Hal Ketchum Biography

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Hal Michael Ketchum, 9 April 1953, Greenwich, New York City, New York, USA. Ketchum credits his early influences as Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Marty Robbins, but he was equally inspired by the novels of John Steinbeck. His early musical career included playing drums for an R&B band and guitar in a blues outfit. He then began to establish himself as a singer and songwriter, appearing at the Kerrville Folk Festival. In 1987, he recorded his self-produced, first album as Hal Michael Ketchum, which was initially only released in cassette form. In 1989, it was reissued on CD by the German Sawdust label. In 1991, Ketchum joined Curb Records where, with his grey hair, he could hardly be marketed as a new country act. Past The Point Of Rescue, however, produced the US country chart hits ‘Small Town Saturday Night’, ‘Past The Point Of Rescue’ and ‘Somebody’s Love’. His producer, Allen Reynolds, wrote the Vogues’ 1965 US hit ‘Five O’Clock World’, and Ketchum worked up a new version of the song. Sure Love was a confident second album, including tributes to his working class roots in ‘Mama Knows The Highway’ and ‘Daddy’s Oldsmobile’. He made a cameo appearance in the movie Maverick singing ‘Amazing Grace’, and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1994. His finest album to date, 1997’s Hal Yes, was produced by Stephen Bruton. He says, ‘I have a two hundred song catalogue which is, by Nashville standards, not a lot.’ Ketchum also paints and writes children’s stories, should his two-hundred song catalogue prove insufficient.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.