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George Hamilton IV My North Country Home (3-CD)

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3-CD DigiPac with 68-page booklet, 82 tracks, playing time 242:42. A 3-CD collection of... more

George Hamilton IV: My North Country Home (3-CD)

3-CD DigiPac with 68-page booklet, 82 tracks, playing time 242:42.

A 3-CD collection of Canadian-penned material, by the most famous Canadian songwriters - Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Ray Griff, Buffy St. Marie, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Dick Damron, Gene MacLellan, and others. George Hamilton IV recorded 16 Gordon Lightfoot songs - more than any other artist in history. All are found on this collection. Contains all of George Hamilton IV's 'country-folk' era material from 1965-1975, showcasing his fascination for 'Canadiana'. An essential collection for George Hamilton IV fans, and collectors of Canadian country music.

George Hamilton IV will always be known as the 'International Ambassador Of Country Music.' The perennial Grand Ole Opry star has been in the limelight since his first hit A Rose And A Baby Ruth in 1956. After George Hamilton IV's biggest hit, Abilene, in 1963, he began recording in a folkier style, what he called 'songs that had story lines, painted pictures and, most importantly, songs that said something.' When he heard Gordon Lightfoot on the radio while touring Canada, he focused his attention on a crop of up-and-coming singer/songwriters from North of the Border. Soon George Hamilton IV was recording 'folk-country' songs by Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Ray Griff, Ian Tyson, and many of Canada's brightest young songwriters (many of whom would go on to huge solo careers). George Hamilton IV became immensely popular in Canada, and had his own television show broadcast out of Hamilton, Ontario. Between 1965 and 1975, George Hamilton IV recorded six albums of all-Canadian music (some of which were only released in Canada). This collection is the first time that these Canadian songs by George Hamilton IV have ever been compiled, and will excite many of George Hamilton IV's fans who have never heard this great material. As George Hamilton IV puts it: 'I really do feel like the Canadian songwriters lifted country music out of just the cheating and drinking songs, and caused the music to become more appealing to city kids, and people outside of America'.

