The Early Music of HOYT AXTON
(updated April 27, 2015)

   If you enjoy Hoyt's music from his early days, you might be interested in one or more of these CDs:

HOYT AXTON - 1969 Concert at the Berkeley Bair's Lair!
A double CD set with 2 1/2 hours of great music from a live early performance at Berkeley!
Check this one out!!

Click here to see CD#17

HOYT AXTON at The Golden Bear!
A CD from a live early performance back in the '60's.  And what a performance!
Some great songs are on this CD!!
Click here to see CD#14

The Skip Weshner tapes on CD!!!
Click here for information

Special Double CD!!  See CD#10 Below!!

Out of print CDs:

Hoyt Axton - The A&M Years - see CD#15 below

and My Griffin is Gone/ Snowblind Friend - see CD#16 below

Click here for the Complete Discography of Hoyt Axton

For HARD CORE fans only, click here for the new Rare Hoyt Axton Volume 2 CD

Note:  The .mp3 music samples below are only 64 kbps (fair quality) to save file space.  The CDs are high quality .wav files.

CD #1 -  The Balladeer and Other Early Songs

This CD consists of the complete Balladeer album, Hoyt's first and very rare.  All 12 songs, along with Hoyt's introductions and audience participation are in digitally edited stereo.  In addition, songs 13-21 are some of the best music Hoyt ever sang.  Just Hoyt and his guitar, recorded back in 1968.  He used to sing these songs live at small clubs like The Troubadour in Hollywood.  Definitely, Hoyt Axton at his best!  Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #2 -  Hoyt's Oldies

This CD has 73 minutes of Hoyt singing the best songs from his four best early albums, Greenback Dollar, Thunder 'N Lightnin', Saturday's Child, and Mr. Greenback Dollar Man.  All in digitally edited stereo.  If you could only have one CD of early Hoyt Axton, this would be the one.  Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #3 -  Rare Hoyt Axton

Hoyt's later music is available everywhere.  The very best of his early music is on the other CD's listed above.  But Hoyt also sang some great songs that were recorded on rare and obscure albums that are difficult, if not impossible, to find anywhere.  Plus many of these albums have only one or two of Hoyt's songs, and who wants to listen to other singers who can't compare to Hoyt? :)
   This CD starts off with the first songs he ever recorded on a 45 rpm record, Drinkin' Gourd and Georgia Hoss Soldier.  Then he does a GREAT rendition of Downbound Train.  Then a couple of terrific live songs from his Troubadour days.  Also included are some excellent songs from Hoyt's TV Bonanza appearance and his movie from 1966, Smoky.  The Pusher and Morning Star are two very good unpublished versions of just Hoyt and his guitar, recorded back in 1968.  Four songs from the out-of-print American Dreams album and some other rare songs are sure to be enjoyed by Hoyt's fans.  This CD is for the fan who wants to have everything Hoyt ever recorded.  Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

Click here to see The Complete Discography of Hoyt Axton

CD #4 -  Hoyt's Oldies (special edition, companion to The Balladeer CD - see below)

This CD is the companion to The Balladeer and Other Early Songs CD (CD #1).  The original edition of Hoyt's Oldies (CD #2) has 8 songs from the Greenback Dollar album, which are included on The Balladeer CD.  Instead of those duplicates, this Special Edition includes additional excellent songs from Thunder 'N Lightnin', Saturday's Child, and Mr. Greenback Dollar Man.  All in digitally edited stereo.  Please look carefully at the song list and compare it to CD#2.  Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #5 - Mr. Greenback Dollar Man and Hoyt Axton Explodes

This CD includes the complete albums of Mr. Greenback Dollar Man (1965) and Hoyt Axton Explodes (1964).
Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #6 - Hoyt Axton Explodes and Sings Bessie Smith

This CD includes the complete albums Hoyt Axton Explodes (1964) and Hoyt Axton Sings Bessie Smith (1965).
Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #7 -  Thunder 'N Lightnin' and Saturday's Child

Two of Hoyt's best early albums are Thunder 'N Lightnin' and Saturday's Child.  This CD has both complete albums, all in digitally edited stereo.  Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #8 -  Other custom Hoyt Axton CDs
     (substitute your name on the cover)

Any songs from any Hoyt Axton album or CD can be combined on a custom CD.  Up to 73 minutes of music can fit on a CD, with any order of songs.  Substitute your name on the jewel case cover (example above is for Janalee) and CD label, or use another custom cover similar to that shown on other CDs.  Or name your favorite songs for a "Best of Hoyt Axton" CD.
Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #9 -  American Originals

This CD from Capitol Records has long been out-of-print.  It includes all of the songs from both of Hoyt's 1971 albums Joy to the World and Country Anthem, except "Hey, Mr. Pilot Man, which they chose to omit.  (Instead, they added "It's Been Fun".) My copy is exactly the same as the original except I add the missing song "Hey, Mr. Pilot Man" for a total of 21 songs rather than 20.

