old, then went into gospel as the country hits dried up.'
    He said, 'I accept that some folks think I'm bland, easy listening, and it's pretty obvious that I'm not a great vocalist.'
    He was married to his high-school sweetheart, Adelaide 'Tinky' Peyton, for 56 years.
    He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years, and would often give visitors impromptu backstage tours.
    He was the first American musician to cover songs by Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell.
    He served as a warm-up act for Robert F. Kennedy at several stops during his presidential campaign (1968).
    He was called 'the International Ambassador of Country Music' for his efforts to popularize the genre overseas.
    He was instrumental in organizing the first International Festival of Country Music at London's Wembley Stadium.
    He was the first country star to tour behind the Iron Curtain (1974).

Credit: C. Fishel

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