|Genres:||Pop / Rock R&B / Soul Vocals|
|Tags:||soul northern soul oldies rock and roll|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
16 April 1929, Leesburg, Georgia, USA, d. 20 July 1969, New Rochelle, New York, USA. Hamiltons booming baritone voice made him a 50s hitmaker singing gospel-flavoured pop songs. In the late 40s Hamilton honed his singing skills in a church choir and as a member of its offshoot quartet, the Searchlight Singers. He won a talent contest at the Apollo Theatre in 1947, but it was not until 1953 that he was discovered singing in a New Jersey club by Bill Cook, an influential local disc jockey who became the singers manager. Hamiltons very first record for Columbia Records subsidiary Epic, Youll Never Walk Alone, became an R&B number 1 and national US Top 30 hit in 1954, and it shot Hamilton to fame (the song would also later become a UK hit for Gerry And The Pacemakers in 1963). There followed for Hamilton a long string of singles that reached both R&B and pop audiences, notably If I Loved You, Ebb...
Roy Hamilton was a Golden Gloves boxer before he got his singing start in the mid 50s. One of the most influential artists of his time, Hamilton had a wonderful voice which incorporated both his classical training and gospel experience. He died prematurely at age 40 in 1969 but is fondly remembered for hits such as "Unchained Melody" and "You'll Never Walk Alone".