October, 2005 - I am extremely sad to report that Hamilton Camp died suddenly on October 2. I had only known him for 20 months, but I am proud to say that he was a good friend, and I am shattered by his death as are his family and his fans and friends from around the world.
An accomplished character actor who was sought after by directors because of his reputation of being able to make a role, he appeared in numerous films, stage productions (including Broadway), television, and as a voice actor on animated films and video games. Some of his most notable TV roles were on the short lived He and She, in 1967, and in popular TV series including Mary Tyler Moore, Mash, Too Close for Comfort, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Although his primary career was as an actor - a choice he made because it wouldn't require constant travel away from his family - he also pursued a music career and wove it in and out of his life for 5 decades. He is best known as a member of the Gibson & Camp duo, whose 1961 album Live At The Gate Of Horn was acclaimed as one of the most influentual folk recordings of its time. He and Bob Gibson reunited periodically for more than 35 years, until Gibson's death in 1996, performing at special reunion shows and releasing two other albums together. It was Gibson's daugher, Meridian Green, who was thoughtful enough to think to call me as soon as she heard that Hamilton had died.
Hamilton also released four solo albums, and one album with a group of friends known as the Skymonters. He had a minor hit in 1968 with Here's To You, which reached #76 on the top 100 chart, and his folk classic Pride Of Man was recorded by Quicksilver Messenger Service, which had a hit with it, and by Gordon Lightfoot and Tony Rice.
Just days before his death, he completed the artwork for his last CD, released on November 8. It has many new original songs, a new recording of Pride Of Man, and several covers including Dylan's Ring Them Bells. The CD, called Sweet Joy is available from the online store on this web site.
I can't begin to say how much I will miss him. I looked forward to our frequent online chats. He was warm, compassionate, funny, clever ... I can't think of enough adjectives. He loved the sounds on Yahoo Messenger, and often had me in stitches when he inserted one into an otherwise serious discussion. He was passionate about everything he did, not only his dual professions, but also special projects that he took on including being the Treasurer (!) for a health relief non-profit that was caring for Tsunami victims. What was amazing was not that he was doing his part to help others, but that this talented musician and actor learned Quickbooks so he could do a job that had to be done. Somehow, I don't think accounting was one of his favorite things, nor something for which he had a special gift, but he did what was necessary to help out a worthy cause.
I feel very privileged to have known him, and can be slightly comforted by the fact that he was doing what he enjoyed every day, and had the satisfaction of seeing his CD project to completion and just as he wanted it. And I have the satisfaction of knowing that late in the recording process, when he was discouraged about one of the songs because he couldn't get it the way he wanted it, I urged him to try again. He did, and ths song is on the CD.
I will miss him terribly.