March 25 Music Birthday: Hoyt Axton
By Four Walls
March 22, 2016 8:28pm CST
Here's the second of five music performers I like who have birthdays on March 25! Hoyt Axton was born March 25, 1938 in Oklahoma. His mother was Mae Boren Axton, who was also a songwriter. Her best-known composition is "Heartbreak Hotel," a major early hit for Elvis Presley. Hoyt followed his mother into the songwriter business, although he was also a singer. Additionally, he acted in several TV shows, ranging from Bonanza to WKRP in Cincinnati, as well as numerous movies such as the smash film Gremlins. Music, however, was Axton's primary call. As a songwriter he contributed numerous songs to the popular music songbook. "Joy to the World," the massive Three Dog Night song that was the #1 single of the entire year of 1971, was written by Axton. In fact, he named his record label "Jeremiah Records" after "Joy to the World"'s opening line, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog." "Never Been to Spain," also a hit for Three Dog Night, was also written by Axton, as were the Kingston Trio's "Greenback Dollar," Steppenwolf's song "The Pusher," and Ringo Starr's solo hit "The No-No Song." Additionally, Axton had his own string of moderate hits, including "When the Morning Comes" (a duet with Linda Ronstadt), "Bony Fingers," and "Della and the Dealer" (the song he sang on the episode of WKRP in Cincinnati he appeared in). Hoyt Axton died of a heart attack at the relatively young age of 61. If he were still alive he would be 78 this year. Here's his song "When the Morning Comes," which featured Linda Ronstadt singing harmony.
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