Hoyt Wayne Axton was born on March 25, 1938 in Duncan, Oklahoma, to John T. Axton, a Navy officer, and Mae Boren Axton, an English teacher and songwriter. His introduction to music began early with the encouragement of his mother, Mae Boren, who wrote the classic rock single “Heartbreak Hotel” for Elvis Presley. He became prominent in the early 1960s, establishing himself on the West Coast as a folk singer with an earthy style and powerful voice. Among his best-known songs are "Joy to the World", "The Pusher", "No No Song", "Greenback Dollar", "Della and the Dealer", and "Never Been to Spain".
Following the much-acclaimed 1977 album Snowblind Friend, Axton completed his deal with MCA with the release of Free Sailin'; he then formed his own label, Jeremiah Records, and with 1979's A Rusty Old Halo, scored his biggest solo hit with the classic "Della and the Dealer"
Hoyt Axton's face is best known to audiences for his on-screen performances in a handful of '70s and '80s films. These include his role as the father of Billy Peltzer in "Gremlins." In the camp horror classic--one of cinema's most famous and amusing examples of "buyer beware"--Axton's character purchases a lovable, furry "Mogwai" for his son, only for it to produce less affable spawns once the child violates some of the unique rules that accompany all Mogwai: don't get them wet, and don't feed them after midnight. Axton also portrayed the father of Alec Ramsey in "The Black Stallion," the uplifting tale of a friendship between a boy and a wild horse.