The hilariously one-of-a-kind musical performer Unknown Hinson will be in Oxford to perform his off-color music at 8 p.m. Friday at Proud Larry’s.
Stuart Daniel Baker, the face of Unknown Hinson, is a 62-year-old musician and voice actor from North Carolina. He said he was musically inspired by his mother after she showed him how to play a couple guitar chords and had him “figure it out” when he was a child.
His mother also was the inspiration for Hinson’s stage name. Hinson said in an interview with Wrestling with Pop Culture that his birth certificate lists his mother’s maiden name, Hinson, and his father’s is stated as “unknown.”
It’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction when uncovering this mysterious performer. In interviews, Hinson’s character claims to have spent 30 years in jail and has also been rumored to be a vampire. Hinson does have a signature, almost vampire/hillbilly combination look to his character, who has been described as “looking somewhat like Dracula’s nasty little brother who spent some hard years drinking and working as a carnival barker for a second-rate freak show.”
Hinson’s look is distinct: iconic jet-black hair, full bushy sideburns, signature black suit and silk bolo tie. It results in him actually resembling “Dracula’s nasty little brother.”
Hinson created his character back in the 1990s as part of a public-access program featuring comedy sketches.
“The Unknown Hinson Show” won awards four years in a row for Best Public-Access Television Show, and after it ended, Hinson went on to perform live and tour all throughout the country. Hinson wrote numerous chart-topping country and rock ‘n’ roll songs throughout the 1990s, including hits like “I Ain’t Afraid of Your Husband” and the ever-romantic classic, “I Cleaned Out A Room In My Trailer For You.”
Not only did Hinson perform all over the country, but he was also a voice actor and best known for his role on Adult Swim’s hit show “Squidbillies,” where he voiced the hillbilly squid character of Early Cuyler.
Hinson’s molasses-y, Southern drawl established him as a voice actor and performer. Hinson may just seem like a novelty act, but his guitar skills are unparalleled, as he’s performed with other “rockabilly” acts such as Marty Stuart, Hank III and even Ed King of Lynryd Skynyrd.
Hinson’s fan base includes high-profile names including Matt Groenig, Billy Bob Thorton and grandson of Hank Williams, Hank III, who is rumored to have Hinson’s face tattooed on his bicep.
“I don’t look at myself as a country-Western comedy act and blue-collar humor – I ain’t that, neither,” he said in an interview with The Daily Times. “I veer too much to the dark side to be that. I’m not your regular ‘hee-haw’ act. I’m from the dark side, my friend.”
Hinson is back to touring after announcing his retirement from performing in 2012. At that point, Hinson had been touring for 17 years and wanted to discover something different to do. In 2013, however, Hinson’s wife and manager, Margo Baker, passed away, leaving Hinson devastated and leading him to the decision to start performing again.
Hinson’s upcoming “psychobilly” performance in Oxford will be one to remember, as people of all backgrounds and demographics can appreciate his musical talent and hilarious lyrics. Whether you enjoy country music or rock ‘n’ roll or even just need a good laugh, Unknown Hinson is unlike any other performer Oxford has seen.
“You’ll see extremely different types at an Unknown Hinson show – white collar, blue collar, doctors, lawyers, nurses, firemen, police, bikers, greasers, rockabillies, pin-up kind of lady-girls and everything else,” he said. “You ask, ‘What do they all have in common?’ Well, I reckon it’s me. I’m like a color, I guess.”