Two For Tuesday: Hoyt Axton

Folksinger/songwriter/actor Hoyt Axton, with whom I share a birthday (not the same year), wrote a couple of songs that were covered by Three Dog Night: “Joy To The World” and “Never Been To Spain.” His songs have been covered by Steppenwolf (“The Pusher”), John Denver (“Sweet Misery”), and Ringo Starr (“The No-No Song”), among others.

Hoyt’s first single was “Greenback Dollar,” which he recorded in 1963. It was covered by The Kingston Trio on their 1962 album New Frontier; their single of the tune (with the word “damn” edited out) peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 in 1963.

Hoyt recorded “Never Been To Spain” as a single in 1971. It was covered by Three Dog Night in 1972, who took it to #5. It was also covered by Waylon Jennings and Elvis Presley. An interesting fact: Elvis’s first #1 single, “Heartbreak Hotel,” was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, Hoyt’s mother.

Hoyt died of a heart attack in 1999. He had suffered a stroke in 1995 which forced him to use a wheelchair most of the time. In 2007, he and his mother were inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. You can see his acting credits and movie and TV-related songwriting credits on IMDb.

Hoyt Axton, your Two For Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

7 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Hoyt Axton

  1. Hoyt was amazing. I had a cassette tape of his that I wore out so I bought the CD (unfortunately left behind at the cottage when we sold it). He did an Austin City Limits – did the whole hour and could have done another two or three. Thank you for posting this


    1. Sure. He was next on my Three Dog Night Theme, but I never realized he wrote “Greenback Dollar.” The things you learn doing this job…


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