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Hamilton IV, George - My North Country Home (3-CD) CD 1
01 Did She Mention My Name George Hamilton IV
02 Early Morning Rain George Hamilton IV
03 Steel Rail Blues George Hamilton IV
04 (That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me George Hamilton IV
05 I'm Not Sayin' George Hamilton IV
06 Go Go Round George Hamilton IV
07 Ballad Of The Yarmouth Castle George Hamilton IV
08 The Canadian Railroad Trilogy George Hamilton IV
09 Song For A WinterÆs Night George Hamilton IV
10 Home From The Forest George Hamilton IV
11 Long Thin Dawn George Hamilton IV
12 IÆm Not SayinÆ George Hamilton IV
13 10 Degrees & Getting Colder George Hamilton IV
14 Alberta Bound George Hamilton IV
15 Christian Island (Georgian Bay) George Hamilton IV
16 Mountains And Maryann George Hamilton IV
17 Second Cup Of Coffee George Hamilton IV
18 Did She Mention My Name George Hamilton IV
19 Go Go Round George Hamilton IV
20 The Canadian Railroad Trilogy George Hamilton IV
21 Something Special To Me George Hamilton IV
22 Canadian Pacific George Hamilton IV
23 North Country George Hamilton IV
24 You Wanted Me To Tell You Like It Is George Hamilton IV
25 My Rocky Mountain Home George Hamilton IV
26 Four Strong Winds George Hamilton IV
27 Summer Wages George Hamilton IV
Hamilton IV, George - My North Country Home (3-CD) CD 2
01 Urge For Going George Hamilton IV
02 The Circle Game George Hamilton IV
03 Both Sides Now George Hamilton IV
04 Take My Hand For Awhile George Hamilton IV
05 IÆm Gonna Be A Country Boy Again George Hamilton IV
06 Suzanne George Hamilton IV
07 Sisters Of Mercy George Hamilton IV
08 Together Alone George Hamilton IV
09 GoinÆ Down The Road George Hamilton IV
10 The ChildÆs Song George Hamilton IV
11 The Farmers Song George Hamilton IV
12 Dirty Old Man George Hamilton IV
13 Time's Run Out On You George Hamilton IV
14 Put Your Hand in The Hand George Hamilton IV
15 Just BidinÆ My Time George Hamilton IV
16 The Call George Hamilton IV
17 Snowbird George Hamilton IV
18 The Isle Of St. Jean George Hamilton IV
19 Shake The Dust George Hamilton IV
20 ItÆs All Over George Hamilton IV
21 Countryfied George Hamilton IV
22 Moody Manitoba Morning George Hamilton IV
23 If YouÆve Been Wondering George Hamilton IV
24 Nothing Changes But The Seasons George Hamilton IV
25 Love Is Still Around George Hamilton IV
26 Williams Lake Stampede George Hamilton IV
27 Where Would I Be Now George Hamilton IV
28 The Circle Game George Hamilton IV
29 Suzanne George Hamilton IV
Hamilton IV, George - My North Country Home (3-CD) CD 3
01 Pictou County Jail George Hamilton IV
02 My Canadian Maid George Hamilton IV
03 Back To Down East Country George Hamilton IV
04 Old Bill Jones George Hamilton IV
05 Into The Mountains George Hamilton IV
06 Lismore Lady George Hamilton IV
07 T. C. Carry Me George Hamilton IV
08 My North Country Home George Hamilton IV
09 My Nova Scotia Home George Hamilton IV
10 Prince Edward Island Is Heaven To Me George Hamilton IV
11 Apple Blossom Time In Annapolis Valley George Hamilton IV
12 Maritime Farewell George Hamilton IV
13 Take Me Back To Old New Brunswick George Hamilton IV
14 Ghost Of Bras D'or George Hamilton IV
15 Squid Jiggin' Ground George Hamilton IV
16 Atlantic Lullaby George Hamilton IV
17 Isle Of Newfoundland George Hamilton IV
18 Farewell To Nova Scotia George Hamilton IV
19 Saskatchewan George Hamilton IV
20 The Calgary Song George Hamilton IV
21 Cape Breton Lullaby George Hamilton IV
22 Fiddler's Green George Hamilton IV
23 Where The Blue Waters Foam George Hamilton IV
24 The Little Boats Of Newfoundland George Hamilton IV
25 Peter Amberley George Hamilton IV
26 Shores Of Prince Edward Island George Hamilton IV
George Hamilton IV My North Country Home George Hamilton IV is a long-standing member... more
"George Hamilton IV"

George Hamilton IV

My North Country Home

George Hamilton IV is a long-standing member of the Grand Ole Opry, with many hit records under his belt, from his first, A Rose And A Baby Ruth, to his biggest, Abilene. Along the way, George Hamilton IV has earned a well-deserved reputation as the 'International Ambassador of Country Music.' One of the ways GH4 (as his fans call him) has perpetuated this reputation was by recording songs by Canadian artists, bringing exposure and fame to a previously unknown group of North-of-the-Border singers and songwriters. This compilation focuses on these songs of Canadian origin, and the singers and writers who found their songs a voice through George Hamilton IV.

"For a time, I became obsessed with Canadiana, and the story songs found in Canadian folk music," George recounts. "I really do feel like the Canadian songwriters really lifted our country music out of just the cheating and drinking songs, and caused the music to become more appealing to city kids, and people outside of America."

George Hege Hamilton IV hails from North Carolina, where he was born in the town of Winston-Salem on July 19, 1937. The Hamiltons were descendents of the Scottish Hamilton clan, and part of the great influx of Scots and Scotch-Irish into the Appalachians and Southeast states. His easy-going demeanor and country charm is typical of the men of North Carolina, and his authentic manner has been accepted by audiences because of his innate believability.

Typical of children of the depression in the Deep South, George grew up with country music in the home. His grandfather was a Jimmie Rodgers fan, and played The Singing Brakeman's 78s while bouncing young George on his lap. George's father, George Hege Hamilton III, known to all as 'Hege,' worked at a drug store in Winston-Salem owned by 'Goody' Goodman— a store soon to become famous throughout the country as the headquarters of 'Goody's' Headache Powder. It wasn't 'Hege' that inspired George to get into music, however, it was his mother, Mary Lillian—called 'Sis' by her friends and family. 'Sis' encouraged young George's passion for country music, even taking her son to see live early morning radio performances. It was during this time that George first performed, as a guest on some of these live radio shows.

