Tuesday, 3 November 2009


BILLIE and GORDON HAMRICK with the Low Country Gospel Band
Jul 55 (BMI clearance 24th June 55)
522-A - Our Prayer
(Donna O Smook) (Starrite BMI)
522-B - When I Feel The Spirit (Brother) I'm Gonna Shout
(Bernice Jennette) (Starrite BMI)

Considering the fact that we have almost no info on the majority of the artists who graced a Starday Custom waxing, the cup on the Hamricks (husband and wife) is literally overflowing! They first appear on my radar as early as 1949 with a snippet of info in a billboard magazine - (Dec 31st 1949) "Billie and Gordon Hamrick, formerly on the "Dixie Barn dance" have moved to WSOB, Jacksonville, FL. Billie is Mrs. Gordon Hamrick in private life." I'd certainly like to know if they were recording around this time. Then, I find them again in Billboard (Aug 9th 1952) "Billie and Gordon Hamrick, formerly at WJHP, Jacksonville, FL have moved to WHAN, Charleston, SC. They recently inked with Hill and Range Publishers." Fifteen months later, they grace the pages of Billboard once again with this :- (Dec 19th 1953) "Billie and Gordon Hamrick have moved from WHAN to WCSC, Charleston, SC and still sponsored by Old Fort Packing Company." (By now I'm wondering if they actually came from Florida originally - they certainly seem to move around between radio stations quite a bit.) And again :- (13th August 1955) "Gospel singers Billie and Gordon Hamrick are now being heard over WUSN-TV, Charleston, SC. Their sunday afternoon "Old Country Church" program has had its time boosted from a half hour to an hour. Their latest on the Starday label is "Our Prayer." So, at this point we present our second gospel offering from the Hamricks, now featuring their Low County Gospel band (which may well have been uncredited on the RANGELAND 506). There is a feeling amongst collectors that the first disc sold well enough for a reprint, so Starday issued their second offering on their own label hoping to garner a bit more interest for the disc. (Others think the Hamricks paid extra for it to be issued on Starday.) Anyhow, it's a mandolin led country gospel for the A side. Bernice Jennette gets another slice of writers credit on the B side, which is a fast, fiddle led exhortation on the joys of having God in your heart. Kinda makes you wanna jump up in the aisles and yell “Hallellulah!” Finally, after ruining my eyesight slowly reading through yet more Billboard offerings, I come across a final snippet of info :- (Sept 3rd 1955) "C and W spinner Clarence Jackson of WJOT, Lake City, SC is now also doing a stint over WUSN-TV, Charleston, SC. Jackson plays steel guitar with Billie and Gordon Hamrick on their "Old Country Church" program." (Gee, after this, I almost feel like I know them personally :-) )

Any additional info or correspondence, please email me at: malcychapman@mac.com
so I can reply if necessary. If you send a message via Blogspot, it comes up as anonymous.

Label Shots courtesy of Kent Heineman and Lars Lundgren

B and G Hamrick (Unk date) (Source: Marty Hamrick)

Gordon Hamrick (1957/8) (Source: Marty Hamrick)

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