CD #10 -  The Very Best of Hoyt Axton

This double CD set has the very best of early Hoyt Axton.  44 songs for well over 2 hours of great music.  Here's what's on it:

***The complete Balladeer album - Hoyt's first album recorded live in 1962 at The Troubadour - all 12 songs in digitally edited clean stereo sound, along with Hoyt's introductions to the songs.
***9 great songs that have never been published that Hoyt used to sing at The Troubadour and other night clubs back in the 1960's.  This is just Hoyt and his guitar - like you remembered him performing live.  (Note:  Disc One of this set is exactly the same as CD #1 above, but labeled differently.)

***Song #1 is Downbound Train, performed live and recorded back in 1963.
***The 9 best songs from Hoyt's great album, Thunder 'N Lightnin', also recorded back in 1963.
***7 of the best songs from the Mr. Greenback Dollar Man album, published in 1965.
***The 6 best songs from the 1963 album Saturday's Child, certainly one of Hoyt's best.

What a performer Hoyt was, and this double CD has the best of the best!
Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #11 - Mr. Greenback Dollar Man and Sings Bessie Smith

This CD includes the complete albums Mr. Greenback Dollar Man (1965) and Hoyt Axton Sings Bessie Smith (1965).

CD #12 - Greenback Dollar and Mr. Greenback Dollar Man

This CD includes the complete albums Greenback Dollar (1963) and Mr. Greenback Dollar Man (1965).
Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

CD #13 - Rare Hoyt Axton Volume 2

For Hard Core Fans Only!!

I can almost guarantee even the most hard core Hoyt Axton fans have not heard all of these songs.  This CD includes very rare and unpublished music from various records, studio tapes, radio talk shows from the '60's and '70's, and video specials.  Here's where they come from:

* Song 1, One More Round, is from an early Horizon 45 rpm record.  It's good.
* Songs 2-8 were sung on a 1967 radio show hosted by folk DJ Skip Weshner.  Hoyt used to sing many of these songs live.
* Songs 9-13 are taken from studio tapes recorded in 1973 and 1974 when Hoyt was recording for A&M Records.    The final songs ended up on his Life Machine album, but these are slightly different versions.   Bicycle Wreck has some new music on it.
* Songs 14-17 are from a radio interview on KPFK in 1977.  Song 17 includes a dialog with Hoyt about his music philosophy.
* Song 18, Deportees, is taken from the 1984 soundtrack album of Woody Guthrie - Hard Travelin' .
* Song 19, Lightnin’ Bar Blues, is from a live performance at the Country Concert at Gilley’s.
* Songs 20 and 21 are from a live television performance on Austin City Limits recording in 1978.
* Songs 22-24 are from a studio tape from Janalee Eberly (formerly Dare), Hoyt’s backup singer and long time close friend.  I think you will like these songs.
* Song 25, We’ve Got to Win this One, is from a hard-to-find 45 rpm record recorded by Hoyt in the 1990’s.
* Song 26, Soldier’s Last Letter, is also from a relatively obscure 45 rpm record.

Note:  The songs above that are taken from the 1967 Skip Weshner show (songs 2 thru 8)were recorded from a radio broadcast, so don't expect high quality stereo up to modern day standards.  (Click on this for a sample in .mp3 format.)  All of the songs have been digitally edited, and they are clean, but only about half are really good quality.  A few of the songs are incomplete, and a couple have dropouts in the original recordings.  However, many of the songs on this CD are very good, but they just never got recorded on a record album.  This CD is for the Hoyt Axton fan who has most all of Hoyt's music and wants to have "EVERYTHING".

(Note:  This CD is 77 minutes long.  I couldn't decide which song to omit to fit it on a 74 minute CD, so this goes on an 80 minute music (not data) CDR.  Once in a great while some people have problems playing 80 minute CDs on their stereo equipment.  This is rare, but if you think your equipment may not play the 80 minute CDs, I can omit one or two songs of your choice and fit the remainder on a 74 minute CD.)

CD #14 - Hoyt Axton at The Golden Bear

Here's the story on this CD:

 Around July, 2002, I received an email from an old friend and fan of Hoyt’s, Boyd Thomas, who, like me, used to see Hoyt perform live back in the 1960’s.  One of Boyd’s favorite spots was The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California.
   Around 1965, Hoyt let Boyd and his wife (Vicki Wright) set up a reel-to-reel tape recorder at one of Hoyt’s late night shows at The Golden Bear, and Boyd was able to tape the show, hooking directly into the sound system without a microphone.  In later years, Boyd and Vicki split up, and the tape went with Vicki.   Vicki kept the tape, but she had no way to play it, so it sat for many years in a music store bag.  About ten years ago, she told a friend about the tape, but he too had no equipment on which to play the tape.  Just last year, Vicki's friend asked again about the tape, since he had met Rhys Clark, Hoyt's drummer for a number of years.  Rhys was able to play the tape and make Vicki a CD copy, which she then duplicated and gave a copy to Boyd.  Boyd sent me a copy of the CD.
    Hoyt was in top form that night, singing some great songs, many of which have never been recorded on any record album.  Unfortunately, the quality of the recording left much to be desired, considering the age, the technology back then, plus some connection problems.
   But the recording had a lot of potential for digitally cleaning up using modern technology.  After spending many hours working on this project, this CD is the result.
    Except for some very unfortunate hum blasts on the first two songs, most the remaining songs sound very good.  All have been digitally edited to result in an evening with Hoyt that I think you will greatly enjoy.  These were powerful performances in Hoyt's early years.
 Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

And another sample.

