Roy C (alternatively Roy-C or Roy "C") (born Roy Charles Hammond, 1939, Newington, Georgia), is an American southern soul singer, songwriter and record executive, best known for his 1965 hit, "Shotgun Wedding".
He began singing tenor with The Genies, a vocal group in Long Beach, Long Island, who were offered a recording contract by the record producer, Bob Shad. Their first single, "Who's That Knockin'", reached 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958, with Claude Johnson (later of the duo Don and Juan) on lead vocal. The group then moved to Atlantic Records, with Hammond taking over as lead singer, but their recordings were not released, and he was drafted into the Air Force.
When he returned to New York in 1965, Hammond organised a studio session to record his own song, "Shotgun Wedding", and released it under the name of Roy Hammond on his own Hammond label, before leasing it to the larger Black Hawk Records under the name Roy C. The record, with its novelty ricochet opening and relatively risqué subject matter for the time, reached 14 on the national R&B chart. It had even greater success when issued in the UK, reaching 6 on the UK Singles Chart in 1966 and 8 when reissued in 1972. His first album was That Shotgun Wedding Man (1966) on Ember Records.
After some unsuccessful follow-ups on the Shout label, Hammond started another new label, Alaga. Working with guitarist J. Hines, he had more success with "Got To Get Enough (Of Your Sweet Love Stuff)" making the R&B charts in 1971. Two years later he signed for Mercury Records, and had another R&B hit with "Don't Blame The Man". He also released an album, Sex and Soul, and several more minor hit singles. He stayed with Mercury for several years, until label bosses took exception to his outspoken political stance in songs, like "Great Great Grandson of A Slave".
Since 1979 he has continued to release a string of soul singles and albums, on his own Three Gems record label, initially based in New York and later in Allendale, South Carolina. Hammond composed most of his recordings and has more than 125 titles to his credit. He recorded an album by ex-Temptation Dennis Edwards entitled Talk to Me, and also worked on a CD by Bobby Stringer. Hammond also runs his own record shop in Allendale, called Carolina Record Distributors.
"Infidelity, Georgia," also known as "Saved by the Bell," is a song about sexual infidelity in small town Georgia.
There is currently a documentary being made about Roy C. It is titled Roy C. Forever. For more information on the film visit: www.roycforever.blogspot.com
The song "Shotgun Wedding" was popular in England among so called 'skinheads' who despite the racism associated with them in later years very much identified with Ska, Reggae and to a lesser degree Soul music. The lilting rhythm of this song is similar to early Ska recordings - in the rock-steady and blue-beat style, and is often played alongside them by 'oldies dj's' in the UK. The song is perhaps indicative of the crossover from "Mod" culture to "skinhead culture", and the song's popularity particularly in the North of England may well be a fore runner of the development of Northern Soul in later years.
Roy C still performs and hasn't lost a step. He recently released a live Cd and a studio album entitled "Don't Let Our Love Die". For bookings and CD orders call Carolina Record Distributors at (803) 584-3704 or e-mail
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