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George Hamilton IV

George Hamilton IV (AP photo)
George Hamilton IV (AP photo)

Guest Book Highlights

October 03, 2014 "George, you will be missed. I had the privilege of seeing George at a small church in Orange Park, Fl. Also met his wife, Tink. Had fellowship with them and really enjoyed meeting both of them. Tink, you and your family will be in my prayers.

Joyce Brantley Middleburg, Fl." - Joyce Brantley (Middleburg, FL)
October 02, 2014 "Sorry to lose such a quality man----I enjoyed talking with George & enjoyed him & his shows at Branson----also I enjoyed listening to him on my transister radio growing up---RIP" - Joe Amico (DANVERS, MA)
October 01, 2014 "Words could hardly express the sorrow felt for the loss of Mr. George. The pain of losing someone is something we never get use to. But at Isaiah 65:17, 22-24 our Heavenly Father holds out a grand promise. May your faith in His promise strengthen you as you look forward to its fulfillment."
September 29, 2014 "We will miss him. A CLASSY performer.HMH" - Mae Hines (Alpharetta, GA)
September 25, 2014 "George exemplified the best in country music, both personally and professionally.

He was one of the first country-music stars I ever interviewed at a time, during the early 1970s, when I was beginning to learn about the genre.

George was very patient with me, my fascination with the patrician suffix attached to his patrician name and the confusion that I suspected he sometimes encountered sharing the same name (if not a suffix) as a well-known actor.
Hamilton told me that he had middle-class roots; that George III, no upper-class patrician, was a Goodies headache powder company executive. The singer Ralph Emery nicknamed “The Number” added modestly that, while he had encountered confusion among some who weren't sure if he and the Hollywood actor were or were not one and the same, "There's no comparison: He's much better-looking.”

The Grand Ole Opry star added that what confusion existed was exacerbated by the fact that actor George Hamilton portrayed another Opry star as the lead actor in the 1964 Hank Williams biopic, Your Cheatin' Heart, though neither Hamilton sang Hank Williams' songs during the movie's performance segments. Dubbing duty went to Hank Williams, Jr.

I didn't know the rich country-music history of my own state of Minnesota, but leave it to country-music historian George Hamilton IV to tell me about all the local and regional stars he worked with and his fond memories of having played the famous (to Minneapolis' diehard country-music fans anyway) Flame Café.

George's interest in party topics extended somewhat to the music industry. At time when Ed Morris bravely wrote in Billboard about the Country Music Association's overreaching and inconsistency in its alliance with publicists who controlled access to Fan Fair press credentialing (by publishing names on a blacklist), George was not pleased with the heavy-handedness. George agreed to join Walt Trott and I in a meeting we wanted to schedule with CMA's Ed Benson; a meeting Walt and I thought Benson would be more inclined to grant, viewing it as considerably less contentious and intimidating were George to join us, speaking out in his highly-effective, diplomatic thought decidedly low-key and gentlemanly manner.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, George bowed out and the meeting never happened. But- I'll speak only for myself- in much the same way George chose to express himself politically without, say, collaborating with the Music Row Democrats, he maintained cordial relations with the Country Music Association because he knew not only how to assert himself but, as importantly, when it would (and would not) be most effective to do so.

George's evangelical faith is one I neither share nor understand, thus my wish that we had discussed religion backstage at the Grand Ole Opry as I used to do with George's brother in Christ, Teddy Wilburn, with whom I did not agree, but who taught me a lot. With my respect for George's intellect and the faith that brought him so much comfort I'm sure that, while those discussions would have been as spirited (no pun intended) as the ones I had with Teddy, I would have come away a little smarter and perhaps intellectually challenged.

Stacy Harris
Publisher/Executive Editor/Media Critic
Stacy's Music Row Report" - Stacy Harris (Nashville, TN)
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Obituary for George Hamilton IV
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Grand Ole Opry Member George Hamilton IV, who was one of country music's first international ambassadors, has died. He was...
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