Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Well I Never Been to Heaven, But I Been to Oklahoma (or, Hoyt Axton 1938-1999)

Today, I made a quick winter vacation shopping foray to Sundance Records in San Marcos, TX, where I picked up 6 new LP's. Three of them are records by Hoyt Axton.

I am looking forward to dropping my new copy of Hoyt's 1971 album "Joy to the World" on the turntable, which contains "The Pusher".

Hoyt Axton, kickin' out the used-to-be-a-hit-for-Steppenwolf-and-made-famous-by-Easy Rider-but-I-wrote the-damn-song-and-I-sure-sound-a-bit-like-Captain-Beefheart-here jams, mofo!

Hoyt charted a dozen or so songs on the Billboard "Hot Country Songs" list between 1973 and 1981. His duet with Renee Armand, "Boney Fingers", went to #8 for him in 1974.

His two best known songs (and chart-topping hits) were made famous by Three Dog Night: "Never Been to Spain" and "Joy to the World".

Hoyt, an Oklahoma native, was often in the public eye as an actor. Early in his acting career, he appeared on an episode of Bonanza where he sang a few songs.

He also had TV roles on shows such as WKRP in Cincinnati, I Dream of Jeannie, Dukes of Hazzard, Diff'rent Strokes, Murder, She Wrote and The Bionic Woman. He also had minor character parts in a number of movies, including We're No Angels and Gremlins.

Hoyt Trivia: His mother, Mae Boren Axton, a fellow member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit "Heartbreak Hotel".

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