Joe Hinton aka Jay Lewis

Joe Hinton - Hanna's Love - Hotlanta HLDJ 306 (1974)

Jay Lewis aka Joe Hinton was the co-writer of over a 100 songs, the biggest success being 'Gotta Hold On To This Feeling' for Jr. Walker in 1970. Popular Soul Craft single for David Will, "Loneliness" was also one of his compositions. He also released one Motown single of his own, "Let's All Save The Children" and wrote with many of the house writers. He later composed one of my favorite steppers 'Hold On To Love' (see the blog) for Johnny Bristol's 1981 Hansa album. Taking the name Jay Lewis probably because Joe Hinton was already a star of Peacock's Texas Backbeat label with the hit "Funny", but he died in 1968 letting Lewis to resort back to his own name.

His earliest work according to BMI was two 1963 Capitol singles. The only photograph I can find of him was on a picture sleeve single to a Hotlanta/GRC 1973 issue of 'Take My Hand In Your Hand'. This single 'Hanna's Love' starts out as sounding like a Civil Rights song that has been watered down so as not to offend. His voice here sounds very much like Willie Hutch. Hinton co-wrote this with Marlin McNichols. It was recorded at the Sound Pit in Atlanta G.A. and engineered by Milan Bogdan. Hanna was a theme with the label they also recorded The Mighty Hanabal who had been with Loma. The Black Hannibal if you know your history drove his army and elephants over the French Alps to defeat the Romans Empire.

The Sound Pit studio was owned by Michael Thevis who was later convicted of crimes relating to his porn empire! Most of the Hotlanta recordings have been confiscated by the US government as they were allegedly funded by the porn business. For many years Jimmy Ginn & his son have been fighting a legal battle to gain rights to these songs after initially buying the tapes at an auction. Ace UK have put out three Hotlanta compilation CD's thus far having licenced them from G-M-G (Ginn Music Group).

13/4/10 Thanks to Greg Burgess for his email I've since found the popular Northern Arvee track by Little Joe Hinton is one and the same persons. Email: A few additional facts for you on Jay Lewis/Joe Hinton. His wife was the renown record producer, DJ & singer Zilla Mays (Hinton). She is the Zilla on the duet on ABC.

I'm speculating a tad but the vocal similarities are such that I think the Little Joe Hinton on Arvee from c 1960/62 is Jay Lewis. These was cut in LA I think where Roy 'Willie' Mays, Zilla's brother and well known trumpet player was working. Not quite confirmed though so maybe this post will help.
Jay Lewis/Joe Hinton Discography:
Little Joe Hinton (BMI 14151532)

Let's Start A Romance/Your Kind Of Love Arvee A 5029 (1962)

Jay Lewis (BMI 18000144)

Love Her/Had it not been for love Capitol 4957 (1963)
Tell Us What Went Wrong/Should I Come Back Capitol 5095

Zilla & Jay
Old Butter Milk Sky/Into each Life Some Rain Must Fall ABC 10558 (1964)

Betty & Jay
Love Is To Blame/Part 2 DRA 310 (1965)

Jay Lewis
Love Is Real/Darling Let Me Know DRA 313 (1966)
Oh/That's Enough Venture 618 (1968)

Joe Hinton (BMI 14151532)
Let's All Save The Children/You Are Blue Soul 35080 (1970)
Take My Hand In Your Hand/(Edited) Hotlanta HL 102 (1973)
Hanna's Love/Shouldn't I Be Give The Wright To Be Wrong Hotlanta HL 306 ('74)
Where Do We Go From Here!/We've Got Each Other Hotlanta HL 308 ('74)


  1. Hi there... enjoy checking your blog every now and then. It may not be your cup of tea, but feel free to check my podcast mixes too. More mainstream, but lots of good old soul & disco from 70's and 80's mainly.

  2. The Hanna's love track is wonderful, where can I get it (download)?



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