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Hardrock Gunter
Born:  February 27, 1925
Died:  March 15, 2013
WWVA Original Jamboree
WAPI Birmingham, AL
WJLD Birmingham, AL
WWVA Wheeling, WV

About The Artist

Hardrock Gunter was a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He got a guitar as a Christmas present when he was about 11 years old and began singing.

In high school, Hardrock was active in the ROTC and won the William Randolph Hearst Trophy Team Medal in the National ROTC Rifle Matches in 1952 as well as 14 other ROTC honor medals. He also served in the military in World War II and was a prisoner of war from 1944 to 1945. He was made a second lieutenant in the infantry as a result of his experience in the Ardennes campaign.

After his stint in the service, he worked in Birmingham from 1946 to 1950 and cut his first record on the Bama label. By the time 1951 rolled around, he was doing two early-morning shows over radio station WAPJ and a daily half-hour television show over WAFM-TV. Not to mention a three hour personal appearance gig, six nights a week at the Rose Room in Birmingham for 17 months.

In January 1951, he was called back into the U.S. Army.

When he was discharged from the service on November 3, 1952, he joined the crew at WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia. There he had his own daily radio show and also emceed the Saturday night show, "World's Original WWVA Jamboree".

By 1954, he was back in Birmingham and working as a dj at WJLD.

He recorded for Decca had had several releases. He achieved a bit of fame with "Birmingham Bounce" which was a hit for Red Foley in 1950. In fact, that song was a "BMI Pin-Up" hit; picked by a British DJ to be his theme song; recorded by Red Foley, Tex Williams, Pee Wee King, Leon McAuliffe, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton and Art Lund.

He also wrote other tunes such as:

  • Don't You Agree
  • Hesitation Boogie
  • If I Could Live My Dreams
  • Dixieland Boogie
  • Honky Tonk Baby
  • I've Gone Hogwild Over You
  • I Believe Mountain Music Is Here To Stay
  • Naptown, Indiana

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs No.32; March-April 1954, American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1112 A Jumping Mule
  1112 B Travelling
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  28191 A Honky Tonk Baby
  28191 B I'm Looking For Another You
  28932 A Perfect Woman
  28932 B You Played On My Piano
  46363 A Sixty Minute Man
  46363 B Tennessee Blues
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  1505 A I'll Give'em Rhythm
  1505 B I Put My Britches On Just Like Everybody Else
  4858 A Before My Time
  4858 B Turn The Other Cheek
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  581 A Hillbilly Twist (w/Buddy Durham)
  581 B As Long As You're Happy (w/Buddy Durham)

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