Ben Hewitt

Teen // Teen Rock

Birth name, Ben Hewitt

always klick on pics

Niagara County, New York, USA

Born Sept. 11, 1935; Died Dec. 8, 1996 (aged 61), Maryland

New York

Discography & info Ben Hewitt

Tuscarora history

Ben Hewitt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, translated from German

Ben "Smokey" Hewitt (born September 11, 1935 in Tuscarora, † December 8, 1996 in Maryland) was an American rockabilly musician. 

Childhood and youth: Hewitt was born in 1935 in a log cabin in an Indian reservation in Niagara County, New York. He belonged to the tribe of the Tuscarora, who are counted among the Iroquois-speaking Indian tribes of North America. At the age of twelve he was given a ukulele and a year later his first guitar. Clayton Green taught Hewitt the basics of guitar playing. 

Musical influences: In addition to country music, Rhythm & Blues music, which was becoming increasingly popular at the time, also began the young Hewitt beginning to influence the 1950s. Later, he also heard the records of the Sun Records label and Elvis Presley. In an interview he gave to music historians Colin Escott and Hank Davis in the 1980s, he named Little Richard another great role model. 

Career: Hewitt had a band and regularly played their own songs and songs by Little Richard in various bars. He frequented DeFazios with his combo, a small bar in Niagara Falls. There, songwriter Julian Langford became aware of her, who wanted to persuade her to demo recordings of his songs. As the songs written by Langford Hewitt were very similar to each other, he began to rewrite them. The only song that Hewitt left in the original was the song Whirlwind Blues. There were also some numbers from Hewitt's pen, such as Queen in the Kingdom of My Heart and Bundle of Love, which were later credited as Julian Langford songs. Langford paid the studio and drinks and they recorded a demo with the band. In 1958, a record deal with Mercury Records and a management contract with Langford was signed. Two days later, the first recordings started in New York City. Producer was Clyde Otis, who also worked with artists such as Brook Benton, Roy Hamilton and The Five Satins. Otis brought in a song of his own that he put together written with Brook Benton, I Is not Givin 'Up Nothin' (If I Can not Have Something From You). The recording sessions took place mostly in the Bell Tone Studio, also took Hewitt there later, directed by Clyde Otis and various demos for Elvis Presley on. Hewitt's records did not sell very well, but he still had numerous appearances and tours, all booked through the Shaw Agency. At this concert agency he was at that time the only white artist. The highlight was a so-called package tour as part of the Alan Freed show, which also allowed him to perform at the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn. In 1961, Hewitt separated from Mercury Records and lost that Interest in further recordings and record contracts. It was later still a live album of a Far East tour on B-A-B Records, and 1975, the country single Border City Call Girl on the Canadian label Broadland Records, which appeared in the US on Plantation Records, a label of Shelby Singleton from Nashville. Although Ben Hewitt's recordings did not reach any chart quotations, he never turned his back on his music. He performed for decades at DeFazios and was known by his nickname "Smokey". Hewitt said in an interview that he was "Smokey, the most famous stranger". He was recognized on a tour even in Okinawa as "Smokey", and also the radio station CBC in Toronto wanted to do a show with him - as "Smokey", not as Ben Hewitt. 

Read original text (in German) here >>>Ben Hewitt 

Original release, MERCURY 71612x45 (US) 04/1960 ; This release, repro MERCURY 71612x45 (Promotional Record) [1975 ?]

The queen in the kingdom of my heart   b/w   Whirlwind blues

Whirlwind blues - 1960


When the rockabilly revival in Europe began in the late 1970s, people remembered the US stars of the first hour as well as the great unknowns of the genre. Numerous records have been re-released on a variety of European labels, including recordings of unknown artists who had never reached the charts. This happened with Ben Hewitt. After Hewitt's Mercury recordings had been rediscovered in the archives, Bear Family Records brought this 1984 again on record out again. This was followed by concerts on major European rock'n'roll and Rockabilly Festivals, for which he was booked as a headliner, celebrated as one of the pioneers of the genre. He recorded in England with the help of musicians from the British rockabilly band Breathless and the producers Paul Barrett and Robert Llewellyn new material for a record that also appeared on Bear Family on vinyl and later on CD. In 1985, Hewitt recorded another LP titled Ben Hewitt - Tore Up! Between concert dates in southern Germany. in a studio in Munich. The backing band was the Munich group Marty & The Catlegs, and the album was released on the German label Hydra Records. In the course of the Bear Family Festival 1990 in Bremen, used Hewitt had the opportunity to make further recordings in the recording studio of Jörg Siemer with the accompanying band Rumble on the Beach, which were only released on CD in 1997. Ben Hewitt died on December 8, 1996 at the age of 61 in Maryland. 

Discography (excerpt) 


1959: For Quite a While / Patricia 

June 1959: You Break Me Up / I Aint 'Givin' Up Nothin '(If I Can not Get Something From You) 

1960: My Search / I Want A New Girl Now 

1960: The Queen in the Kingdom of My Heart / Whirlwind Blues 

1975: Border City Call Girl / Hobnobbin 'With The Goblins albums 

1984: They Would Call Me Elvis! (LP) 

1985: Good Times And Some Mighty Fine Rock'n'Roll (LP) 

1985: Ben Hewitt - Tore Up! (LP) 

1997: The Spirit of Rock'n'Roll (CD) 

1997: You Got Me Shook (CD) 

1990s: Lucky Records Presents Ben Hewitt - Best Of 1958-1960 (10 "LP) W

© Stefan Schröder 2017