Formed in 1966, The Hombres comprised Jerry Lee Masters, (Leader and bass player), Gary Wayne McEwenon guitar, B. B. Cunningham, Jr. (died October 14, 2012; brother of Bill Cunningham of The Box Tops) on lead vocals and electronic organ, and John Will Hunter (died February 1976) on drums. Written by Masters, Hunter, McEwen and Cunningham and released on Verve Forecast, “Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)” hit No. 12 in 1967 and was revived on the soundtrack of the 2005 Cameron Crowe film Elizabethtown. On WLS The Box Tops’ “The Letter” and The Hombres’ “Let It Out” were 1-2 on 20–27 October 1967.
“Let It Hang Out” has also been used in a U.S. advertising campaign for Foster’s Lager and included on the compilation album Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. An alternate version of the song by the disc jockeyBarney Pip was included on the Pebbles Volume 7 CD. The song was also covered by Jonathan King in 1969, and appeared on his 1989 compilation album, The Butterfly That Stamped. Yet another version was recorded by The Nails in the mid 1980s. The song appears as a hidden track on John Mellencamp‘s 1989 album Big Daddy.
The song’s spoken intro – “A preachment, dear friends, you are about to receive on John Barleycorn, nicotineand the temptations of Eve” – dates to the 1947 novelty recording “Cigareets, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women” by Red Ingle and His Natural Seven.
Hunter died of a self-inflicted gun wound in February 1976.
B. B. Cunningham, Jr. was shot and killed on October 14, 2012, while employed as a security guard in Memphis, Tennessee.