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George Hamilton IV
Proclaimed the International Ambassador of Country Music thanks to his world
tours in the '70s, George Hamilton IV began his career in the late '50s as a
teen-oriented pop star. After his first hit, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth,"
hit number six on the pop charts in 1956, he toured with Buddy Holly and the
Everly Brothers. However, his later pop efforts stalled on the charts, and in
1959, Hamilton joined the Grand Ole Opry. Top ten country singles like
"Before This Day Ends", "Three Steps to the Phone (Millions of
Miles)" and "If You Don't Know I Ain't Gonna Tell You" paved the
way for 1963's "Abilene," which topped the country charts for four
weeks and hit 15 on the pop charts. The following year, Hamilton charted three
singles and returned to the Top Ten with "Fort Worth, Dallas or
Houston." Folk music inspired Hamilton's late-'60s hits, including the
Gordon Lightfoot-penned "Steel Rail Blues" and Joni Mitchell's
"Urge For Going." Except for 1970's number-three hit "She's a
Little Bit Country", chart success eluded him during the '70s, so George
Hamilton IV took country music around the world. Besides more than ten tours of
Great Britain and several BBC-TV productions, Hamilton became the first country
artist to perform behind the Iron Curtain; he also toured Africa, the Orient,
New Zealand, Australia, and even the Middle East. For the rest of his career,
Hamilton concentrated on gospel recordings. His son, George Hamilton V, toured
with his father's backup band and charted a single in 1988.
John Bush, All Music Guide
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