Hugh X.Lewis:
Singer & songwriter from the golden 1960's and 1970's.

( Jukka Joutsi * up-dated: 12.4.2020)

Hugh X. Lewis was said to be born in the town of Yeaddiss, Kentucky, the son of a Church of Christ minister. He grew up in southeast Kentucky in Cumberland. He has been writing and performing country music since his teen-age years.
After high school, he went to work with the U.S. Steel Corporation's Mine Operations in Lynch, Kentucky and stayed there for about ten years. Though such work might leave one tired and sore, Hugh found the time to perform in weekend shows in the Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia areas - he just knew he would one day end up in Nashville.

He eventually worked his way up to the position of foreman at his job in Lynch. He also continued his musical career, performing on WSAZ's Saturday Night Jamboree show in Huntington, West Virginia.
Hugh recalls getting breaks early in his career from appearances on television in Johnson City, Tennessee. A radio station in Cincinnati, WLW, held a talent search contest and Hugh won out for two years in a row, which lead to other opportunities. His appearances on the famed Renfro Valley Barn Dance drew encouragement from the legendary John Lair. But what got the momentum going for him was when he won a Pet Milk contest that got him a guest spot on the Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round in Knoxville. He ended up doing frequent appearances on the Barn Dance and sometimes hitch-hiked from Lynch, Kentucky to do those shows.

One of the regulars on the noon-time show back then was another Hall of Fame songwriter by the name of Don Gibson. When Don started to get attention and eventually moved to Nashville, Lowell Blanchard started giving Hugh more time on the air as Don's replacement.
Still, music was not a steady source of income. Hugh continued working at the mines and continued his songwriting dreams. One day, he finished a song called "B.J. the D.J." At that time, he only had one contact in Nashville, a boyhood friend by the name of Bud Beal. Bud got him a meeting with Jim Denny. When Mr. Denny heard the song, he told Hugh that it was a hit song, and to go on home; he'd get the song recorded and be in touch with him. The song did get recorded - by Stonewall Jackson, who notes it was one of the largest selling records of his career and would go on to record about 11 songs written by Hugh X. Lewis.

The year was 1963 and Hugh decided it was time to move to Nashville and made the move by himself initially. He got himself a job selling advertising space for a magazine during the day and at night, continued to hone his songwriting skills. He spent about two months in a boarding house which he calls the two most miserable months in his life, before he was able to bring his wife Ann and the kids to town in a Ryder truck.
His first year in Nashville brought him a fair amount of recognition for his number one tunes - BMI awards for "B.J. the D.J." and "Take My Ring Off Your Finger" which was sung by Carl Smith. Through his songwriting career, he's had tunes recorded by folks such as Charley Pride, Del Reeves, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jimmy C. Newman, Bobby Goldsboro, Lynn Anderson and many more.

The year of 1965 saw Hugh get a recording contract with Kapp Records and Paul Cohen with the assistance of John Denny at Cedarwood Publishing. His very first record of "What I Need Most Is You" went to number 12 on the charts. He enjoyed hits with other tunes such as "Out Where The Ocean Meets The Sky", "I Better Call The Law On Me", "You're So Cold, I'm Turning Blue". and "Wish Me A Rainbow" among others.
From 1968 to 1971, Hugh and his llfe-long friend, Bud Beal, co-produced a syndicated television show called the "Hugh X. Lewis Country Club". The show enjoys the distinction of being the longest running single-sponsor, multi-market country music show in history! That show was sponsored by the Whirlpool Corporation subsidiary, Heil-Quaker Corporation, who his friend Bud worked for as an advertising manager.
It was the first time a major manufacturer had produced its own country music show. One of the first guest stars were Del Reeves and Lynn Anderson. A group that later went on to become one of the Opry's favorite groups, the Four Guys were regulars on the show as were the band, the Country Clubbers and the announcer, Bud Beal. Fans might recall that one of the features of the show was a "Wall of Fame" in the background.

Hugh's career took him around the country and world. He retired in 1984, but as he notes, "once a ham, always a ham", came out of retirement in 1998 as the "Country Ham, Colonel Hugh X. Lewis". He's done several CD's and videos, with the very latest being a Gospel album titled, "Stand Up And Be Counted".
He does numerous television appearances and has had a feature role in a movie called "Summer of Courage".

He is enshrined in the "Walkway of Stars" at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and was recently nominated for the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, which now displays much of his career memorabilia on display in Renfro Valley.
Music isn't all that Hugh was been a part of. He's been in four movies:
'Gold Guitar', 'Cotton Pickin' Chicken Pickers' and 'Forty Acre Feud'.

