Remembering Hunter Hancock

Following up on the Johnny Flamingo footage I posted a few days ago to YouTube, I decided to share more footage from the Hunter Hancock tribute show where Johnny and Jeanette Baker performed. This time, I’m sharing some footage of the man himself, Mr. Hunter Hancock, who is honored at this very special show that took place in Long Beach (CA) on March 4, 2000.

This special event was produced by the Doo-Wop Society of Southern California, an organization that no longer exists. On this video clip of Hunter that I created, you’ll see a short excerpt of Big Jay McNeely performing at this event, as well as a short photo montage of Hunter that includes photos from his career and the official “Hunting with Hunter” theme song.

Hunter Hancock was a major player in the early days of rhythm & blues – the genre of music that evolved into we now call “rock and roll.” Hunter was the first disc jockey on the west coast to play this kind of music on the radio, often referred to as “race music” during the 1950s. I’ve read interviews with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, acknowledging that Hunter Hancock was the guy that turned him and so many of his friends onto this kind of music, making a major impact on his life. I once attended a Nancy Sinatra concert where she talked fondly about how Hunter played all the cool music on his late night radio show, exposing her to such suggestive songs as “60 Minute Man” by Billy Ward & the Dominoes. Then, there’s the countless rhythm and blues artists that credit Hunter for playing their music on the radio.

Hunter Hancock was the guy who turned a lot of white kids onto black music, and black culture.

Hunter Hancock was also the first disc jockey to play “LOUIE LOUIE” on the radio, as he played a lot of Richard Berry records on his show.

For years, I wasn’t sure if Hunter Hancock was still alive. I put out inquiries to all sorts of places, posting open solicitations on my LouieLouie.net. In 2000, I got very lucky. Thanks to the persistence of Ray Regalado, Hunter was tracked down, and a special show was created to honor this man for all that he did. As soon as I found about this show, I immediately made plans to travel to Southern California and see this living legend. I was very fortunate to meet this man, and in my documentary, you’ll be able to see portions of my conversation with him.

In the meantime, I’m happy to share some of my other footage of Hunter on YouTube, as I hope it will bring joy to others

If you want to learn more about Hunter Hancock, be sure to check out:

Hunter Hancock’s personal recollections (on Doo-Wop Society webpage)
HunterHancock.org – the official webpage

By the way, if you haven’t checked out my YouTube channel lately, I’d like to invite you to do so. I recently added a playlist dedicated to Meaning of LOUIE excerpts and outtakes.

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