Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So long, Hank Thompson: 1925 - 2007

- - and take that final
six-pack to go...

This morning I heard that country singer
Hank Thompson passed away peacefully last night at his home in Texas, surrounded by family and friends.

He was 82, and had been battling agressive lung cancer. He'd still been performing up until his farewell retirement concert a month ago in his native Waco, Texas.

He became a professional musician following WWII. After gaining some popularity in the Waco area, it was Tex Ritter who helped land Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys a recording contract with Capitol Records in 1947.

Thompson's honky-tonk and western swing arrangements combined with his voice, his versatility and showmanship to score him several hit singles and enduring popularity through the 1950's and '60's.

He had a knack for promotional and technical innovations as well.

His early '50's TV show was one of the first to broadcast in color.
His band was the first to tour with their own sound and lighting system, and one of the first to record in Hi-Fi stereo.
He was ahead of the curve when it came to recording themed 'concept' LPs, and his 1961
'At The Golden Nugget' was the first country album to be recorded live.

See also:

- A vintage Hank Thompson video clip at YouTube: It's an early 1960's TV appearance, performing
'Just to Ease the Pain' after running through a few licks of 'Wildwood Flower'.

- Hank Thompson's bio page at allmusic.Com

- Official Hank Thompson Web Site

- Hank Thompson obituary from The Dallas Morning News

(click on image to ENLARGE)

No comments:

Freshly-stirred links