Carl Hamblen

Carl Stuart Hamblen: Born Oct 20, 1908, died in 1989.

In 1926, he landed a spot as a singing cowboy on KYFO in Abilene. In 1929, the Victor Recording Company (later known as RCA Victor) signed him to a contract and released four of his compositions.

He then left West Texas and headed out to California where he became ‘Cowboy Joe’ on KFI radio in Los Angeles.

Between 1931 and 1952, he had several radio programs on the air and recording contracts with Decca Records, Columbia, Coral and RCA. He also appeared in some 10 western movies alongside stars like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and John Wayne.

But the pressures of success led him to gambling and an increasing addiction to alcohol.

In 1949, Stuart’s wife Suzy persuaded him to attend a prayer meeting being held by a young Billy Graham in Los Angeles. There he made a decision to devote his life to Christ. He gave up his drinking, his radio programs and acting career, and began traveling across the country speaking and singing at Youth for Christ rallies, Billy Graham crusades, and churches with his wife, Suzy.

In 1952, the Prohibition Party nominated him to run for President of the United States (Eisenhower won that year). Mr. Hamblen was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976. He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, and in 2004, into the Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame.

Stuart Hamblen passed away in 1989 after surgery to remove a brain tumor. Billy Graham was the guest speaker at his memorial service.

Stuart composed over 62 well known country gospel songs, including:

  • “This ‘Ole House”
  • “Open Up Your Heart and Let The Sunshine In”
  • “It Is No Secret What God Can Do”
  • “Teach Me Lord To Wait”
Elvis Presley sang his songs too…
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