He worked quite a bit with Del Reeves in this area. He notes in 1969 that he and Del were a bit like the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis of country music.
He closed his interview in 1969 by stating what he wanted to be:
"...I Want the kids to have a good education and I know everybody wants that, of course. I suppose ever father wants his children to do better than what he did. I got a lot of plans, I want a network television show, I want to be a star in the movies, I want to be a great writer some day, I want to be a great recording artist and I want to make a million bucks."
And has come to the conclusion that he won't be retiring ever again.

45047 A Mr. Policeman, 45047 B Everything I Love, 45144 A When Love Is Gone, 45144 B My Baby Sitter.

028 A Blues Sells A Lot of Booze, 028 B Help Yourself To Me, 044 A Round And Round She Goes, 044 B Country Club

2020 A Restless Melissa, 2020 B Our Angels Just Aren't Singing Anymore, 622 A Too Late, 622 B What I Need Most, 673 A Talking To A Bottle, 673 B Out Where The Ocean Meets The Sky, 717 A I Better Call The Law On Me, 717 B Talk Me Out Of It, 757 A Just Before Dawn, 757 B I'm Losing You I Can Tell, 771 A You Belong To My Heart, 771 B Wish Me A Rainbow, 812 A Tender Hearted Me, 812 B Another Day Just Slipped Away, 830 A No Change For Happiness, 830 B You're So Cold, 868 A Your Stepping Stone, 868 B Wrong Side Of The World, 895 A Evolution And The Bible, 895 B Gone Gone Gone, 921 A War Is Hell, 921 B With These Hands, 955 A Tonight We're Calling It A Day, 955 B Sittin' And Thinkin', 978 A All Heaven Broke Loose, 978 B Some Other Time.

Little Darling:
15611 A Nobody But Me, 15611 B She Melts In My Arms

707 A Heaven, Hell or Houston, 707 B Katy Couldn't Bar The Door, 720 A One of Her Tears, 720 B Wish Me A Rainbow.

802 A Bloody Harlan, 802 B Two of a Kind, 803 A Daddy Frog, 803 B Rockin' Mood Man, 805 A Bingo, 805 B Nothing But Time.

611 A Start Saving My Life, 611 B - Unknown Title -.

(Jukka Joutsi, marraskuu 2006): HUGH X. LEWIS kuuluu niihin kantrin 60- ja 70-lukujen suosittuihin artisteihin ja säveltäjiin, jotka sittemmin ovat joutuneet tyystin unohdetuiksi.
Hugh X. Lewis sai vuosina 1964-1979 kaikkiaan 15 singleään Billboardin kantrilistoille - tosin niistä yksikään ei yltänyt TOP-20-sijoille.

Miehemme oikea nimi on Hubert Brad Lewis ja hän syntyi 7. joulukuuta 1932 Kentuckyn osavaltiossa Yeaddiss-nimisellä paikkakunnalla.
Hänestä ei ole kovinkaan paljon alan lehdistössä ja kirjallisuudessa elämänkertatietoja ollut, eikä netin hakuohjelmatkaan juuri lisätietoja anna.

Lewisin varhaisimpia singlejä löytyy vuodelta 1960, jolloin elokuussa julkaistiin hänen singlensä Daddy Frog / Rockin Moon Men pienellä Fern -levymerkillä.

Hugh X. Lewisin isä oli kirkon saarnamiehiä ja nuoruutensa Hugh vietti Kentuckyn Cumberlandissa, missä kantrilaulujen esittäminen ja niiden väsääminen osoittautui hänelle kaikkein mieluisimmaksi puuhasteluksi nuorukaisena.
Hugh onkin kertonut, että hänellä on elämässään ollut kaksi rakkautta: kantrimusiikki ja vaimo Ann, jonka kanssa hän on ollut avioliitossa nyt jo yli 50 vuotta! Koulujensa jälkeen Hugh toimi Kentuckyn kaivoksissa kymmenen vuotta, jonka aikana hän viikonloppuisin esiintyi Tennesseen ja Virginian alueilla unelmoiden siirtymisestä ammattilaiseksi Nashvilleen.
WSAZ's Saturday Night Jamboree show (Huntington, West Virginia) oli hänen peruspaikkansa, missä hän alkoi saada käsitystä menestyksestä ja suosiosta .
Hugh sai kuitenkin käydä läpi useita radion ja television kykyjenetsimiskilpailuja ennen kuin hänen maineensa alkoi todella levitä. Pääsy Renfro Valley Barn Dance -ohjelmaan John Lair-nimisen pomomiehen hyväksymänä merkitsi hänelle jonkinlaista läpimurtoa.

Don Gibson oli töissä samalla radioasemalla kuin Hugh. Kun Don lähti Nashvilleen, Hugh jäi aseman tähdeksi.
Hughin sävellys B.J. The D.J. oli ensimmäinen, minkä hän sai Nashvillessa läpi , kun Stonewall Jackson levytti sen ja sai sillä hitin. Elettiin vuotta 1963 ja nyt Hugh itse katsoi aikansa tulleen ja muutti Nashvilleen.

"Take My Ring Off Your Finger"-sävellys toi uuden hitin Carl Smithin levyttämänä ja Hugh X.Lewis alkoi selvitä taloudellisista huolistaan, joita perheen tuomisessa Nashvillen epävarmuuteen oli syntynyt.
Sellaiset artistit kuin Charley Pride, Del Reeves, Jim Ed Brown, Little Jimmy Dickens, Jimmy C. Newman, Bobby Goldsboro, Lynn Anderson ja monet muut levyttivät Hugh X.Lewisin sävellyksiä ja kasvaneen nimensä ansiosta hänen onnistui v.1965 solmia oma levytyssopimuksensa Kapp -yhtiön kanssa.
Vuosina 1968-1971 Hughilla oli oma televisio-show nimeltään "Hugh X. Lewis Country Club".

Vuonna 1984 Hugh X.Lewis päätti kylmästi lopettaa artisti- ja säveltäjähommansa ja ryhtyä tekemään elannokseen jotakin muuta.
Lewis teki kuitenkin vuonna 1998 'comeback'-tulemisen ja hän on sittemmin levyttänyt mm. gospel-albumin "Stand Up And Be Counted".
Hän käytti itsestään v.1998 taiteilijanimeä "Country Ham - Hugh X.Lewis" ja 2000-luvulla titteli oli muuttunut muotoon 'Colonel Hugh X.Lewis". Vuonna 1969 Hugh X.Lewis sanoi eräässä haastattelussa:

"In rock and roll music, it's nothing but vibrations and repitition and rhythm. Pop music as far as I have been able to determine, they sort of make everything seem good that isn't good. They make everything flowery and real pretty in pop music. The words are pretty. In country music, they tell it like it is, it's quiet, earthy and they get down to the nitty gritty in country music. And I think really, that's all I have to say about the three.
I grew up in the country and I know country people and I haven't been able to determine for sure just what makes them tick or what makes them go out and buy a country record. But I figure I know these people better than I do pop people. That was one of the main reasons why I got in country music. Another reason was, of course, that I was playing country music all my life. I've been playing the guitar since I was a kid. And another reason being that it's a very lucrative business. It has engulfed the entire world. I play in Canada, England, Germany and people know me and it's a very lucrative business."

Vuonna 1969 Hugh X.Lewis työskenteli paljon toisen kantritähden, Del Reevesin kanssa. Heitä kutsuttiin kantrimusiikin vastineeksi elokuvien Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis-parivaljakolle.

Hugh X. Lewis sai ensimmäisen listahittinsä v.1964 Kapp -yhtiössä laululla 'What I Need Most' (#21). Tämän debyyttilistauksensa jälkeen Hugh ei enää pystynyt tuota sijoituslukua urallaan parantamaan. Kapp -yhtiössä Hugh sai vuoteen 1969 asti listasinglejä markkinoille kaikkiaan 11, tässä listattuna loput :

'Out Where The Ocean Meets The Sky' (1965 - #32),
'I`d Better Call The Law On Me' (1965 - #30),
'I`m Losing You (I Can Tell)' (1966 - #45),
'Wish Me A Rainbow' (1966 - #61),
'You`re So Cold (I`m Turning Blue)' (1967 - #38),
'Wrong Side Of The World' (1967 - #49),
'Evolution And The Bible' (1968 - #36),
'Tonight We`re Calling It A Day' (1969 - #69),
'All Heaven Broke Loose (1969 - #72),
'Restless Melissa' (1969 - #74).

Vuonna 1970 Hugh X.Lewis teki vierailun suureen 'Columbia'-yhtiöön, mutta single 'Everything I Love/Mr. Policeman' nousi vain sijalle #74 ja yhteistyö firman kanssa päättyi.
Tie vei 'GRT'-yhtiöön, missä vielä samana vuonna 1970 single 'Blues Sells A Lot Of Booze' käväisi parhaimmillaan listalla sijalla #68.

Viimeiset listavierailunsa Hugh X.Lewis teki Little Darling -levy-yhtiössä vuosina 1978-79:
'Love Don't Hide From Me' (1978 - #93),
'What Can I Do (To Make You Love Me) (1979 - #92)

Hugh X.Lewis ehti urallaan julkaista mm. albumit 'The Hugh X. Lewis Album' , 'Just Before Dawn' ja 'My Kind Of Country'.
Näillä albumeilla hän esitti seuraavat laulut:

Hugh X. Lewis Album (02/01/1966): Out Where The Ocean Meets The Sky , I'd Better Call The Law On Me, I Wish I Didn't Love You So, Talk Me Out Of It , Looking In The Future (for The Past) , Fourteen Karat Fool , What I Need Most , Roses Are Red (my Love) , Talking To A Bottle, Too Late , Tomorrow's Just Another Day To Cry.

Hugh X. Lewis ~ Just Before Dawn: Just Before Dawn, I'm Losing You, Time, I Hate Myself, Missing You, If This House Could Talk , Wish Me A Rainbow , Am I Losing You , You Belong To My Heart , You're Not Here To Scold Me , Have You Looked Into Your Heart

Hugh X. Lewis ~ My Kind Of Country (02/01/1967): No Chance For Happiness, She's Gone Gone Gone, Nothing Takes The Place Of You, I'll Be Your Stepping Stone, Walk Through This World With Me, Nobody's Darlin' But Mine, My Happiness, Don't Do It Darlin', Wrong Side Of The World, One Broken Dream (is Not The End Of Everything), Leavin'

Säveltäjänä Hugh X.Lewis nautti aikanaan myös melkoista mainetta ja monet artistikaverit lainasivat hänen sävellyksiään omiin sessioihinsa. Erityisesti Stonewall Jackson tunsi Hughin sävellykset sopiviksi itselleen.
Seuraavassa luettelo niistä Hugh X.Lewis-sävellyksistä, jotka omista levykokoelmistani löysin melko nopealla ja suurpiirteisellä haulla - lista ei siis todellakaan ole täydellinen edes omasta hyllystä:

Angry Words - Stonewall Jackson
B.J. The D.J. - Stonewall Jackson
Beginning Tomorrow - Hugh X.Lewis
Born That Way - Stonewall Jackson
God Is Making House Calls - Hugh X.Lewis
Have Your Next Affair With Me - Hugh X.Lewis, Stonewall Jackson
Heaven, Hell Or Houston - Orig. Texas Playboys (L.McAuliffe)
I`m Thinking Of You, Thinking Of Him - Hugh X.Lewis
If It Wasn`t For The Kids - Hugh X.Lewis
If This House Could Talk - Stonewall Jackson
Love Don`t Hide From Me - Hugh X.Lewis
Make Me An Offer - Carl & Pearl Butler
Meanest Mother In The World - Hugh X.Lewis
My Favourite Sin - Hugh X.Lewis, Stonewall Jackson
Not My Kind Of People - Stonewall Jackson
Once Before I Die - Hugh X.Lewis
One Hundred Songs On The Jukebox - Bob Luman
One Night Only - Hugh X.Lewis
Overdose Of The Blues - Billy Edd Wheeler
Picket Sign - Stonewall Jackson
The Ballad Of Baby Brother - Hugh X.Lewis
The Tears On Lincoln`s Face - Tommy Cash
Things That Lovers Do - Hugh X.Lewis, Stonewall Jackson
What Can I Do (To Make You Love Me) - Hugh X.Lewis
When Love Is The Victim - Hugh X.Lewis
You Saw Me Off (But Will You See Me In) - Stonewall Jackson

Hugh X.Lewis ehti kantriuransa kulta-aikoina esiintyä kolmessa elokuvassakin:
Cottonpickin' Chickenpickers (1967) , The Gold Guitar (1966) ja Forty Acre Feud (1965).

Hugh X.Lewis vietti eläkevuosia kantrihommista vuosina 1984-98. Hän on ottanut itselleen tittelin nimensä eteen eli nyt hänen nimensä kuuluu komeasti Colonel Hugh X.Lewis. Tällä nimellä häneltä on äskettäin ilmestynyt uusi albumi 'Tennessee In Song'.

Hugh X. Lewis with Bobby Lord.

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