Hunter Hancock

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A San Antonio, Texas disc jockey on station KMAC, Hancock moved to California and worked as a jazz presenter on radio station KFVD (latterly KPOP) in Los Angeles in 1943. Switching exclusively to what…
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A San Antonio, Texas disc jockey on station KMAC, Hancock moved to California and worked as a jazz presenter on radio station KFVD (latterly KPOP) in Los Angeles in 1943. Switching exclusively to what later developed into R&B, Hancock launched his Harlem Matinee radio show in June 1948, and became known for his wild hollering and screaming. In playing the new music at that time, he predated Alan Freed by several years. Hancock was soon a popular figure at the many black clubs on Central Avenue. He became good friends with Johnny Otis and presided over many shows at Otis’ Barrelhouse club. In 1951, Hancock presented two concert shows, The Blues & Rhythm Midnight Matinee, from the Olympic Auditorium, showcasing local black artists such as Floyd Dixon, Big Jay McNeely, Maxwell Davis and Peppermint Harris. The results have recently been issued for the first time on Sweden’s Route 66 label. Hancock remained an advocate for R&B throughout the 50s, moving to KGFJ and KFOX and back to KPOP, and in February 1959 he formed his own Swingin’ label, based near Sunset Boulevard. His first release was ‘There Is Something On Your Mind’ by Big Jay McNeely which had been recorded two years earlier, but nevertheless reached number 5 on the R&B charts. Swingin’, and its sister label Magnum, ceased business in late 1964 after several dozen R&B and vocal group releases by such artists as Marvin And Johnny, Joe Houston and Rochell And The Candles. At this time Hancock was still a disc jockey on KGFJ; he retired from the music business in 1968.