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Hank Thompson

Hank Thompson was possibly the most popular American swing musician from the ’50s and ’60s, keeping the design alive using a top-notch music group, tremendous showmanship, and a flexibility that allowed him to expand his repertoire into intimate ballads and hardcore honky tonk quantities. Born Sept 3, 1925, in Waco, TX, Henry William Thompson was the kid of immigrants from Bohemia and was raised idolizing Western golf swing and country music artists like Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, and Gene Autry. He started learning harmonica and electric guitar as a kid, and made an appearance in local skill shows as an adolescent, which eventually resulted in his own regional radio plan (billed as Hank the Employed Hands). After graduating from senior high school in 1943, Thompson became a member of the Navy being a radio specialist and often composed music to amuse his fellow military. Following his release, Thompson studied electric anatomist at Princeton through the G.We. Bill, but ultimately decided to go after music being a profession. He came back to Waco also to the air business, and go about piecing together a music group he dubbed the Brazos Valley Young boys. They quickly became a favorite live work around the region and documented their first solitary, “Whoa Sailor” (a music Thompson wrote in the Navy) for the world label in 1946. Some more singles adopted for Bluebonnet, where period Tex Ritter got turn into a Thompson admirer. Ritter helped Thompson property a record cope with Capitol in 1947, a link that could last for another 18 years. Thompson obtained his first main strike for Capitol in 1949 using the smash “Humpty Dumpty Center,” the largest of his six charting singles that yr. In 1951, he installed with maker Ken Nelson, who helm a lot of his most effective records. Those information included “The Crazy Side of Lifestyle,” a monster strike from 1952 (over 90 days at number 1) that became Thompson’s personal melody. Its cynical attitude motivated a remedy record by Kitty Wells known as “It Wasn’t God Who Produced Honky Tonk Angels,” which produced her the initial female musician in nation music history using a million-selling record. Thompson continuing to score strike after hit through the ’50s, including 21 tracks that reached the very best 20 on the united states graphs and five Best Tens in the entire year 1954 only. A savvy promoter, Thompson devised several methods to make himself stick out from the group (even previous his suave cowboy closet): his early-’50s tv program in Oklahoma Town was the 1st variety display broadcast in color and he was the 1st country designer to tour having a sound and light system (come up with using his Navy and collegiate encounter), the first ever to receive corporate and business sponsorship, and the first ever to record in high-fidelity stereo system. He also offered early breaks to music artists like guitar tale Merle Travis and feminine rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson. Toward the finish from the ’50s, Thompson started to create LPs which were even more cohesive than simply mere choices of singles plus filler; 1958’s Dance Ranch and 1959’s Tracks for Rounders had been Western golf swing/honky tonk masterpieces, specifically the second option, which stirred up controversy using its groundbreakingly adult (some stated decadent) lyrical content material. In 1961, Thompson documented the first live recording ever released in the annals of nation music, the traditional In the Golden Nugget. From then on burst of influenced creativity, Thompson’s good fortune began to modification: the public’s flavor was shifting toward slick country-pop as well as the electrified Bakersfield audio and despite many even more fine information, Thompson’s romantic relationship with Capitol finished in 1965. He initial transferred to Warner Bros., after that ABC/Dot in 1968 (which became element of MCA in 1970). Thompson continuing to record and tour and his singles charted frequently through the ’70s completely up to 1983, though he hardly ever matched the amount of achievement he’d appreciated in the ’50s and early ’60s. Also after the strikes dry out, Thompson preserved a challenging concert tour timetable, playing all around the globe. He was elected to the united states Music Hall of Popularity in 1989.

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