ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAMEŽ MERCHANDISE & SERVICES
Hal Willis was born Leonald Gauthier, in the heart of the logging country of Quebec. He was raised in the
little Town of Rouyn. By coincidence, his ancestors who started The Gauthier Line in Canada, came from
Rouen in France. The towns have different spellings, but are pronounced the same.
As a teenager, Hal worked in the logging camps with his father and learned the trade very well, but his heart
was not in it. His every free moment was spent listening to the radio, either at the logging camp or on his father's
battery radio on the farm. The Grand Ole Opry was his favorite program and Hank Williams ws his idol. He vowed that
someday he would also sing on the Grand Ole Opry.
Hal got a job singing with Ginger and the Melody Rangers and went from there to doing floor shows with Ginger as
a duet in Montreal and upper New York state. Hal was speaking English by then and when George Taylor of Rodeo
Records signed him up as the first vocalist on the label, Hal was ready. George Taylor thought that Leonald Francois
Joseph Guy Gauthier was not a very commercial name for English country records so since Hal liked Hank Williams so
much, they chose the name "Willis" and as an afterthought, "Hal" instead of Hank. One night the great Webb Pierce
caught their act in Buffalo, New York at the world famous McVans Nightclub and told them that they belonged in
Hal and Ginger were by then getting restless and looking for new fields to conquer, so they took a chance and
followed Webb's advice and moved to Nashville, Tennessee and there their dreams were realized. They started
appearing as guests on the Grand Ole Opry just a few weeks after they arrived in Nashville. They then both went
to work for Marty Robbins while Hal polished his English by doing demo sessions in his spare time for writers and
Things began to happen that made Hal and Ginger very happy. They were asked by Colonel Tom Parker to join the
Elvis Presley Show, next Hal's first record on Atlantic called "My Pink Cadillac" was a hit. Hal still kept trying
different styles of recordings, but it was not until Hal recorded his famous "The Lumberjack" hit that he got the
recognition he deserved. Hal and Ginger each won a BMI award, as well as Hal receiving a gold record for selling
over one and a half million records. After that Hal had another Gold Record with "Doggin' In The U.S. Mail".
By this time, Hal and Ginger started writing in earnest and had their songs recorded by some of the all time
greats such as: Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb, Bobby Helms, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Charlie Walker,
The Wilburn Bros., etc., etc. No other writers can boast of having had songs recorded by such an array of Hall of
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