Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on July 19, 1937, George Hamilton IV has been recording since he was nineteen years old. While a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton recorded his first song, “A Rose and a Baby Ruth” for the Chapel Hill record label. The song reached Number Six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and started Hamilton’s climb to success. By 1960, the song had been certified gold and Hamilton became a member of the esteemed Grand Ole Opry.
After “A Rose and a Baby Ruth,” Hamilton released singles like “If You Don’t Know,” “Before this Day Ends” and “Abilene.” The latter song stayed at Number One on the country charts for four weeks straight. His success didn’t end there, following up with singles like the Top 10 hit “Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston” and Top 20 hits “Truck Drivin’ Man,” “Walking the Floor Over You,” “Steel Rail Blues” and “Little World Girl.” He reached the Top 10 a few more times with the singles “Early Morning Rain,” “Urge for Going” and “Break My Mind.”
In the early 70s, Hamilton began touring the world, through the Soviet Union, Australia, the Middle East and East Asia, giving him the nickname “The International Ambassador of Country Music.” Also during this time, he hosted television programs in both the U.K. and Canada. Near the end of the 90s, he played himself in the West End musical based on the life of Patsy Cline, Patsy.
In 2004, Hamilton was awarded with a Dove Award for his work on the acoustic gospel album On a Blue Ridge Sunday for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year. The next year, his song off that album “Little Mountain Church House” won the award for Best Bluegrass Recorded Song.
Now, Hamilton still appears at the Grand Ole Opry regularly when he’s not touring Europe and beyond.
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