Thanks for tuning in.... As you hit Play each song automatically plays, if not quick enough you can click on the next track or select any track. Also, by scrolling down each song is explained as a memorable time in my rock 'n' roll inspired music diary:
In that reflective light - "Earth is Calling" began transmitting its hopeful message into my imagination while gazing out from the top of Glastonbury Tor in southern England early one morning in 1971. A panoramic view I later learned overlooks King Arthur's fabled Isle of Avalon and Camelot (as depicted in accompanying picture). This 1989 London recording is about to be replaced with a new recording I'm producing as the theme song for the "Earth is Calling" reality-based television /web series series I'm in the early days of assembling a production team and producing. (www.EarthisCalling.org)
"Cry in the Night" is my favorite of brother Dan's songs. And that's sayin' a lot 'cause Danny was truly a gifted musician, singer, songwriter. He wrote this song in the early 80's with lyrics that could not be more tuned into the science fiction laced, sometimes wonderful and also weird, chaotic, pandemic laced times we are passing through in 2020. In the context of passing through time & space; Danny wasn't issuing a prayer, he was posing serious questions. Which I found myself tuning back into in this recent homemade recording.
"Hollywood" is another homemade recording that time travels back to the City of Angels to recall what tinsel town became for me and my brother Dan in the early sixties. Having spent our teen years in the mid-1950's growing up in a small town American Graffiti setting called the Wenatchee Valley listening to the local Top 40 radio station KMEL. With rolled up collars, blue suede shoes and American Bandstand inspiring the Hamilton Brothers to head to Hollywood to live out our teenage dream of playing rock 'n' roll music and getting a record deal in the City of Angels. As fate would have it we did, for better and worse, get to live out a few of our LA dreams.
The first teenage dream happened in 1963 when Dan at the tender age at 16 composed an instrumental for The Ventures called "Diamond Head" that went on to become the first million-selling record in Japanese history. The next teen dream appeared when Liberty Records asked me to form a touring version of The T-Bones to promote a studio musician recorded instrumental called "No Matter What Shape". Dan joined on lead guitar and lo and behold that pseudo hit, i.e. studio musician recording,, became a million-selling single in the Spring of 1966. After a hundred thousand miles of non-stop touring we wrapped up The T-Bones gig with a tour of Japan in the Fall of 1967.
My music career hit pause in 1968 when I got a film acting job in Spain and moved to London in 1970. In the meantime, with Danny on lead vocal backed by Joe Frank Carollo and Tommy Reynolds, the last version of The T-Bones reformed as Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. And lo and behold the first single ,"Don't Pull Your Love Out", became the next million-selling record. Reaching No. 1 in Cashbox and No. 4 in Billboard in 1971. When Tommy left the band Dan came to London in 1973 with a new keyboard player, Alan Dennison. After a year long songwriting / demo recording effort the next hit record appeared. With Danny singing lead on his song , Dennison replacing Reynolds and Joe Frank hitching another ride, "Fallin' in Love' became the next million-selling single. Hitting No. 1 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1975.
Skipping forward to the 90's - after Dan proved to be an amazing music talent and I proved to be a pretty good support system, I moved back to our family hometown Spokane, Wa. After years of thinking about it in 1993 I hooked up with a local recording studio and Dan and I started recording our first album as 'The Hamilton Brothers'. Unfortunately, the next track "Santa Monica Nights" ended up being the last recording Dan sang lead on as our teenage dreams evaporated into what might have been when Danny unexpectedly headed for the heavenly rock 'n' roll hall of fame in the early hours of Dec. 23rd, 1994. The accompanying picture features the last version of the T-Bones with me on left, Joe Frank, Dan, and Tommy on the right. Moving on...
"Heads You Win, Tails I Lose", with me on lead vocal and Dan doing the harmony, would have been the 'B' side of the "Santa Monica Nights" single. The accompanying picture caught me rockin' out at one of our long ago Hamilton Brother gigs.
"Baby's Song" is a studio recorded track I originally wrote, arranged and produced for our Hamilton Bros. album. To this day a special song for me as my children and grandchildren are my life.
"When Tami Married Marc", is a song I've only performed once - at my beloved daughter Tami's wedding in September 1995. Looking thru a satchel of cassettes & CD's awhile back, to my delight I found a cassette recording I thought I had lost. So thankfully 25-years later I've re-dedicated this heartfelt wedding song to Tami, Marc and my beyond amazing grandkids Ben, Neve and Keira.
