Oklahoma-born Gus Hardin (1945-1996) emerged in the early '80s as a promising new star, voted in as the ACM's Top New Female Vocalist for 1984. She had a few modest hits, including two singles in the Top 10, one of them a duet with Earl Thomas Conley. But like a lot of 'Eighties country stars, her success was shortlived, and she slipped off the charts jusy about as quickly as she broke in... Here's a quick look at her work.
Gus Hardin "Almost Live" (Carmen, 1981)
Gus Hardin "Gus Hardin" (RCA, 1983) (LP)
Gus Hardin "Fallen Angel" (RCA, 1984) (LP)
(Produced by Rick Hall)
Synthy country, or twangy pop? Well, that raspy, Tanya Tucker-ish voice is what tips the balance, but this may be a little rockin' and 'Eighties-ed out for most twangfans. As a singer, she's almost rootsy enough, but the clumsy, thudding arrangements all start to sound the same, and there's not a lot here that's terribly distinctive. There were three singles off this album, which all fell just short of the Top 40... Hardin hit the Top Ten, though the next year, and made a couple of albums after that; she apparently died in the 1990s, in a car crash.
Gus Hardin "Wall Of Tears" (RCA, 1984) (LP)
(Produced by Mark Wright)
Horrible! Basically this is tacky '80s synthpop, ala Bonnie Tyler, just not as much fun. And, yeah, that's not saying much. Not a single song on here stood out as memorable, although a duet with Earl Thomas Conley, "All Tangled Up In Love," amazingly hit the Top Ten. That was about it, though. Yeesh. Not my cup of tea, for sure.
Gus Hardin "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can" (Rainy Day, 2001)
Hick Music Index