Hank Locklin

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Hank Locklin
Hank Locklin.png
Hank Locklin in 1968
Background information
Birth name Lawrence Hankins Locklin
Born (1918-02-15)February 15, 1918
McLellan, Florida
Died March 8, 2009(2009-03-08) (aged 91)
Brewton, Alabama
Genres country music
Occupations singer-songwriter
Instruments guitar
Years active 1949–2009
Labels RCA Victor, 4 Star Records
Notable instruments
Guitar

Lawrence Hankins 'Hank' Locklin (February 15, 1918 – March 8, 2009) was an American country music singer-songwriter. A member of the Grand Ole Opry for nearly 50 years, Locklin had a long recording career with RCA Victor, and scored big with the hits "Please Help Me, I'm Falling", "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On", and "Geisha Girl" from 1957-1960. His singles charted from 1949-1971.

Locklin was one of country music's early honky tonk singers. He first recorded for Royalty, a small label in northeast Texas, but soon moved to 4 Star Records, a regional country music label, before signing a long contract with RCA Victor. He had an estimated 15 million record sales worldwide and his songs were recorded by many other artists, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Rogers, Dwight Yoakam and Dean Martin. He regularly appeared on the Grand Ole Opry beginning in 1960, making his final appearance in 2007.

Locklin had 70 chart singles, including six No. 1s on Billboard '​s country chart. Locklin's biggest hits included "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On", "Geisha Girl" and his signature "Please Help Me, I'm Falling",[1] which went to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart. Billboard '​s 100th anniversary issue listed it as the second most successful country single of the rock and roll era. Other hits for Locklin included "Happy Journey" (1961), "Happy Birthday To Me" (1962) and "The Country Hall Of Fame" (1968).

Biography[edit]

Born in McLellan in the Florida Panhandle, Locklin grew up working in the cotton fields to supplement his family’s low income. He began playing the guitar at the age of nine after being seriously injured by a school bus.

His first marriage to Willa Jean Murphy ended in divorce. In 1970 he married Anita Crooks of Brewton, Alabama. He had a son and four daughters, 12 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and a few close great nieces and nephews such as Sarah Locklin.[2]

In the 1960s Locklin built a ranch house called The Singing L in the field in McClellan where he had picked cotton as a boy. He was later made the honorary mayor of the town.

Locklin had a strong following in Europe, and in Ireland. His popularity was such that in 1963 he recorded an album called Irish Songs Country Style. He has a fan club in Langeli, Bjerkreim, Norway. The obituary in The Times described Locklin as "the last remaining link between country music’s hillbilly roots and the lusher, modern pop sound of Nashville."[3]

In 2006 Locklin appeared on the PBS special, Country Pop Legends in which he performed "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On," and "Please Help Me I'm Falling". Until his death at the age of 91 in 2009, he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry. Hank had recently released his 65th album, By the Grace of God, a collection of gospel songs.

He moved to Brewton, where he remained throughout his later years, and died there at home in the early morning on March 8, 2009.[4]

In 2007 he was inducted to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.[5]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Country Label
1958 Foreign Love RCA Victor
1960 Please Help Me, I'm Falling
1962 Happy Journey
A Tribute to Roy Acuff–King of Country Music
1963 The Ways of Life
1964 Irish Songs, Country Style
Hank Locklin Sings Hank Williams
1965 Hank Locklin Sings Eddy Arnold
Once Over Lightly
The Best of Hank Locklin
1966 The Girls Get Prettier 26
The Gloryland Way (w/ The Imperials)
1967 Send Me the Pillow You Dream On
Nashville Women 36
1968 Country Hall of Fame 20
My Love Song for You 40
1969 Softly 32
Lookin' Back
1970 Hank Locklin with Danny Davis and the
Nashville Brass
(w/ Danny Davis)
Bless Her Heart...I Love Her
1972 Mayor of McLellan Florida
The Best of Hank Locklin
1975 Hank Locklin MGM
1976 Golden Hits Plantation
1977 There Never Was a Time
Country Hall of Fame Top Spin
2004 Generations in Song Coldwater
2006 By the Grace of God: The Gospel Album Yell

