Hank Snow was born in 1923 on a plantation near Dothan, Alabama. His family moved to Montgomery when he was three years old and he began playing the fiddle at age six. He started performing professionally in his teens, touring with various bands until signing with MGM Records in 1955.
Hank Snow was born in 1923. He is a country music legend and has been one of the most popular country singers of all time. His songs are still played today, even though he passed away in 2003.
Hank Snow, Canada’s greatest country music contributor, was known for his “journey” tunes. It’s understandable. He ran away from his Nova Scotia home at the age of 12 and joined the Merchant Marines, where he served for four years as a cabin boy and worker. When he returned to shore, he began listening to Jimmie Rodgers recordings and began performing in public, gaining a following in Halifax. When his high voice transformed to the magnificent baritone that adorned his hit recordings, his initial moniker, the Yodelling Ranger, was altered to the Singing Ranger. His self-penned “I’m Moving On” (the first of his many excellent traveling songs) became a big success in 1950, the year he became an Opry regular, and stayed at number one for 21 weeks. Two additional successes, “Golden Rocket” (also from 1950) and “I’ve Been Everywhere” (from 1962), demonstrate his lifelong passion for trains and travel. However, he was equally at ease with two additional styles: ballads and rhumba/boogie. “Bluebird Island” (with Anita Carter of the Carter Family), “Fool Such as I,” and “Hello, Love,” a success when Snow was 60 years old, are among his many outstanding songs. Snow continued to perform on the Opry into the 1990s, demonstrating that his amazing voice had not deteriorated in quality over the previous half-century, as well as his skill as a subtle, understated guitarist. Snow, a country traditionalist with a tiny stature and a big voice, contributed far more to the industry than he took.
Snow (born Clarence Eugene Snow) grew up in Nova Scotia and moved in with his grandmother when he was eight years old, after his parents’ divorce. When his mother remarried four years later, he reunited with her, but his stepfather was an aggressive, violent guy who often beat Hank. Snow ran away from home when he was 12 years old, joining a fishing boat to escape the abuse. He worked as a cabin boy for the next four years, often singing for the men aboard. He went home when he was 16 and started working odd jobs while attempting to establish a performance career. His mother had given him a stack of Rodgers albums, which had profoundly influenced him. Snow bought a cheap mail-order guitar and attempted to master his idol’s characteristic blue yodel within a few weeks of hearing Rodgers. He sung throughout Nova Scotia for the following several years until eventually summoning the guts to go to Halifax in 1933. Snow earned a weekly unpaid spot on CHNS’ Down on the Farm, where he played the cowboy Blue Yodeller as well as Clarence Snow and His Guitar. Snow was advised by CHNS’ chief announcer, Cecil Landry, to alter his name to Hank since it sounded more Western the next year.
For the following three years, Snow continued to play in Halifax, although with increasing difficulty. When he married Minnie Aalders in 1936, his financial position became much worse, but the pair was soon alleviated when he won a regular paid show on the network Canadian Farm Hour, branded as Hank the Yodelling Ranger. Snow had secured a contract with RCA Victor’s Montreal division before the end of the year, and had recorded two original songs: “The Prsoned Cowboy” and “Lonesome Blue Yodel.” The songs were successes, and they kicked off a ten-year run of Canadian-only hit singles; he released almost 90 songs during that period. He had a regular program on CBC in the early 1940s, headquartered in Montreal and New Brunswick. In New Brunswick, he moved to CKCW in 1944. Because his voice had deepened and he could no longer yodel, he changed his stage moniker to Hank the Singing Ranger about that time.
Despite the fact that he had become a celebrity in Canada, he had yet to break into the American market. Snow attempted many times to break into the United States, appearing at The Wheeling Jamboree in West Virginia, temporarily relocating to Hollywood, and doing performances with his trick pony Shawnee, but he was unsuccessful. The issue stems in part from the fact that he was attempting to reach an audience that didn’t exist, as most people were preoccupied with World War II. Another roadblock was RCA Recordings, which refused to let Snow release records in the United States until he was well-known there. Snow was performing on The Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas, in 1948, when he met honky tonk icon Ernest Tubb. Tubb’s influence at the Grand Ole Opry was enough to get Snow a spot on the program in early 1950, and RCA had already agreed to record him for the American market.
