Carlton Jackson & the Hilltoppers

The Hilltoppers, 1952

The Hilltoppers, 1952

Jimmy Sacca, Billy Vaughn, Don McGuire and Seymour Spiegelman were students at Western Kentucky State College (now WKU).  In 1952 they hit the  big time as the Hilltoppers quartet with their song “Trying.”   The group had several more hits including “P.S. I Love You” and performed together through 1963.  Billy Vaughn went on to have a successful musical career with his orchestra.   The group was honored at WKU’s homecoming in 1972.  Check out the University Archives website: for more information regarding the group.

Carlton Jackson came to the WKU History department in 1960 where he served with distinction through 2001.  He is the author of nearly 20 books and innumerable articles which earned him the title Distinguished Professor of History. 

In 2003, he began researching the Hilltoppers.  Dr. Jackson met and corresponded with surviving members of the group and fans, including fan club president Bobbie Ann Mason.  The result was his book P.S. I Love You: The Story of the Singing Hilltoppers.  The research notes and correspondence he compiled along with the drafts of the book are now a part of the University Archives Faculty/Staff Personal Papers Collection.  Just processed, these papers are now available for researchers and fans interested in the back story of the Hilltoppers.  The finding aid is now available through TopScholar at:

If you have Hilltopper records, photographs or memorabilia that don’t appear in the finding aids, please contact the University Archives at 270-745-4793 or via email at

Check out KenCat to get information on other University Archives collections:

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One Response to Carlton Jackson & the Hilltoppers

  1. Thank you for sharing with us your excellent work!