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Roy Hamilton
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    (April 16, 1929-July 20, 1969)
    Born in Leesburg, Pennsylvania
    Baritone vocalist
    Started as a lead vocalist for The Searchlight Singers (1948-53)
    Recorded 'Ebb Tide,' 'You Can Have Her,' 'Don't Let Go,' 'Hurt,' 'Crackin Up Over You,' 'If I Loved You,' and 'It's Only Make Believe'
    Best known singles include covers of 'You'll Never Walk Alone,' 'I Believe,' and 'Unchained Melody'
    Appeared in the films 'Let's Rock' and 'Hawaiian Boy'
    He was twice divorced.
    He made his television debut on September 11th.
    He had a brief stint as a commercial painter which didn't pan out.
    His stock of repertoire generally consisted of old Great American Songbook numbers.
    He never matched the success of artists who later sang covers of his songs.
    His career and finances both dried up by the mid-sixties (he tried to shift gears to the 'new sound' of the late Sixties but his crooning style didn't translate well).
    He's actually better known among R&B enthusiasts of the UK than he is in his own country.
    He turns up in arguments that Elvis Presley was a cultural appropriator because he was among several prominent black artists Presley stylistically 'borrowed from.'
    He melded the semi-classical style with the traditional black gospel feel.
    Jackie Wilson, Jerry Butler, and The Righteous Brothers counted him among their stylistic influences.
    He was a heavyweight Golden Gloves boxer before starting his music career.
    His musical roots began by singing in the Central Baptist Church Choir, New Jersey's most famous choir.
    He won a talent contest at the Apollo Theatre in 1947, but didn't reach stardom for nearly ten years.
    'You'll Never Walk Alone' became an R&B #1 for eight weeks, and a National US Top-30 hit (1954).
    'Unchained Melody' became his second #1 R&B hit as well as his first - and only - Top 10 US pop hit, peaking at #6 (1955).
    He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame (2010).
    Although artists had been covering 'Walk Alone' for years, his popularized/revived interest in it, especially among Gerry & the Pacemakers who owned the record.
    Although he drew from many black artists, Elvis unique vocal arrangements most closely resemble Hamilton's (and Roy appeared flattered by the imitation).
    In fact, during one of his final recording sessions, it turned out that Elvis was laying down tracks at the same Memphis studio. They took photos and appeared to be kicking back and having a blast (he would be dead only seven months later).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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