“Marriage Vow,” Snow’s first song in the United States, was a modest success towards the end of 1949, but it faded from the charts after a week. In January, his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry did not go over well, leading him to contemplate returning to Canada. When his breakthrough came in the summer of 1950, however, such plans were quickly abandoned. In July of that year, “I’m Moving On” started a meteoric rise up the charts, ultimately reaching number one and remaining there for a total of 21 weeks. “The Golden Rocket” and “The Rhumba Boogie,” both released a year after “I’m Moving On,” both reached number one (the latter for eight weeks), establishing Snow as a real star. Snow had 24 Top Ten singles between 1951 and 1955, including the huge smash single “I Don’t Hurt Anymore,” which lasted 20 weeks at number one in 1954. Snow performed country boogie, Hawaiian music, rhumbas, and cowboy tunes in addition to his signature trip songs. He was a celebrity not just in the United States and Canada by the middle of the decade, but all over the globe, with a particularly large following in the United Kingdom.
Snow established a booking firm with Colonel Tom Parker in 1954, who would eventually be known as Elvis Presley’s manager. Snow was a pivotal figure in Presley’s early career, persuading the Grand Ole Opry to give him a shot in 1954. Despite Elvis’ poor performance at the Opry, Snow persisted in pressuring Presley to go toward country music, and Hank was furious when Parker assumed full charge of Elvis’ management in 1955. Despite this, Snow found a method to counteract rock & roll by recording some light rockabilly hits. “Hula Rock” and “Rockin’, Rollin’ Ocean” were efforts to replicate the rhythm of rock & roll while diluting it with the rhumbas and boogie that had made his songs successful in the early 1950s. Though he was experimenting with the new genre, he didn’t abandon country, and songs like “Big Wheels” (number seven, 1958), “Miller’s Cave” (number nine, 1960), “Beggar to a King” (number five, 1961), “I’ve Been Everywhere” (number one, 1962), and “Ninety Miles an Hour (Down a Dead End Street)” (number one, 1963) continued to chart in the country (number two, 1963).
Snow’s career declined significantly in the later part of the 1960s, as he was unable to make the shift to the new, highly choreographed country-pop sounds, nor to keep up with Bakersfield’s twangy roll. Instead, his songs charted in the lower ranges, but his performances and appearances on the Grand Ole Opry remained quite popular. It wasn’t until 1974 that another huge hit, “Hello Love,” came, unexpectedly climbing to number one. Instead of igniting a comeback, “Hello Love” turned out to be a final gasp; from 1974 and 1980, Snow only had two additional Top 40 singles, both of which came the same year as “Hello Love.” Despite decreasing album sales, he maintained a high public presence via performances and numerous lifetime achievement awards, including admission into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1979.
After a 45-year association with RCA, Snow’s recording career came to an end in 1981. Snow was enraged by his label’s treatment of him, as well as the direction in which country music was heading, saying that “80% of today’s country music is a joke and unfit to listen to.” He was also enraged that pop and rock production qualities were diluting country’s origins. Snow remained involved in the Grand Ole Opry into the 1990s, but he never recorded again, and he spent a lot of time working for his Foundation for Child Abuse. Bear Family started a long retrospective of numerous multidisc box sets chronicling his whole music career in the late 1980s. Snow’s autobiography, The Hank Snow Story, was released in 1994. He was diagnosed with a respiratory ailment late the next year, but he healed in 1996 and returned to the Grand Ole Opry in August of that year. At the age of 85, Snow died on December 20, 1999.
Hank Snow was born in Montgomery, Alabama on December 4th, 1923. His parents were poor sharecroppers and he grew up playing the guitar. He wrote his first song when he was just 14 years old. Reference: hank snow net worth.
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