Gene Simmons (not the member of hard rockers Kiss) had a number 11 hit in 1964 with the novelty "Haunted House," but his heart was actually in the rich and rootsy rock, soul, and country traditions of his home base of Memphis. Born in Tupelo, MS, Simmons relocated to Memphis after recording some rockabilly for Sun Records, who actually only got around to issuing one single from his sessions. Moving to the Hi label in the early '60s, he recorded several singles and an album, but "Haunted House" was the only one that met with success before his last single for the company in 1966. With his white Southern R&B, Simmons echoed such fellow travelers as Roy Head, Bruce Channel, and post-rockabilly Dale Hawkins, although he was not as gritty as any of them. He was a likable performer, though, and gave the Hi label some of their first tastes of success.
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