CD #15 - Hoyt Axton - The A&M Years

 Hoyt Axton - The A&M Years has been commercially available since 1999, but for some reason it seems to now be out of print.  Sources like just say "check back later".  Other good sources for Hoyt's newer CDs are,,, and ebay.  But fans have written saying they just can't find it anymore.  If you find a copy from another source, buy it, because it will be an original A&M double CD and it has a nice booklet inside the CD double jewel case.  It should be priced somewhere between $28-35.

But if you can't find it anywhere, I'm offering a digital copy with the same great music.  This CD has all four of Hoyt's complete A&M albums, including Less Than the Song, Life Machine, Southbound, and Fearless.  See the track listing above and also on the main Discography page.

CD #16 - My Griffin is Gone/ Snowblind Friend

 Well, it seems that more great CDs by Hoyt are going out of print!  Both My Griffin is Gone and Snowblind Friend have been readily available at lots of online stores like,,, etc. for years.  Now fans can't seem to find them anywhere.  At, where there are lots of used Hoyt Axton record albums and CDs, people are asking ridiculous prices for some of the out-of-print music (sometimes as much as $200!).

Since fans have been asking where to get them, I decided to offer exact digital copies.  They don't have the little booklets inside, but in this case, you will get twice as much music!  This CD has the complete albums of both Hoyt's 1969 album My Griffin is Gone and his 1977 album Snowblind Friend.  If you are looking for these two excellent albums, this CD is what you need.

CD #17 - Hoyt Axton - 1969 Concert at the Berkeley Bear's Lair

Here's the story on this 2 disc, double CD set:

On May 31, 1969, Hoyt Axton appeared for a great performance at the Bear’s Lair, the Student Union, at the University of California at Berkeley.  On hand for both performances was a young fan of Hoyt’s, Rick Milligan, and his wife to be, Diane.  Diane had a good friend in the audio/visual section there who taped the concerts for Berkeley.  After the concert, Rick and Diane got the only copy of a reel to reel tape of Hoyt’s entire performance.  Rick provided a copy of the tape for this CD set, as well as the posters used in the artwork.

    The performance was a double concert:  Hoyt performed about an hour and a half, then took a fifteen minute break and came back on stage for another hour.  There were only about forty people in the audience for the first set, and about twenty for the second set, so it was a very personal experience.  Rick and Diane sat in the front row, about fifteen feet from Hoyt.

    As those of you who were fortunate enough to see and hear Hoyt perform back in the ‘60s and the early ‘70s, you remember what a voice he had back then.  Here he is, with his foot on a chair and a couple of guitars.  Enjoy two and a half hours of Hoyt in his heyday.

 Click here for a sample in .mp3 format.

And another .mp3 sample here.

Here's a quote from long time fan, Rich Williams:

"Hi Ray
That Berkeley tape was a real find.  It's as close to being at a live Hoyt concert as you can get.  If I didn't know better I would have thought that Joy, my brother Jim and myself were in the audience, but I know none of has ever been to Berkeley.  The last time I saw Hoyt live was in the spring of 1969 at a small club in La Jolla, near San Diego, called The Four Muses. He probably went to Berkeley soon after that.  Thanks again.  Rich "



Because these CDs are individually made, it takes me about an hour to process a CD order.  So each single CD above is $25, including shipping to any U.S. address.  Custom CD#8 and double CD sets #10, #15, and #17 are $45, including shipping within the U.S.

Having trouble deciding which of the above to own?  Here are my suggestions:

If you don't have any of Hoyt's early music and want the best music in one CD, try CD#2, Hoyt's Oldies.

If you can afford a bit more, go for double CD#10, The Very Best of Hoyt Axton.  You'll get 44 of Hoyt's best early songs.

If you already own CD#1, The Balladeer and other Early Songs, next I'd recommend CD#4, the special edition of Hoyt's Oldies.  This will avoid duplication of songs and get more of Hoyt's best from his other early albums.  (Note the combination of these two are almost the same as double CD#10.)

If you want complete albums, I'd have to say first get CD#1, The Balladeer and other Early Songs.  Then go for CD#7, Thunder 'N Lightnin' and Saturday's Child.  Wow, this is great music!

If you already have Hoyt's Oldies or CD#10, next I'd choose CD#3, Rare Hoyt Axton.  This CD has some excellent music most of you have never heard before.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to see Hoyt perform live in his early years, consider CD#14, Hoyt Axton at The Golden Bear.  It's only 45 minutes long, and the quality isn't perfect, but what a show!  Also, you'll love the brand new CD#17, Hoyt Axton - 1969 Concert at Berkeley.

If you have all of the above music and you're really a hard-core fan, take a look at CD#13, Rare Hoyt Axton Volume 2.  Very rare stuff here for sure.  Not all is "modern CD quality", but I think you'll like the music.

The other CDs are mostly complete albums in various combinations that you won't find in any stores.

You can email me at:

Ray Kawal