Whatever else the human race is or isn't, it's a relay race. Accordingly, the next home recording, "More Love", is dedicated to my grandchildren (accompanying picture illustrates the best time of my life) and indeed all children. As a born optimist this song expresses my hope that one day sooner than later humanity will conscientiously evolve beyond the primitive tribal, political, religious battlefields that we have ignorantly passed on to our children throughout our war infested history.
I'll close out this set with another homemade recording. "Danny's Guitar" with chords and lyrics that suddenly appeared (no kidding) while playing one of Dan's favorite acoustic guitars a couple months after he headed back to heaven. The accompanying picture captured my kid brother with Shep.
I've had the good fortune to know and work with some talented musicians within my 60's sojourn into the rock 'n' roll world. Including The Ventures, The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell, Crazy Horse (Neil Young's band), Leon Russell, David Gates (Bread), Pat and Lolly Vegas (Redbone), and Darrel Dragon (Captain and Tenielle), to name a few.
As a sometimes session musician in the mid-sixties Liberty Records producer Joe Saraceno asked me to form a touring band in Nov. 1965 called The T-Bones to promote an instrumental record, "No Matter What Shape', that was actually recorded by the hot Hollywood session players of those times, later known as the Wrecking Crew. Hey, for starving musicians trying to make a living playing music, why not? I asked my brother Dan to play lead guitar along with three other LA session guys and to our amazement this TV jingle inspired single reached No. 3 in Billboard's Top 100 in March, 1966.
The officially sanctioned, pseudo T-Bones toured non-stop over the next couple of years and went through several personnel changes before settling into a line-up that included Tommy Reynolds, Joe Frank Carollo, Danny and me. On our third T-Bones album, 'Everyone's Gone to the Moon', we were finally allowed to record and include the vocal/harmony sound we had polished on the road. Although our 1967 Autumn tour of Japan marked the end of the road for the T-Bones, two-years of non-stop touring established a vocal sound that went on minus me (with brother Dan on lead vocals) to enjoy a few more hit singles as Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, hitting No. 3 in 1971 with 'Don't Pull Your Love Out', and Hamilton Joe Frank & Dennison hitting No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1975 with 'Fallin' in Love''.
Before the H, JF & R heyday began in 1971 I had signed a solo record deal with United Artists Records and moved to London, England, while I continued to help Dan from behind the scenes. When the first version of H, JF & R broke up Dan came to London in 1973 with a new piano player, Alan Dennison, where we spent about a year writing and demoing new songs. One of the songs Dan wrote during that time was "Fallin' in Love".
As popular as that song proved to be we spent a year and half shopping it to the music biz with zero results. And then through a strange, i.e. unexpected, set of circumstances, Playboy Records agreed to release it in the summer of 1975 and 9-weeks later it was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Over the next couple of years Playboy released a couple more single's and album's but no more big hits appeared while Dan & Joe carried on doing gigs into the late-80s.
In 1990 I moved back to the States, settling in our Hamilton family hometown of Spokane, Washington where I got involved with a local recording studio. In the spring of 1993 I reunited with Dan in LA, determined to record our first album as The Hamilton Brothers. While we were writing material and doing demos for this long awaited project Dan's health began to fail and one night in late '93' he landed in intensive care, where he remained for several months. Eventually he was diagnosed with a rare adrenal gland condition known as Cushing's Disease. After a year-long, courageous, hopeful struggle Danny passed away in the early morning hours of December 23, 1994, at the age of 48. And once again everything changed.
Since the mid-nineties I've made my home in Seattle, where I enjoy the blessing of being close to my children and grandchildren. While I continue to dabble in music I'm equally fascinated with the creation of superior quality, eco-safe ceramic cement products and the invention / patenting of X-Rok, a chemically-bonded ceramic cement radiation-shielding concrete. While the material science world was the last thing I would have ever imagined myself getting passionately involved in back in my Rock 'n' Roll daze...., that's exactly where my 21st Century wonderlust, i.e. curiosity, led.
And it's great. I don't really know what I'm doing, which is not unusual, while I've ended up receiving the highest level U.S. Government testing results, including shielding nuclear radiation, and a growing list of world patents. So, what the heck! And the best part, X-Rok is not only ready to help our present over radiated world, it will continue to provide lifesaving solution for my grandchildren's world
Basically in looking back I've come to think, if living out our teenage dreams is predicated on riding out learning curves, who could ask for more. More about my X-Rok 'n' roll adventure at www.ecoc3.org / www.ceramiccement.com.