As a young boy, George declared that he was going to be a country music performer, and unusually, his parents (especially his mother) encouraged his ambition. When George was 12 or 13, he bought a guitar with money made from a paper route, and not long afterwards he began taking bus trips to Nashville to see his favorite country singers perform. His perseverance led to encounters with some of his heroes like Ernest Tubb, Eddy Arnold, and Chet Atkins, who took a liking to George and brought him backstage at the Ryman Auditorium for a Grand Ole Opry show. The meeting with Chet hinted at things to come, as Chet would later sign George to RCA Records.

Backstage at the Opry, Chet introduced George to Hank Snow. Hank was one of his big idols, and the first "actual Canadian," as George puts it, that he had ever met. George recalls asking Hank for a guitar pick, and Hank told him he needed it for the late show at the Opry, but that he would mail it to him, if George gave him his address.

"I thought to myself, yeah right," recalls George, "but sure enough, a week or so later, I get a package in the mail from Hank Snow. Inside the package was a signed photograph, and that guitar pick Selo-taped to the picture. That really reinforced Hank Snow as one of my idols. Of course, he sang a lot of songs about Canada, and that was what originally inspired me to think about Canadian music. I was also a fan of 'Montana Slim,' who of course was another Canadian whose real name was Wilf Carter. He was known as the father of Canadian country music."

Back home in Winston-Salem, George performed at his school and formed a trio with fellow students Henry Heitman and Jim Gay, a group they called The Serenaders. The group played lots of local functions and dances, and began making demonstration records at a local music store. George was very keen to make a career in country music. On one of his trips to Nashville, he met Ernest Tubb backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and asked if he could sing a song at an upcoming March Of Dimes Telethon at the Princess Theater. Ernest was only scheduled to sing three songs, but in an effort to support the youngster, allowed George to sing a song on the show. George promptly fumbled the words and felt like he really blew his chance, but Ernest consoled him after the show and told him that if he really believed country music was his future, he should stick with it. This incident only reinforced George's desires, and soon he sent some of the demonstration records that The Serenaders had made to a small label in nearby Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The label, Colonial, had just had a regional hit with a record by local hero Andy Griffith—the colloquial comedy routine What It Was, Was Football—and George thought the label owner, Orville Campbell, might be interested in his music. Campbell sent George a letter back, telling him "If you're ever in Chapel Hill, look me up." As it turned out, George had already enrolled at the University Of North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the fall semester, and when he got there, he wasted little time before contacting Campbell and taking him up on his offer.

"I just about worried Mr. Campbell to death," George told author Dale Vinicur, "I felt I was destined to be on the Grand Ole Opry. I could feel it in my bones, and I couldn't understand why he couldn't see it as clearly as I did."

Orville Campbell of Colonial Records agreed to take George into the recording studio, but advised him that he would need some original songs to record. George wrote two songs, I've Got A Secret and Sam, and in March 1956 he and his group featuring Henry Heitman on bass and Joe Tanner on guitar entered the WUNC studios on the campus of the University. The Radio and Television department had a studio set up in Swain Hall that was primitive, but as advanced as anything in North Carolina at the time. The two songs were released on a Colonial 45 in May 1956, achieving some local success and ensuring that a follow-up would be in order. Although the first 45 came out as simply George Hamilton, label-owner Campbell decided that George's stage name would be George Hamilton IV, and urged George to play up the 'IV' image by having the roman numerals embroidered on his wardrobe, a memorable touch that George continues to this day.

Although George loved country music and envisioned himself a country singer with a touch of the new Elvis rockabilly sound, Orville Campbell decided that George should be a teen-idol type singer doing pop ballads. In the meantime, George and future songwriting legend John D. Loudermilk had become acquainted at the television station of the University of North Carolina, and had spent some time discussing their mutual love of music. John D. Loudermilk, who at this stage in his career also fancied himself a singer with similar dreams of stardom, wrote a song called A Rose And A Baby Ruth and played it for George, who didn't care too much for it when he initially heard it. When Loudermilk performed the song live on a local radio station, Orville Campbell taped the song off the air and decided it had such crossover teen pop appeal that it would be George’s next record.

George Hamilton Iv My North Country Home (3-CD)
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