Best remembered for his tender 1964 reading of the Willie Nelson perennial "Funny How Time Slips Away," deep soul balladeer Joe Hinton was born November 15, 1929, in Evansville, IN. He initially pursued a career as a gospel singer, first surfacing as a member of the Chosen Gospel Quartet before relocating to Memphis in 1957 and joining the long-running gospel group the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. After Hinton's aching high tenor was employed to exemplary effect on records like "In the Garden" and "Lost in Sin" (a spiritual rewrite of the Spaniels' secular smash "Peace of Mind"), producer Don Robey -- the president of the Spirit of Memphis' label, Peacock -- convinced the singer to cross over to secular R&B, signing him to Peacock's Back Beat subsidiary for 1958's "I Know." "Pretty Little Mama" soon followed, and like its predecessor sold poorly -- only with his fifth Back Beat release, 1963's "You Know It Ain't Right," did Hinton finally crack the Billboard Hot 100 charts. His next effort, "Better to Give Than Receive," repeated the trick and in 1964 he reached the Top 20 with the aforementioned "Funny," which culminates in one of the most remarkable falsetto notes ever captured on disc. Its follow-up, "I Want a Little Girl," would prove Hinton's final chart entry, however, although he remained with Back Beat until his untimely death from skin cancer on August 13, 1968. ~ Jason AnkenyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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