HUNGRY CHUCK: History
Hungry Chuck was formed by members of Great Speckled Bird, the backup band
for Ian and Sylvia
Tyson, in 1971.
Ian and Sylvia, a well-known folk duo who rose to popularity in the
early sixties, began making records in Nashville around 1968. They wanted
their own country band that played in a progressive style. Great Speckled
Bird was formed in 1968 and was one of the pioneering groups that created
the "Country Rock" style of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The group recorded two LPs. The first, Great Speckled Bird, was
issued by Ampex Records in 1969. Columbia released the second, You Were
On My Mind, in 1972. Great Speckled Bird toured extensively playing
across the United States and Canada. They appeared in Japan at Expo '70, on
the Johnny Cash TV show, and on Ian's television series, The
Show, from 1970 through 1973.
Jim Colegrove, Jeff Gutcheon and N.D. Smart formed Hungry Chuck in 1971. It was their intention to form a band that played an eclectic style of music blended from root forms of American Music: rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll, folk, country and gospel. The LP, titled Hungry Chuck, was issued by Bearsville Records in 1972. The group recorded an as yet unissued LP for Bearsville that same year. After making those recordings the group went their separate ways.
In 1978, Jeff Gutcheon joined Jim Colegrove in Texas to record Panther City Blues. Then again in 1982 to record an LP with the Texas rockabilly legend, Sid King, in Dallas. Jim, Jeff and N.D remained in touch over the passing years. In 1994 they decided to begin working on new material for a record. Jim and Jeff broke ground on the project in March 1995 in Fort Worth. In June 1996, Jim and Jeff joined N.D. at his home in Georgetown, Ohio for a session. In January, 1997, Jeff, N.D. and Amos Garrett came to Fort Worth, Texas where they joined Jim to record new songs. Six sides were completed and mixed in February, 1999. By 2001 Jim and Jeff were together in another band called Lost Country®. That group began issuing records on the Cool GrooveTM label.
The LP with World Class Legs!
Part of the group's Bearsville recordings have been licensed and reissued in Japan and England. As a matter of fact, the Hungry Chuck LP has been reissued in Japan no less than 5 times! There appears to be at least 4 reissues of the Hungry Chuck LP on CD in the U.K. retitled South In New Orleans, available through sources on the Internet. In 1996, Pony Canyon issued a boxed set called Bearsville Box Set that features various Bearsville artists. This set contains two previously unissued Hungry Chuck tracks. JVC Japan reissued the original LP plus the tracks from the BBS on CD in 2007. Apparently, Rhino Records has the U.S. rights to the Hungry Chuck recordings but to date has, for unknown reasons, refused to reissue them. There is a rumor that Rhino has had a change of heart after all these years and is planning on the first U. S. re-issue in 2015.
In a letter from Lennart Persson sometime in 1979, who was with the Swedish publication Larm in 1979, to Jim Yanaway, who was head of Amazing Records at the time, he stated, "As a matter of fact I knew about Jim Colegrove before. The first time I met and talked to Elvis Costello -- do you know him from the states? -- we exchanged views on a lot of obscure records. We talked about guitarists and both agreed that Amos Garrett is one of the best. I recommended the Great Speckled Bird album to him and he tipped me on the Hungry Chuck album, which was one of his favorites. So, that's the way I discovered Colegrove and I really like that album as well (Panther City Blues)...."
Some Internet sources for Hungry Chuck records:
CDE Compact Disk Europe
Hungry Chuck Members