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Hoyt Wayne Axton (March 25, 1938 â€“ October 26, 1999) was an American country music singer-songwriter, and a film and television actor.
He was born in Duncan, Oklahoma. His mother, Mae Boren Axton, co-wrote the classic rock 'n' roll song "Heartbreak Hotel", which became the first major hit for Elvis Presley. Some of Hoyt's own songs were also later recorded by Elvis. Hoyt served in the US Navy aboard the USS Princeton (LPH-5), before pursuing a music career.
Beginning in the early 1960's with a folksy album titled 'Greenback Dollar' (recorded at the legendary Troubador), Axton released numerous albums well into the 1980's, changing somewhat with the times but always retaining an honest, down-home and fairly 'country' approach to his music.
He had many minor hits of his own, such as 1979's "Della and the Dealer", and his face became well-known in the 1970's and 1980s through many TV and film appearances, from "Bonanza" to the movie "Gremlins". However, his most lasting contributions were songs made famous by others: "Greenback Dollar" (Kingston Trio), "Joy to the World" (Three Dog Ni...