Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Oldies - We Could Have Lots Of Fun by Larry Hovis

Yes, that's right. Larry Hovis. Sgt. Andrew Carter, the guy from Hogan's Heroes who loved to blow stuff up. Long before he played that role, he sang this song, on Capitol 3873 from 1958...

Larry Hovis was born on February 20, 1936 in a small town in Washington, but grew up in Houston, Texas. He started singing at a very young age, appearing on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts (the American Idol of the day). While attending the University of Houston in the mid-1950's, Larry sang in local nightclubs. He even wrote some of his own songs! He found his way into some local theater productions. People started to notice that he was a pretty good actor! He moved to New York City in 1959 and begn working at the Shubert Theatre in a musical revue called From A To Z. He moved to Hollywood California in 1963 and tried his hand at some stand-up comedy while attempting to break into television. A year later, Andy Griffith's manager discovered Larry and offered him a job. He played Private Larry Gotschalk on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., then showed up on the Andy Griffith Show as Gilley Walker, a guy with a really strange car that Goober would repeatedly tear apart and reassemble. He landed the job on the cast of Hogan's Heroes in 1965. In the series, he was sometimes mentioned that he was part Native American of the Sioux tribe. Actually, he was part Indian, but from the Yakama Tribe instead.

After Hogan's Heroes, Larry worked as a celebrity contestant on some TV game shows, toured in the live musical version of Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and ended up teaching drama at Southwest Texas State University, which is now called Texas State University-San Marcos. Larry fell ill with cancer of the esophagus and passed away on September 9, 2003 at the age of 67. He was living in Austin at the time.

We all miss you, Carter!

1 comment:

  1. This has always been one of my favorite records, ever since I stumbled across a copy in the mid-1970's.

    Larry had initially been a part of a quartet called The Four Spades. When they were signed to the M-G-M label in 1956, they were re-named as The Four Mascots. They had four single releases there in all.

    When Larry went solo in 1958, he cut a few singles on for Capitol, as well as an album. There was also a special four wong EP for the album, which I found when I ran across his "...Fun" single and another one, "Helplessly Hopelessly". I had also at that same time ran across a Capitol single by Joel Grey, "Everytime I Ask My Heart", a song credited to "Larry Houis", but it was still the same Larry none the less. It took many years later before I found the album and the rest of his Capitol singles.

    After his solo effort, he bacame one of the Bill Gannon Trio, who recorded an album for the Carlton label. Also in the trio was one of his former Mascots singing partners.

    Fred Clemens