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A JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the life and memory of william oliver swofford, american pop singer and native son of north carolina.
Whereas, William Oliver Swofford was born on February 22, 1945, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to Jack and Helen Swofford; and

Whereas, while a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, William Oliver Swofford began singing blue grass music with a number of other students; and

Whereas, after college, William Oliver Swofford decided to become a professional singer and joined the musical groups The Virginians and The Good Earth; and

Whereas, William Oliver Swofford soon settled upon a solo career and recorded under the name "Oliver"; and

Whereas, Oliver had his first hit song with "Good Morning Starshine" from the Broadway musical "Hair," which climbed to Number 3 on the pop chart in July of 1969; and

Whereas, Oliver found additional success with Rod McKuen's ballad "Jean" from the Oscar‑winning film "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," which held the Number 2 spot on the pop chart for two weeks and peaked at Number 1 on the adult contemporary chart in October, 1969; and

Whereas, both "Good Morning Starshine" and "Jean" were included on Oliver's "Good Morning Starshine" album, which reached Number 19 on the pop chart in the fall of 1969; and

Whereas, Oliver performed his hits on a number of TV variety shows and specials in the late 1960s, including the Ed Sullivan Show; and

Whereas, some of Oliver's other recordings included "Sunday Mornin'," which peaked at Number 35 in December 1969; "Light the Way," which was composed by Eric Carmen in 1970; and "Early Morning Rain," which gained success on the easy listening charts in 1971; and

Whereas, Oliver performed throughout the United States during the 1970s and, after retiring from the music industry in the 1980s, worked in the construction and pharmaceutical fields; and

Whereas, Oliver died on February 12, 2000, at the age of 54, in Shreveport, Louisiana; and

Whereas, Oliver is survived by his wife, Becky; two children, Beth and Rob; and three brothers, John Swofford, Carl Swofford, and Jim Swofford; and

Whereas, Oliver's music continues to be heard around the world and is discovered by new listeners each day; and

Whereas, on the 40th anniversary of the release of "Good Morning Starshine," the Town of North Wilkesboro will hold a festival to celebrate William Oliver Swofford's legacy as a State, national, and international recording artist; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly honors the memory of native son William Oliver Swofford and expresses its appreciation for his life and his contributions to music.

SECTION 2. The General Assembly extends its sympathy to the family of William Oliver Swofford for the loss of a beloved family member.

SECTION 3. The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the family of William Oliver Swofford.

SECTION 4. This resolution is effective upon ratification.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 7th day of July, 2009.


Walter H. Dalton

President of the Senate


Joe Hackney

Speaker of the House of Representatives


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