Whether performing solo or in a duo with Bob Gibson, Hamilton Camp served as one of the links between the Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger folk music of the '40s and the singer/songwriter school of Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, and Phil Ochs in the '60s. Camp's tune "Pride of Man" was covered by Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1967, while the Camp/Gibson collaboration "Well, Well, Well" was recorded by Simon & Garfunkel on their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, in 1966.
In the early '60s, Camp and Gibson played in clubs, coffeehouses, and festivals throughout the United States. Their most influential album, At the Gate of Horn, was recorded in 1961 at the famed Chicago folk club. When the duo separated, Camp continued to perform as a soloist. His debut solo album was a live recording at the same club in 1963, and his subsequent albums included Paths of Victory in 1964, which featured his original version of "Pride of Man" and renditions of seven Dylan tunes, including the rarely heard "Guess I'm Doin' Fine," "Walkin' Down the Line," "Long Time Gone," and the title track. Here's to You, released in 1967, was produced by Felix Pappalardi and featured musical accompaniment by Van Dyke Parks, Earl C. Palmer Jr., Bud Shank, Glen Hardin, Hal Blaine, and Larry Knechtel.
Camp's musical career was ultimately dwarfed by his success as an actor. First attracting attention for his skills in improvisation as a member of Second City in Chicago and the Committee in San Francisco, Camp played recurring roles in such TV series as He & She in 1967, Too Close for Comfort in 1980, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1993. In addition to appearing in such films as American Hot Wax (1978), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Eating Raoul (1982), and Dick Tracy (1990), his voice was heard in animated movies including The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1993), Pebble and the Penguin (1995), and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1996).
Originally known as Bob Camp, he adopted the name "Hamilton" in the mid-'60s. According to the liner notes of his album Paths of Victory, the name change was inspired when "his soul had an argument with itself and the side that won decided to stop killing itself, to stop singing for release and to start singing for love." ~ Craig Harris