Sidney Louis Gunter Jr.

Photo added by John "J-Cat" Griffith

Sidney Louis Gunter Jr.

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Death 15 Mar 2013 (aged 88)
Rio Rancho, Sandoval County, New Mexico, USA
Burial Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Plot SECTION 24, SITE 313
Memorial ID 107292047 · View Source
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Musician. Born Sidney Louis Gunter Jr., he was known as "Hardrock Gunter", a pioneer singer, songwriter and guitarist whose music proceeded the rock and roll and rockabilly craze in the 1950s. He started performing as a solo novelty act in talent shows in his teens and joined Happy Wilson's Golden River Boys, a country swing group in 1939. After serving in World War II, he returned to work with the group, before leaving to start appearing on early local TV shows. A popular personality, he was approached by the Bama Label and recorded his song about his home town, "Birmingham Bounce" (1950). It became a regional hit, regarded as a contender for the first rock and roll record and led to being covered in 20 versions with the most successful being by Red Foley. Gunter followed with his classic "Rocket 88" (1951) and "Gonna Rock and Roll All Night" (1951). He then signed to Decca Records, releasing the hit duet single with Roberta Lee "Sixty Minute Man" (1951), which was one of the first country records to cross over with R&B audiences. In 1953, he began working at a Memphis radio station, released the singles "Gonna Dance All Night", "Jukebox Help Me Find My Baby", both of which were issued by Sam Phillips' Sun Records and became regional hits. He continued to record with some success in the 1960s, but left the music business to develop a career in insurance based in Colorado and retired to Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In 1990s, he began to perform again at festivals in England, Germany and the United States. He died from complications of pneumonia at age 88.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
  • Added: 25 Mar 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 107292047
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sidney Louis Gunter Jr. (27 Feb 1925–15 Mar 2013), Find a Grave Memorial no. 107292047, citing Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .