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Rockabilly Legend

Hoyt Scoggins was born on January 09, 1926 in Lafayette, GA. Hoyt's father; Murphy Scoggins was a professional old time fiddler. Hoyt began playing the guitar and mandolin at the age of twelve (12). At the early age of seventeen (17), he was featured on a radio program in Summerville, GA on station WGTA. During this time he began composing and recording his own music.

Hoyt and his band from his TV show.
Hoyt is standing, #5 from left or last on right.

Hoyt began his recording career in 1954 on the Coosa label. He composed and released several gospel songs on Starday's custom press label. He also co-wrote songs with others such as Walter Bales of the Bales Brothers.

He began performing live in 1952 on WROM (TV-channel 9) in Rome, Ga. He continued the show for a period of seven (7) years as the band leader for The Saturday Night Jamboree. Norman Blake, who appeared on numerous TV shows including a long run on The Johnny Cash TV show plus personal appearances along with being a popular recording star began performing in Hoyt's band at the age of sixteen (16) and remained with Hoyt for seven (7) years.

During this time, Hoyt composed and recorded several hit songs. Tennessee Rock and another lesser hit, Trudy, were released on the Starday label.

He composed a number of gospel songs that were recorded by notable recording artists such as: The Kingsmen Quartet, The Oakridge Boys, and The Lewis Family along with many others. Hoyt's first hit was on the Coosa label with the Kingsmen in 1954 entitled, The Pathway Is Not Crowded. He recorded Born Of The Spirit on Starday. It was recorded by The Oak Ridge Quartet, The Lewis Family and many others.

Hoyt owned the following labels, Coosa, Dixie and Dobie that he released a number of recordings. He sold all three labels to Starday in the early 1960's along with the masters.

He was a guest on Tex Ritter's radio program at WSM to promote his latest recording at the time; The Old Chain Gang that Hoyt co-wrote with Hubert Stillwell. Hoyt appeared with Roy Rogers in Nashville. He was a special guest of Hank & Audrey Williams, Porter Waggoner, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Deacon Freeman, Curley Kimsey, Monroe Blaylock, Bill Anderson, Archie Campbell, James and Martha Carson. Hoyt played a month long telethon with Smiley Burnette, the sidekick of Gene Autry's in the movies. He also toured with Lullaby Tucson and Elmer. Hoyt also served as an opening act for Eddie Arnold.

The Rockabilly recordings remain available from BimBam records in the United Kingdom on the following releases:
         1. Ace Label: Rockabilly Shakeout - Track 15: TENNESSEE ROCK
         2. Hixville Label - We'll Have A Time, Yes, Siree - Starday Custom pressings
                  volume 1 - Track 24: THE PATHEWAY IS NOT CROWDED
         3. Hillbilly Bop, Boogie and The Honky Tonk Blues Volume 3 -
                  2 cd set; from 1954-1955 - Disc 2, Track 24 - TRUDY
         4.Classic Rockabilly: 4 cd set, 120 all time great rockabilly's from pre-1957.
                  Disc 1-Track 26 - TENNESSEE ROCK

Hoyt with Norman and Nancy Blake

Hoyt's career was ready to launch into the big time when Aunt Jemima¨ offered him a national touring sponsorship. While making a final decision, he felt the Lord had a calling on his life. He yielded to the Lord and became a minister of the Gospel for forty (40) years before retiring. He and his late wife, Jessie Mae served as pastors for many churches during this period.

Hoyt is very proud of his career both in music, ministry and especially the friends he made over the years. Numerous friends during the last fifty (50) years have passed away and he continues to cherish their memories.

Hoyt is the father of two sons and one daughter. His son Ty has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. Ty and his daughter Phebe recorded many tunes with Hoyt that were released. He has six (6) grandchildren and six (6) great-grandchildren. His grandson, Aaron Scoggins Wilson is in the Marine Corp serving our country.

Hoyt is currently a member of Georgia Mountain Music Club in Rome, Georgia and continues to perform each week at the Wednesday meeting. He was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in November 2009.

He is very proud and thankful to Bob Timmers for selecting him to become an inductee in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Hoyt said, "It is one of my highest honors to be recognized for my contribution to Rockabilly in the 1950's and to be inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame."

- Maurice G. Erwin

Page Posted November, 2010 -- ©Rockabilly Hall of Fame¨