Henry “Hank” William Thompson (September 23, 1925 – November 6, 2007) was a country music star whose career spanned seven decades. He sold over 60 million records worldwide and is considered one of the “Kings of Western Swing”.
Thompson’s musical style, characterized as Honky Tonk Swing, was a mixture of fiddles, electric guitar and steel guitar that featured his distinctive, baritone vocals. His backing band, The Brazos Valley Boys, was voted the #1 Country Western Band for 14 years in a row by Billboard Magazine.
The primary difference between his music and that of Bob Wills
was that Thompson, who used the swing beat and instrumentation to
enhance his vocals, discouraged the use of solo instrumentals from his musicians that Bob Wills used regularly during his career.
Hank Thompson was the first to do a number of things (and he did things his own way) :
- The first musician to tour with a sound and lighting system.
- The first musician to receive a corporate sponsorship.
- The first musician to record in stereo.
- The first single musician to record a live album.
- His 1950s variety show was the first variety show broadcast in color.
He wore some mighty sharp suits too! His color TV show allowed him to show off some wild wardrobes that surely influenced Porter Wagoner, a country music contemporary ( see c>log article dated 10/29/07).
There will be a celebration of Hank’s life and all of his fans are invited to attend.
The event will be held on November 14, 2007 at Billy Bob’s Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Ft Worth, Texas. Time: 2:00PM–?
It is requested that, in lieu of flowers, a donation in Hank’s name be made to The Heart of Texas
Museum, 1701 Bridge St, Brady, TX 76825, or your favorite charity.