H. B. Barnum

Record producer, Musical Artist

1936 –


Who is H. B. Barnum?

H. B. Barnum is an American pianist, arranger, record producer, songwriter, and former child actor.

After winning a nationwide talent contest at the age of four and starring in the motion picture Valley of the Sun Marches On, he continued his acting career on TV in the Amos 'n Andy Shows, the Jack Benny Show, and others, making his first solo recording as Pee Wee Barnum in 1950.

He then joined doo-wop groups The Dootones and, in 1956, The Robins, for whom he played piano. In 1960, under the pseudonym "Dudley" he recorded the radio hit "El Pizza," a parody of Marty Robbins' "El Paso". In 1961 he had the only hit under his own name, the instrumental "Lost Love", and in the same year recorded the first version of "Nut Rocker", credited to Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks. He also recorded three albums as a singer-pianist during the 1960s.

In 1962, Barnum, in collaboration with Bill Aken and Lan-Cet Records did the big band arrangement for the 1962 gubernatorial campaign recording to tie in with Goodwin "Goody" Knight's bid for re-election as Governor of California. Johnny Mercergave the o.k. for using Aken's re-written lyrics to his old standard of "Goody Goody." In spite of the fact that it was done for a political campaign, the band's final recording was a superlative work of musical genius on the part of Barnum and Aken. Goodwin Knight subsequently pulled out of the campaign and copies of the record are very rare and hard to find.

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Jul 15, 1936
Also known as
  • HB Barnum
  • H.B. Barnum
  • Barnum, H.B.
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Texas

on July 23, 2013


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