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Russ Hamilton (19 January 1932 – 11 October 2008)[1] was an English singer and songwriter. Hamilton made the Top 10 in the United Kingdom with "We Will Make Love", but in the United States, it was the b-side, "Rainbow", which made the Top 10.[2]


Born as Ronald Hulme in Everton, Liverpool, Lancashire,[1] he was one of the first singer-songwriters of pop music to have come out of the city, and he was the first Liverpool artist to hit the United States music scene with his song "Rainbow" several years before the Beatles. In 1957, chart success in the U.S. was a very unusual feat for a British performer and so it made Hamilton a hot property for a while. As a result, Hamilton had to commute from one side of the Atlantic to the other to meet the demands for live performances.

A former Redcoat,[2] Hamilton's first hit in the United Kingdom was "We Will Make Love", which he recorded in 1957 for Oriole Records.[3] However, in the U.S., it was the B-side, "Rainbow", that became the hit because, according to Hamilton himself, it was mistakenly thought to be the A-side of the single.[3] This led to the possibly unique situation of a single reaching the Top 10 in the UK, while its flipside achieved the same result across the Atlantic. "We Will Make Love" peaked at No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart,[4] and "Rainbow" reached No. 4 on Billboard's Hot 100.[5] The record sold over one million copies, and reached gold disc status.[5]

Hamilton followed this success later that same year with another self-penned item, "Wedding Ring", which reached the Top 20 in the UK.[2] In 1960, he was invited to Nashville, Tennessee and signed up with MGM Records. In Nashville, he recorded "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird" with the Jordanaires and Chet Atkins. His success with record releases did not improve, and by the early 1960s he had dropped away from the foreground of the pop music scene. He has written many songs which were popular, especially in Asia. "Little One" a song he wrote for his niece in Canada was his personal favourite. Other songs such as "I Still Belong to You", "I Had a Dream" and "Reprieve of Tom Dooley" were quite popular. He performed the song "I Had A Dream" on the Six-Five Special.[2] However, this hit faded rapidly and has received little airplay in recent years.

Hamilton died on 11 October 2008, at the age of 76, at his home in Buckley, North Wales.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "2008 July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Russ Hamilton: Liverpudlian singer-songwriter who had a hit in America years before the Beatles - Obituaries - News". The Independent. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  3. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 42. CN 5585.
  4. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004. London: HarperCollins. p. 339. ISBN 0007179316.
  5. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 91. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.

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