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Clarence Eugene Snow (May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999), better known as Hank Snow, was a Canadianmarker-Americanmarker country music artist. He charted more than 70 singles on the Billboard country charts from 1950 until 1980. This total includes the number 1 hits "I'm Movin' On," "The Golden Rocket", "I Don't Hurt Anymore," "Let Me Go, Lover!," "I've Been Everywhere," and "Hello Love" as well as other top ten hits. He is a member of both the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Music Hall of Fame.

Biography

Snow was born in Brooklynmarker, Queens County, Nova Scotiamarker, Canadamarker. He ran away from home to escape a brutal stepfather when he was 12 years old and joined a fishing boat as a cabin boy. When he was 14, he ordered his first guitar from an Eaton's department store catalog for $5.95, and played his first show in a church basement in Bridgewater, Nova Scotiamarker at age 16. He then sang in local clubs and bars in nearby Halifaxmarker, where he married Minnie Blanche Aalders in 1935 and had one son, Rev. Jimmy Rodgers Snow.

Canadian years

A successful appearance on a local radio station led to Snow's audition with RCA Victor in Montreal, Quebecmarker. In 1936, he signed with the label, staying for more than 45 years. A weekly CBC radio show brought him national recognition, and he began touring Canada until the late 1940s when Americanmarker country music stations began playing his records.

Nashville calls

Snow moved to Nashville, Tennesseemarker in 1945, and "Hank Snow, the Singing Ranger" (modified from his nickname, the Yodeling Ranger given him before his voice changed to a baritone), was invited to play at the Grand Ole Oprymarker in 1950. That same year he released his hit, "I'm Movin' On." The first of seven number 1 hits on the country charts, "I'm Movin' On" stayed at the top for 22 weeks, setting the all-time record for most weeks at number 1.

Along with this hit, his other "signature song" was "I've Been Everywhere," in which he portrayed himself as a hitchhiker bragging about all the towns he'd been through. This song was originally written and performed in Australia by Geoff Mack, and its re-write incorporated North American place names. Rattling off a well-rhymed series of city names at an auctioneer's pace has long made the song a challenge for any singer.

While performing in Renfro Valleymarker, Snow worked with a young Hank Williams; Snow remained Williams' idol for the rest of his career.

Elvis

A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Snow persuaded the directors to allow a young Elvis Presley to appear on stage. Snow used Presley as his opening act and introduced him to Colonel Tom Parker. In August 1955, Snow and Parker formed the management team, Hank Snow Attractions. This partnership signed a management contract with Presley but before long, Snow was out and Parker had full control over the rock singer's career.

Later career

Performing in lavish and colourful sequin-studded suits, Snow had a career covering six decades during which he sold more than 80 million albums. Although he became a American naturalized citizen in 1958, he still maintained friendships in Canada and remembered his roots with the 1968 album, My Nova Scotia Home. That same year he performed at campaign stops on behalf of U.S. presidential candidate George Wallace.

Despite his lack of schooling, Snow was a gifted songwriter and in 1978 was elected to Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Canada, he was ten times voted that country's top country music performer. In 1979, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Famemarker, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

His autobiography, The Hank Snow Story, was published in 1994, and later The Hank Snow Country Music Centre opened near his ancestral home in Liverpool, Nova Scotiamarker. A victim of child abuse, he established the Hank Snow International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse.

Death

Snow died in 1999 at his Rainbow Ranch in Madison, Tennesseemarker and was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashvillemarker. Minnie died in 2003.

Legacy

Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Ashley MacIsaac, Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris, among others, have covered his music.

One of his last top hits, "Hello Love", was sung by Garrison Keillor to open each broadcast of his Prairie Home Companion radio show. The song became Snow's seventh and final number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in April 1974. At 59 years and 11 months, Snow became the oldest artist to have a top song on the chart. It was an accomplishment he held for more than 26 years, until Kenny Rogers's hit record in May 2000 (at 61 years and nine months), "Buy Me a Rose." (Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson subsequently reached the top of the chart at older ages as secondary duet partners on records fronted by other artists.)

In Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville, Henry Gibson played a self-obsessed country star loosely based on Hank Snow. He was also mentioned in the film Smokey and the Bandit. When Cletus Snow, making a collect call, gives his name, the operator's response is not heard, but Cletus replies "No, I'm not Hank Snow's brother."

