We use cookies to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features, and to analyze traffic to our site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read more.

    Hank Locklin

    Become fan 0 Rate 1 Like & Share
    Rank: history »
    5.0/5 from 1 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    Headin' Down the Wrong Highway lyrics
    2One Minute Past Eternity lyrics
    3Geisha Girl (vs. 1) lyrics
    Jealous Heart lyrics
    5The Minute You're Gone lyrics
    6Kevin Barry lyrics
    7Mysteries of Life lyrics
    8I Don't Know Why lyrics
    9My Blue Eyed Jane lyrics
    10Fool Number 1 lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    Gloryland Way [1966]
    2Foreign Love [Longhorn] [1958]
    3The Best of Hank Locklin [King] [1960]
    4Hank Locklin Sings [Forum Avon] [1962]
    5Please Help Me I'm Falling [RCA] [1960]
    6Hank Locklun Favorites [Wrangler] [1962]
    7Hank Locklin Encores [King] [1961]
    8Happy Journey [1962]
    9Original Country and Western Stars [Design] [1962]
    10A Tribute to Roy Acuff King of Country Music [1962]


    Hank Locklin (b. Lawrence Hankins Locklin), one of country music's great
    tenors, was born February 15, 1918, in the small town of McLellan, located
    in the lumbering district of the Florida Panhandle. The youngest son of four
    children, he went to a one-room schoolhouse and was musical even as a
    young child. Locklin was injured at the age of eight in an accident and the
    long recovery process was the time when he first begin to learn music.
    Although interested in the guitar early on, it was not until his mid-teens that
    he really began to master that instrument. Locklin was active in music in
    high school (which he never finished), and at 18 won first prize in a talent
    show. He went on to do spots on the local radio station as he became more
    and more interested in entertaining. By the mid-'40s he was playing on the
    radio and doing in-person performances in Florida and nearby states. For
    the next ten years or so, Locklin worked many jobs (musical and otherwise),
    played with a variety of groups, and, through a variety of trials, gradually
    worked his way up the country music ladder to recognition. (A good
    account of these years can be found in the Bear Family box set liner notes,
    written by Otto Kissinger.)

    Locklin was exempted from military service due to his old leg injury, and
    during the war he began playing guitar in various bands around Mobile, AL,
    and also started singing and writing songs. His vocal style was originally
    influenced by Ernest Tubb, but he later began developing his own approach
    to singing. Late in World War II, he joined Jimmy Swan's dance band as a
    guitarist — whose ranks included Hank Williams sitting in occasionally —
    and he spent much of 1945 and 1946 playing gigs across the Southeast,
    from Florida to Alabama.

    It was Locklin's association with a group called the Four Leaf Clover Boys
    that led to the formation of his first group. In the wake of their breakup,
    Locklin formed the Rocky Mountain Boys in 1947. The group's lineup later
    changed radically, but it was this original outfit — Locklin on vocals and
    guitar, Clint Holmes on rhythm guitar, "Tiny" Smith on bass, Felton Pruett
    on steel guitar, and Douglas "Dobber" Johnson playing fiddle — that got
    Locklin his first break. They were popular on the radio, and were sponsored
    by wealthy businessman Elmer Laird, who was also a songwriter. Laird
    proposed starting a record label around Locklin and the group with his
    songs, but he died in a stabbing incident on the eve of Locklin's first
    recording session.

    They soldiered on, recording for Gold Star and later Royalty without much
    success, and eventually the band broke up (Holmes and Pruett hooked up
    with Hank Williams soon after). Locklin ended up based in Houston and
    signed to Four Star, where he had his first major regional hits with such
    songs as "The Same Sweet Girl" and "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream
    On." In those days, Locklin's sound was that of Texas-style dance band,
    and lacked the smooth, romantic commercial veneer of his later Nashville-
    based recordings for RCA. In 1953, he finally achieved national recognition
    with a number-one country hit, "Let Me Be the One." His success, however,
    was still sporadic, particularly in the face of an awkward contractual
    arrangement that had Locklin recording for Decca but belonging to Four
    Star and largely restricted to recording Four Star-owned songs. This didn't
    change until 1955.

    His career took off when he joined the RCA Victor label in the spring of
    1955. Locklin's work with RCA has the added advantage that almost all of it
    was produced by Chet Atkins, often with Atkins himself on rhythm or lead
    guitar and with the added trills and fill-ins of Floyd Cramer on piano. The
    extreme simplicity of his early works makes the combination of his clear
    voice and these particular sidemen very effective. Everyone knows Locklin's
    big hits — "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On" (written by Locklin),
    "Geisha Girl," and "Please Help Me I'm Falling" — but real fans are in love
    with his very simple heartfelt tunes like "Who Am I to Cast the First Stone,"
    "A Good Woman's Love," "Seven or Eleven," "I'm Tired of Bummin' Around,"
    "Golden Wristwatch," "Sitting Alone at a Table for Two," and many others.
    These early songs are characterized by Locklin's crystal-clear tenor, the
    ultra-simplicity of the songs themselves, and their straight-to-the-heart
    emotional plea. (Kitty Wells has this same kind of gift.) The result is a
    group of incredible songs that, first released as singles, later became
    available on Camden, RCA's budget label. After many years of neglect,
    many of these songs became available on the Bear Family box set Hank
    Locklin, Please Help Me I'm Falling. Locklin stayed with the RCA label until
    the mid-1960s.

    Locklin helped pioneer the idea of concept albums; his albums Foreign
    Love and Irish Songs, Country Style are examples. He also recorded an
    album tribute to Roy Acuff, A Tribute to Roy Acuff, King of Country Music.
    His Irish songs are pretty near definitive. As time goes by, the vocal chorus
    begins to creep into the Locklin albums a little more than purists might like,
    but his crystal-clear tenor never deserts him.

    Hank Locklin hit the Top Ten charts again in the 1968 with "The Country
    Hall of Fame." In the 1970s he toured overseas often, was very popular in
    Ireland and Great Britian, and made at least one tour with Chet Atkins to
    Japan. After leaving RCA, he went on to record for a number of labels
    including MGM and Plantation. He since has retired and lives in Brewton, AL,
    only some 20 miles from his birth place.

    Pictures (58)

    Hank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank LocklinHank Locklin show more (16-31 of 58)

    Fans (0)

    no fans

    Similar Artists

    Lady AntebellumKenny ChesneyMiranda LambertLonestarAlan JacksonTrace AdkinsDierks BentleyAlison Krauss (& Union Station)Chris CagleDiamond RioPhil VassarTerri ClarkJason Michael CarrollBrenda LeeAnne Murray show more (16-31 of 60)

    More artists

    • popular on LSI
    • new on LSI


    Facebook (0) LetsSingIt (0)