Lost Treasures: Hoyt Axton – “An Old Greyhound”


The late Hoyt Axton’s mother Willie Mae Axton wrote & performed “Heartbreak Hotel” made famous by Elvis.  Needless to say, he grew up learning the crafts of singing, guitar playing & songwriting.  He is probably best known as a songwriter of hits done by others.  “Greenback Dollar” “The Pusher” “The No-No Song” “Joy To The World” “Never Been To Spain” are familiar to most.  But Hoyt’s distinctive strong, deep bass voice is less known.  His recordings have always fallen through the cracks on that murky dividing line between rock, folk & country, difficult to define.  Today, his music would fit into the genre category ‘Americana‘. All of his songs were intriguing stories and his subjects & prose are as gritty as his voice.  “An Old Greyhound” is a rollicking, sing-along, classic “truckers song” but the subject is a bus – one of Hoyt Axton’s favorite tour buses, in fact.  It appeared as the ‘B-side’  on an A&M promo-only release to radio stations in 1975 on the back side of “Southbound“.  This was never released as a commercial single.  The song can be found on the 1976 A&M album “Fearless“. It’s a warm & sunny fall weekend here in the Pacific Northwest!  Enjoy!

UPDATE:  thanks to Jason & regular reader Bill Ogden for correcting me regarding Mae Axton’s authorship of an Elvis cover.  Axton wrote “Heartbreak Hotel” & not “Hound Dog” which was written by well-known songwriting team Leiber-Stoller

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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