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US
1949 "The Same Sweet Girl" 8 singles only
"Knocking at Your Door"
"Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On"
"Our Love Will Show the Way"
1950 "Fifty Miles of Elbow Room"
"Midnight Tears"
"Paper Face"
"Come Share the Sunshine with Me"
"Holy Train"
"No One's Sweeter Than You"
"Year of Time"
1951 "Song of the Whispering Leaves"
"Your House of Love Won't Stand"
"Crazy Over You"
"Stumpy Joe"
1952 "Tell Me You Love Me"
"Down Texas Way"
"Harvest Is Ripe"
"Who Is Knocking at My Heart"
1953 "Alone at the Table for Two"
"Crazy Over You"
"Let Me Be the One" 1
1955 "Your Heart Is an Island"
"Who Am I to Cast First Stone"
1956 "Why Baby Why" 9
"Good Woman's Love"
"Seven or Eleven"
"She's Better Than Most"
1957 "Fourteen Karate Gold"
"Goin' Home All by Myself"
"Geisha Girl" 4 66 Foreign Love
"Livin' Alone" flip Please Help Me, I'm Falling
1958 "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On" 5 77
"It's a Little More Like Heaven" 3
"Blue Grass Skirt" flip Foreign Love
"That Inner Glow" singles only
"I Gotta Talk to Your Heart"
1959 "Foreign Car" Please Help Me, I'm Falling
"Border of the Blues" single only
"Blues in Advance" Please Help Me, I'm Falling
1960 "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" 1 8
1961 "One Step Ahead of My Past" 14 singles only
"From Here to There to You" 12
"You're the Reason" 14 107 Happy Journey
"Happy Birthday to Me" 7
1962 "Happy Journey" 10
"We're Gonna Go Fishin'" 14 The Ways of Life
"Wabash Cannonball" A Tribute to Roy Acuff
1963 "Flyin' South" 23 singles only
1964 "Wooden Soldier" 41
"Followed Closely by My Teardrops" 15
"I Was Coming Home to You"
1965 "I'm Blue"
"Forty Nine, Fifty One" 32
1966 "The Girls Get Prettier (Every Day)" 35 The Girls Get Prettier
"Insurance" 48 single only
"The Best Part of Loving You" 69 Nashville Women
1967 "Hasta Luego (See You Later)" 41
"Nashville Women" 73
"The Country Hall of Fame" 8 Country Hall of Fame
1968 "Love Song for You"A 40 My Love Song for You
"Everlasting Love" 57 single only
"Lovin' You (The Way I Do)" 62 My Love Song for You
1969 "Where the Blue of the Night
Meets the Gold of the Day"
35 Softly
"Jeannie" single only
1970 "Please Help Me, I'm Falling" (w/ Danny Davis) 68 Hank Locklin with Danny Davis
and the Nashville Brass
"Flying South" (w/ Danny Davis) 56
"Bless Her Heart...I Love Her" 68 Bless Her Heart...I Love Her
1971 "She's as Close as I Can Get to Loving You" 61 Mayor of McLellan Florida
"Only a Fool"
"Softly" singles only
1972 "Love Has a Mind of Its Own"
"I Forgot to Live Today"
"Goodbye Old Ryman"
1973 "Before My Time"
"Jonas P. Jones"
1974 "Wildwood Flower"
"Send Me Your Coffee Cup" Hank Locklin
1975 "Sweetest Mistake"
"Irish Eyes"
1976 "Baby I Need You" There Never Was a Time
"Daytime Love Affair"
"You Love Me Don'tcha"
1977 "There Never Was a Time"
  • A"Love Song for You" peaked at No. 29 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist US Country
1967 "Chet's Tune" Some of Chet's Friends 38

Bibliography[edit]

  • Trott, Walt (1998). "Hank Locklin". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 300–1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 10 - Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  2. ^ NY Times Obituary 9 March 2009
  3. ^ The Times Obituary 11 March 2009
  4. ^ "Grand Ole Opry member Hank Locklin dies in Alabama". Associated Press via WVLT-TV. 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  5. ^ Hank Locklin Florida Artists Hall of Fame

External links[edit]