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Hank Snow: Country Music Legend

Updated on October 4, 2014

Hank Snow

Hank Snow was one hard-working fella, as he was one of the most prolific singers and songwriters in country music history. In a career that spanned over four decades, Snow recorded over 120 albums, and sold roughly 70 million records in his illustrious career.

Public domain photo courtesy Wikipedia

Snow's Childhood

Brooklyn, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Canada, was the birthplace of Clarence Eugene "Hank" Snow on May 9th, 1914. Hank's childhood was quite difficult almost from the beginning. Snow's parents divorced in 1922, and four years later, at the age of 12, Hank ran away from home to escape an abusive stepfather. To support himself, Snow worked as a fishing boat cabin boy, and often entertained the boat's crew with his singing. With his earnings, Hank bought a $5.95 guitar at age 16, and shortly thereafter began performing at a wide variety of venues.

Hank's "Signature Hit" - Two Weeks at Number One-1962

Professional Career

By 1933, Snow had a radio show in Halifax. Although the show was only 15 minutes long, it got him a great deal of attention, and three years later Hank signed a record deal with RCA Victor, and stayed with them for 47 years.

American audiences first discovered Hank Snow's Jimmie Rodgers influenced style of music in the 1940's. "Marriage Vow" was Hank's first American single released in 1949. The year 1950 was a breakout year for Snow. He played the Grand Ole Opry for the first time, and had his first number one hit,"I'm Movin' On", which stayed at the top spot for 21 weeks.

Snow played an important role in the launching of Elvis Presley's career. Snow employed Presley as his opening act in the early fifties, and Elvis first met his long-time manager, "Colonel" Tom Parker through Snow. Bob Dylan also lists Snow and one of his major musical influnces.

Hank was a hit-making machine throughout the 1950s and and into the early 60s. By the mid-60s, however, Snow's popularity as a recording artist had begun to dwindle. Hank's last number one hit was "Hello Love" in 1974.

Snow, also known as "The Singing Ranger" remained an active performer and songwriter well into the 1990s. He continued to be very popular at the Grand Ole Opry until just before his death on December 20, 1999 at his home in Madison, TN at the age of 85.

Hank's Biggest Chart Topper - 21 Weeks at Number One-1950

Statistics and Awards

Snow has been elected to eight different musical Halls of Fame. He was voted Canada's country performer of the year ten times. Hank had seven number one hits, and those hits spent a total of 56 weeks in the number one slot. Even more impressively, Snow had an astounding 85 charted hits, 65 top-forty hits, and 43 top-ten hits. His releases spent an amazing 876 total weeks on the music charts.

Snow Poll

What is your opinion of Hank Snow?

See results

Snow's Music at Amazon

Thumbnail Credits

Thumbnails courtesy: Creative Commons, Wikimedia, and free use public domain photos.

Are You a Hank Snow Fan? - Feel free to comment here. Thanks for visiting.

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      I enjoyed his songs as a girl, but back then, I thought Eddie Arnold far more handsome, and so tended to swoon over his songs more. I don't know why, but I don't listen to Country that much anymore. I think it may have something to do with finding digital music too sanitized, lacking some of the grit and nuance of vinyl. There. If the first sentence doesn't tell you how old I am, that one surely does. Oy.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hank Snow helped pave the way for the country artists of today - enjoyed your review as well

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      4 years ago from UK

      I love Hank Snow's music, some great songs to look back on

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      6 years ago from Missouri

      I love Hank Snow. My husband sings his songs to me quite often. Blessings!

    • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

      hughgrissettsr lm 

      6 years ago

      excellent lens! i loved the hank snow song i don't hurt anymore.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      I can be a convert. Gotta give him a listen. Thanks for the lens.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 

      7 years ago

      I didn't hear about him till now, but yes i am a fan now, great lens!!!

    • profile image

      jbraithwaite3 

      7 years ago

      I have hear some musics of Hank Snow yesterday but I can't remember the title. I hope somebody in the music industry in this days will revive some songs of Hank Snow, I really love his musics.

      singing tips | vocal technique

    • TraceyE LM profile image

      TraceyE LM 

      8 years ago

      I didn't know much about Hank Snow before so thanks for all the info!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      8 years ago

      Oh yes I am ... my ex introduced me to him oh and Marty Robbins too ... what a country classic ... I'm moving on now .

    • Arizona-Snow profile image

      Arizona-Snow 

      8 years ago

      My favourite Hank Snow ballad has gotta be 'Miller's Cave' a true classic.

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 

      8 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      Fun that Hank Snow mentioned my town of Sarasota in "I've Been Everywhere"!

    • profile image

      SaraIsCountry 

      8 years ago

      Traditional Country Music! Thanks for keepin it COUNTRY! Please review my website at www.saralynnwallin.webs.com and sign my guestbook as well as become a FREE member in an effort to support Traditional Country Music as well as the Artists, Fans, Writers and Country Music stations that believe in and represnt it. Thank you for your consideration and thanks again for keepin it REAL You all have a great website too!

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 

      9 years ago

      Hi,

      Nice lens about Hank Snow. Good triva here also. I didn't know about Elvis & "Colonel" Tom Parker. 5 Stars for that one.

    • OldGrampa profile image

      OldGrampa 

      9 years ago

      Hank Snow was great, I would like to invite you to add this lens to my Classic Country Music Group I would be honored to add it as a featured lens to the groups homepage.

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