is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, Hammond B3 organ player and composer. (Hartford, Connecticut, October 30, 1950)
He is best known for his 1989 hit “Talk It Over,”, and his other blue-eyed soul hits “Bring It All Back” and “How Bout Us”.
In 1980, Hugh released a self-titled album (One in Nineteen Records, 1980). This album was produced by Ron Scalise, winner of 14 Emmy Awards for audio work with ESPN.
In 1987, Hugh was signed to RCA Records. He broke into the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989 with three singles from his album Blind to Reason (RCA Records, 1988). In 1989 “Talk It Over,” a song written by Sandy Linzer and Irwin Levine that Hugh arranged, reached the Top 20. After Hugh had arranged and recorded this song, Olivia Newton-John was given rights of first release, then recorded it herself and released it as a single under the name “Can’t We Talk It Over In Bed”. Hugh subsequently released his version which became a hit. His two other singles “Bring It All Back” and “How ‘Bout Us” (a remake of the 1981 Champaign hit recorded with Betty Wright) were also radio hits. Blind to Reason eventually went gold in Australia.
Hugh’s second major label album Road to Freedom (MCA Records, 1992) was voted “one of the year’s top-ten albums” by Billboard Magazine and received rave reviews. Leonard Pitts, Jr. of the Miami Herald said: “Have I heard any newcomer in the last decade who excites me as much as this guy? No.”
Director Ridley Scott heard an advance pressing of Road to Freedom and wanted to put Hugh’s music in his film Thelma & Louise (1991). They eventually settled on two: “I Can’t Untie You From Me” and “Don’t Look Back” (both of these songs having some additional music contributed by songwriter Holly Knight). Grayson’s gospel-tinged arrangement of Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Remember You” was the featured end-title song for the film Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).
In 1993, the A&R man who signed Grayson to MCA Records (Paul Atkinson) was fired, and Hugh was dropped from the label, along with the other acts Atkinson had signed. After a few years living and writing songs in rural North Carolina he wound up teaching songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston.