1925 - 2007
Henry William Thompson was born on Sept. 3, 1925
Young Hank (who grew up a fan of Gene Autry), would play a harmonica and sing the songs of his musical heroes. By the time he finished high school was playing on a local radio show as "Hank the Hired Hand."
He grew up having a strong interest in radio electronics. During High School he worked part time at a radio shop in Waco Texas, then went on to study radio communications and electronics in college then more while serving in the Navy, but his love for music won out.
He caught the attention of Tex Ritter, who
helped him get a contract with Capitol Records.
Of his many songs, 29 scored within the Billboard top 10.
Some unusual distinctions about the man include the fact that he was one of the first transport his band in a bus. A practice that has now become commonplace. He was the first act to tour with a sound and lighting system; first to receive corporate tour sponsorship; first country music show to play in Las Vegas; first to record in Hi-Fi stereo; and the first to perform on a color broadcast of a television variety show.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.
Another pioneer of country music, laid to rest. He was 82
© 2007 Eddie Bear Productions