Hal Willis, born Leonald Francis Gauthier July 15, 1933 and died September 4, 2015.
Willis was a Canadian country singer who lived in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
He was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec the youngest son of Alfred and Evelina Gauthier.
His famous country single was “The Lumberjack,” an international hit that sold over 1.5 million copies.
In 1965, it peaked at number 5 on the Billboard country charts in the USA.
This success was such a phenomenon that he has been since called Mr. Lumberjack.
Willis popularity started rising in 1956 when he and his wife, Ginger Willis, were hired by Colonel Tom Parker to tour with the music phenomenon of the hour, Elvis Presley.
At this time, Willis and Ginger were also rock and roll singers recording songs like “My Pink Cadillac” and “Bop a Dee Bop a Doo.”
Willis and Ginger, along with Hank Snow, were the only Canadian performers to tour with Elvis Presley.
He also performed and toured through his career with many American Country Music Hall of Fame singers such as Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.
Willis and Ginger Willis were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
On May 27, 2012, Hal Willis was also inducted to the Quebec Museum of Rock & Roll through a ceremony held in Rouyn-Noranda.
In March 2013, at the age of 79 years, Willis is coming out with a new single hit: “Working in the Goldmine”.
He died at age 82 on September 4, 2015.