Will the real Hal Willis please stand up! I can barely ever recall anyone so versatile as HW. His clever stylings
Brought to mind so many class acts ranging from Horton to Robbins to Presley and many more. Heâ€™s an
Astonishing entertaining singer, A 101 genres inter-twine through his repertoire ranging from crooning to comedy to
Cajun to cowboy to country. So if you like your music a la diversity then this is for you. The tracks have been
Commendably produced in Nashville with aâ€™whoâ€™s-who list of session legends. Mainstream conveyer belt release
It may be, but it should be sought out by the true-blue country devotee. The â€˜easy listening tag confers injustice to
These progressive stylings of generally lesser known ditties paraded. He delivers with a tender heart and produces
Well â€“crafted, grassroots poetic art with a common chart-country touch. A most competent and compelling talent.
PAUL DAVIS www.pauldavisauthor.com
COMPLIMENT TO HAL WILLIS FROM â€œ JACK BLANCHARD â€œ
WRITER/ SINGER/ AND INTERNET CORRESPONDENT
You know, we canâ€™t believe your musical abilities, you sometimes have the best of â€œ Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Al Martino, but all in your own style!
Amazing voice control, not to mention the fine songs and production, we donâ€™t see stuff like this oftenâ€¦Your friend , Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
COMPLIMENT TO HAL WILLIS FROM â€˜ JACK BLANCHARD â€œ
WRITER/SINGER/ AND INTERNET CORRESPONDENT
Youâ€™re the absolute best male solo singer in country music, and Jackie Burns is the absolute best female solo singer, If you two
Did a duet, It would be a smash!!! It would be like Dinah Washington and Brook Bentonâ€¦Your friends , Jack & Misty
Hal Willis was born in Rouyn, Quebec, the heart of the logging and mining country of Northwestern Quebec. By age nine. Hal was already singing lead in the school and church choirs and was the talk of the town for his God given talent.
Hal's Mom & Dad with their whole family moved to Normetal, Quebec, a small mining town north of Rouyn, where they had purchased a farm with 50 acres of farming land surrounded by 150 acres of tall timber. It was there that Hal learned what it was like to be a "lumberjack." At nighttime, the family would play cards on the kitchen table and listen to country music on their new battery radio.
One evening, by pure chance while turning the radio dial, Hal tuned in to The Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, Tennessee, and heard them introduce to the audience a singer by the name of Hank Williams, who then performed his classic song, Lovesick Blues. Hal recalls: "when I heard this guy sing, a shiver ran all over me, I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with my life." Another time, while tuning in to the radio, Hal picked up a radio show broadcast live from Timmins, Ontario on CKGB, sponsored by a local taxi cab company, and presented as Burnettes Porcupine Frolic, featuring Ginger & The Melodie Rangers. Hal loved the show and would tune into it every afternoon and listen to Ginger sing, play an accordion and carry on... little did Hal know that later on in life, fate would bring him and Ginger together, both on stage, as well as husband and wife.
Since Hal was French and at the time spoke very little English, he discovered that by writing the lyrics to a song phonetically he could sing the song in English even if he didn't know what the words meant... and, with Hal's never-give-up approach to life, his English improved quickly, although his pronunciation still left something to be desired. Eventually, Hal would leave the family homestead. With a suitcase, an old guitar, and a little sum of money his Mom and Dad gave him, Hal headed back to his hometown of Rouyn to pursue a career in music with stops along the way working in the mines, on the railroad and as a lumberjack. While working as a truck driver for Oâ€™Keefeâ€™s Brewery in the day time, Hal would spend his evenings in the local hotels honing his skills as a country singer. Hal jokes about those days sometimes Iâ€™d help consume some of the deliveries I had made that same afternoon with the Oâ€™Keefeâ€™s truck
One fateful day things changed dramastically for Hal Willis. Ginger & The Melodie Rangers came to Rouyn to fulfill a two-month performance contract at the then plush St-Louis Hotel. Ginger met Hal, heard him sing, and hired him on the spot to sing in her band. Hal was so tickled he could hardly contain himselfâ€¦ after all, these were real â€˜professional singers.â€™ With the contract fulfilled, Ginger decided to break up the band, and with Hal, headed to Montreal where they would soon develop into one of the more popular â€˜floor showâ€™ acts on the Canadian entertainment circuit.
With Ginger's tutoring, Halâ€™s English kept improving, and soon he was able to record his first session for the famed Rodeo Records label, in 1951. In 1954, the great Webb Pierce, while on tour, caught their act in Buffalo, New York at the world famous McVans night club. Webb liked what he saw and heard and invited Hal and Ginger to move to Nashville.
In 1955 they followed Webb Pierceâ€™s advice and made the move to Nashville where with Webbâ€™s help, they made their first appearance on the world famous Grand Ole Opry. Webb then was instrumental in getting the duo booked at Nashvilleâ€™s renowned Rainbow Room where the likes of Marty Robbins and Hank Snow would often be seen as part of the audience. Ginger was soon offered a job as Marty Robbinsâ€™ secretary, and she accepted the offer as long as it would not interfere with her music. Hal kept busy recording demos for various music publishers, all the while improving his own recording technique and his English.
In 1956 Hal recorded his first session on Atlantic Records and had an early Rock â€˜n Roll hit with My Pink Cadillac. That same year, Hank Snow introduced Hal and Ginger to Colonel Tom Parker, who immediately hired them to tour with then rising phenom, Elvis Presley, and provided them with some instant recognition. Hal and Ginger, along with Hank Snow would go down in history as the only Canadian performers to have toured with Elvis Pressley.
In 1965 Hal finally got the big record break he had been working so hard for, when his recording of The Lumberjack, became an international hit, selling over 1.5 million copies, and reaching #5 on the Billboard Country Charts in the USA.
Through sheer persistence and determination, Hal Willis overcame what he calls â€œthose small obstacles in lifeâ€ and, to his credit, has gained the respect of all the people that have crossed his path. His music career, now in itâ€™s fifth decade, continues to flourish, and a recent comeback on the recording scene with two brand new albums, One titled " COAST TO COAST " and one Christmas titled " SANTA'S CLONES "...Hal has now added two more Great new albums " TITLED " A CUT ABOVE " AND " BETTER THAN EVER" from which three single releases have already been released on Compilation
All four albums are chucked full of great original material, written by Hal and Ginger. ( Two of the best writers in the business )..Another Great Album is now in the making...Please watch for it
Check out the artist's website:
1. The Lumberjack
2. Late Too Early
3. Bring On the Girls
5. Let the Good Times Roll
6. What's Left of Me
7. Everybody's Got Troubles
8. Dig Me a Hole
9. Walking Dream
11. Doggin ' in the U.s. Mail
12. Me, My Love and a Memory
13. Mary Selina
14. Crazy Little Heart
15. An Old Old Custom