Herman Hitson

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Herman Hitson first hit the stage in nearby St. Augustine, forming his first band the Sterophonics in 1959. When his guitarist didn't show up for a gig he took up the instrument himself, utilizing the few chords that he knew, and noted the audience's positive reaction to his spirited approach. The next day he bought a six-string and it's been an integral part of his sound ever since.

After the demise of his first group, Hitson formed yet another ingeniously-monikered combo, the Rockin' Tonics, with whom he began touring the South. His first disc, "Been So Long" b/w "Georgia Grind" was waxed for Royal Records and sold well below the Mason Dixon Line after influential R&B disc jockey John R broke it over Nashville's powerhouse WLAC.

"I Got That Will" b/w "Too Much For The Human Heart," cut in 1965 and leased to ATCO, paved the way for Hitson's first album, which remains unreleased to this day. While cutting sessions for the LP in Atlanta, he met Jimi Hendrix, who was in town for an engagement as guitarist with the Isley Brothers. Hendrix wound up playing on the album, but Atlantic shelved it.

Unbowed, Hitson's next stop was New York, where he added vocals to two backing tracks, "Yet You Did" and "Better To Have Loved," that had been laid down by the legendary Ohio Untouchables on a trip through the city.

Never giving up on his music, Hitson toured as Joe Tex's guitarist in the '70s and has recently been tearing up the club circuit following the anthologizing of his old recordings on the Soul-Tay-Shus release You Are Too Much For The Human Heart, a profile in Wax Poetics and knock-em-dead performances in Chicago, Atlanta Birmingham and most recently, the Ponderosa Stomp Showcase at Austin's South By Southwest Music Conference.

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