I first saw this person, in a 1959 Frank Sinatra movie called Hole in the Head.
Eddie was an actor first, then recorded a few songs:
1. I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door/ Cadence1397/ 7/24/61/ # 12 Billboard
2. (Girls, Girls, Girls) Made to Love (Phil Everly)/ Cadence 1421/7/7/62/ # 14 Billboard
3. New Orleans/ Aurora/ 1965/ (fairly unknown, but my favourite)
Eddie Hodges was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, U.S., on March 5, 1947. He traveled to New York City with his family and on October 4, 1957 was a contestant on a TV game show Name That Tune. The story presented to the press at the time was that he was noticed by Rini Willson, the wife of playwright and composer Meredith Willson who was looking for a boy to cast in a new musical. However, the fact was that he had been auditioning for this part prior to being asked to appear on the game show, so there was an “agreement” between the producers of the two productions that the boy chosen to play the role in the musical would be “discovered” on the TV show.
Hodges’ partner contestant on Name That Tune was Marine Corps test pilot Col. John Glenn, later an astronaut, United States Senator and presidential candidate.
Hodges had made his professional acting debut on stage in Wilson’s 1957 Broadway musical The Music Man.
He made his film debut in A Hole In The Head, the 1959 film with Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson, in which Hodges and Sinatra performed a song called High Hopes. (Hodges did not perform on Sinatra’s hit recording of that song.)
(Eddie’s name is in small print below the movie title)
Hodges made eight feature films and numerous TV guest appearances. He is probably best remembered for the title role in Michael Curtiz’s 1960 film The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is considered one of the best of the many attempts to film Mark Twain’s classic.
Both Hodges and his co-star as “Jim”, Archie Moore, received generally positive reviews for their performances. Hodges also appeared in the 1963 Disney film Summer Magic.
Guest appearances on network TV productions included Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Cimarron Strip and The Dick Van Dyke Show, among others. He was also a Mystery Guest on What’s My Line?
At the age of 14, Hodges recorded for Cadence Records and his biggest hit was “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” in 1961.
Hodges also scored a minor hit with “(Girls, Girls, Girls) Made to Love,” a song written by Phil Everly and originally recorded by The Everly Brothers.
He also recorded for several other record labels.
Before he left Hollywood, he was a union musician, record producer, song writer and music publisher. He collaborated with Tandyn Almer (“Along Comes Mary”) with whom he wrote and published several songs and owned his own music publishing business.
Hodges was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. After he was discharged, he returned to Hollywood but soon became disillusioned with show business.
He decided to return to his native Mississippi and entered the The University of Southern Mississippi where he received his B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. in Counseling.
He became, and still is, a mental health counselor. He is divorced and has two grown children and three grandchildren.
Hodges continues to write songs today but is no longer involved in the music business. He occasionally gets in touch with his old show business friends.
Hodges rode out Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and informed his fans that he was fine after being missing for 19 days when the utilities were restored.
(See also our Post: “Shindig – Best Musical TV Program Ever“)
This was a TV program that I watched religiously.
The series house band, The Shin-diggers (later renamed The Shindogs), featured a young Glen Campbell, Joey Cooper, Chuck Blackwell (drums), Billy Preston, James Burton, Delaney Bramlett, Larry Knechtel (on bass) and pianist Leon Russell.
The Blossoms, an all-female vocal group featuring Darlene Love, backed up many of the performers and were occasionally featured in spotlight performances. Donna Loren, Jackie DeShannon and Bobby Sherman were also regular vocalists on the series.
Here is a video from one of the Shindig! Shows:
[Editor's note: "Live" band, with canned audience?]