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Hank Thompson


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Hank Thompson (September 3, 1925 – November 6, 2007) was a country-western music entertainer whose career spanned six decades, and who has sold over 60 million records worldwide.

Thompson’s musical style, characterized as Honky Tonk Swing, is a mixture of big-band instrumentation, fiddle and steel guitar that supports his distinctive, gravelly baritone vocals on songs he often writes himself. His backing band, The Brazos Valley Boys, was voted the No.1 Country Western Band for 14 years in a row by Billboard Magazine.

He decided to pursue his musical talent after serving in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a radioman and studying electrical engineering at the university level. His first single was “Whoa Sailor” in 1946. The year 1952 brought his first #1 disc, “The Wild Side of Life”, which contained the memorable line “I didn’t know God made honky-tonk angels” (which inspired the Kitty Wells response, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”). Other hits followed in quick succession in the 1950s and 1960s. Although not as prominent in later decades, he has remained an active and respected performer in the field, finding new audiences as a result of the resurgence of a harder-edged sound in country music.

Hank Thompson was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997. He was born 3 September 1925 in Waco, Texas, and passed away at home in Keller, Texas, on 6 November 2007, just four days after cancelling his final tour.


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  • dimarray

    Man this muthafucka was hot shit. i love how he's got that perfect blend of honky tonk drinkin' songs and bob wills western swing. if all country were as good as hank thompson's output, i'd be hooked. sadly........

    2 Mar 3:56am Reply
  • AngeloSwift13

    Love him <3

    23 Jan 2014 Reply
  • disco_rulez

    Yeah really, I'm not hating because its good to see people still care about this music. But come on now, he didn't sell 6 million records on itunes and it's a pain in the ass to scrobble backwards in time from a phonograph in 1956.

    4 Dec 2011 Reply
  • NilsHolgersson

    He's sold 60 million records but only has 29,016 listeners. People should listen more to the records they apparently bought.

    9 Jul 2011 Reply
  • DoomIsLife

    Great voice. Amazingly talented. Totally underrated.

    2 Sep 2010 Reply
  • ScotVMcK


    16 Feb 2010 Reply
  • gasparocker


    12 Jan 2009 Reply
  • malkeschmied

    Love him!!!!

    27 Nov 2008 Reply
  • Tsteele01

    If you love country, check out our music. We just recorded an album at Rivergate Studios in Nashville so check back soon for new music. We'd appreciate it! Love Country Music, Tommy Steele

    25 Nov 2008 Reply
  • acruse2

    We'll miss you Hank!

    9 Nov 2007 Reply
  • Foghat

    A true master has gone... Rest in peace Hank!

    8 Nov 2007 Reply
  • secondperiod

    Hank Thompson... American music has lost another great artist. Goodbye, Hank, and thank you.

    8 Nov 2007 Reply
  • jcshepard

    There's a Star Spangled Banner waving somewhere, at half-staff today. RIP

    7 Nov 2007 Reply
  • kaitsuj

    He is A Honky Tonk Swing man.

    24 Jul 2007 Reply

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