Discography

Albums

Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country US
1952 Country Classics RCA Victor
Hank Snow Sings
1953 Hank Snow Salutes Jimmie Rodgers
1954 Hank Snow's Country Guitar
1955 Just Keep a-Movin'
Old Doc Brown and Other Narrations by Hank Snow
1957 Country & Western Jamboree
1958 Hank Snow Sings Sacred Songs
1959 Hank Snow Sings Jimmie Rodgers Songs
1961 Hank Snow Souvenirs
Big Country Hits (Songs I Hadn't Recorded Till Now)
1963 I've Been Everywhere
Railroad Man 7
1964 More Hank Snow Souvenirs 1
Songs of Tragedy 11
Reminiscing (w/ Chet Atkins)
1965 Your Favorite Country Hits
Gloryland March
Heartbreak Trail: A Tribute to the Sons of the Pioneers 26
The Best of Hank Snow
1966 The Guitar Stylings of Hank Snow 26
Gospel Train
This Is My Story 21
1967 Snow in Hawaii
Christmas with Hank Snow 72
Spanish Fire Ball and Other Hank Snow Stylings 35
1968 Hits, Hits and More Hits
Tales of the Yukon 35
1969 Snow in All Seasons 43
Hits Covered by Snow 35
C.B. Atkins & C.E. Snow by Special Request (w/ Chet Atkins)
1970 Hank Snow Sings in Memory of Jimmie Rodgers 45
Cure for the Blues
1971 Tracks & Trains 45
Award Winners
1972 The Jimmie Rodgers Story
The Best 2
1973 Grand Ole Opry Favorites
1974 Now Is the Hour
Hello Love 4
That's You and Me 35
1975 You're Easy to Love 48
1976 Live from Evangel Temple (w/ Jimmy Snow)
1977 #104 - Still Movin' On 47
1979 The Mysterious Lady
Lovingly Yours (w/ Kelly Foxton)
Instrumentally Yours
1981 Win Some Lose Some Lonesome (w/ Kelly Foxton)
1985 Brand On My Heart (w/ Willie Nelson) Columbia


Singles

Year Title Chart positions
US Country US CAN Country
1949 "Marrige Vow" 10
1950 "I'm Moving On" 1
"The Golden Rocket" 1
1951 "The Rhumba Boogie" 4
"Bluebird Island" (w/ Anita Carter) 4
"Down the Trail of Achin' Hearts" (w/ Anita Carter) 2
"Unwanted Sign Upon Your Heart" 6
"Music Makin' Mama from Memphis" 4
1952 "The Gold Rush Is Over" 2
"Lady's Man" 2
"Married by the Bible, Divorced by the Law" 8
"I Went to Your Wedding" 3
"The Gal Who Inventing Kissin'" 4
"(Now and Then, There's) A Fool Such As I" 3
1953 "Honeymoon on a Rocket Ship" 9
"Spanish Fire Ball" 3
"For Now and Always" 10
"When Mexican Joe Met Jole Brown" 6
1954 "I Don't Hurt Anymore" 1
"That Crazy Mambo Thing" 10
"Let Me Go, Lover!" 1
1955 "The Next Voice You Hear" 15
"Silver Bell" (w/ Chet Atkins) 15
"Yellow Roses" 3
"Would You Mind?" 3
"Cryin', Prayin', Waitin', Hopin'" 7
"I'm Glad I Got to See You Once Again" 7
"Mainliner (The Hawk with Silver Wings)" 5
"Born to Be Happy" 5
1956 "These Hands" 5
"I'm Moving In" 11
"Conscience I'm Guilty" 4
"Hula Rock" 5
"Stolen Moments" 7
1957 "Tangled Mind" 4
"My Arms Are a House" 8
1958 "Whispering Rain" 15
"Big Wheels" 7
"A Woman Captured Me" 16
1959 "Doggone That Train" 19
"Chasin' a Rainbow" 6
"The Last Ride" 3
1960 "Rockin', Rollin' Ocean" 22 87
"Miller's Cave" 9 101
1961 "Beggar to a King" 5
"The Restless One" 11
1962 "You Take the Future (And I'll Take the Past)" 15
"I've Been Everywhere" 1 68
1963 "The Man Who Robbed the Bank at Santa Fe" 9
"Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street)" 2 124
1964 "Breakfast with the Blues" 11
"I Stepped Over the Line" 21
1965 "The Wishing Well (Down in the Well)" 7
"The Queen of Draw Poker Town" 28
1966 "I've Cried a Mile" 18
"The Count Down" 22
"Hula Love" 21
1967 "Down at the Pawn Shop" 18
"Learnin' a New Way of Life" 20
1968 "I Just Wanted to Know (How the Wind Was Blowing)" 70
"Who Will Answer? (Aleluya No. 1)" 69
"The Late and Great Love of My Heart" 20 5
1969 "The Name of the Game Was Love" 16 1
"That's When the Hurtin' Sets In" 53
1970 "Come the Morning" 57 33
"Vanishing Breed" 52
1971 " Of Old Mexico" 6
1972 "Governor's Hand" 34
1973 "North to Chicago" 71 20
1974 "Hello Love" 1 1
"That's You and Me" 36 5
"Easy to Love" 26
1975 "Merry-Go-Round of Love" 47 36
"Hijack" 79
"Colorado Country Morning" 95
1976 "Who's Been Here Since I've Been Gone" 87
"You're Wondering Why" 98
1977 "Trouble in Mind" 81
"I'm Still Movin' On" 80
"Breakfast with the Blues" 96
1978 "Nevertheless" 93
"Ramblin' Rose" 93
1979 "The Mysterious Lady from St. Martinique" 80 26
"A Good Gal Is Hard to Find" 91
"It Takes Too Long" 98
1980 "Hasn't It Been Good Together" (w/ Kelly Foxton) 78 39


See also



References

  • Wolfe, Charles. (1998). "Hank Snow". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 494–5.


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