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Custodians of the Hummingbird
by Al Kent
Al Kent was born Albert Prentis Hamilton on December 8, 1939.
As a singer, Kent’s proudest moment was in the summer of 1955. Al and his brother, Bobby Recco Hamilton, went to New York City and, through a series of auditions, Al Kent made the final cut to a Broadway play. According to estimates, a group of about one hundred were involved and participated in the process of eliminations. At the end of the day only seven were standing. Al became the protagonist.
Other cherished memories include Al recording most of Jackie Wilson’s hit records before Jackie did. The songs were “Lonely Teardrops,” “That’s Why,” and “Am I the Man.”
Al did his craft in a grand style and has sung since he was twelve. He began around Detroit and recorded for the Checker record label, a subsidiary of Chess Records in Chicago.
Al wrote songs for many established artists, including Spanky Wilson, Reflections, Jackie Wilson, Fantastic Four, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Royal Jokers, Edwin Starr, J. J. Barnes, Ronnie McNair, Four Tops, David and Jimmy Ruffin, the Detroit Emeralds, Freddy Gorman, Gloria Taylor, the Flaming Embers, the Supremes, the Debonaires, San Remo’s Golden Strings and for himself. His greatest asset is undoubtedly his ability to listen intently to other’s ideals. His biggest dream is to direct a major movie for the big screen.
(2017, Paperback, 648 pages)