Hank Snow

Clarence Eugene Snow (May 9, 1914 - December 20, 1999), better known as Hank Snow, was a country singer.

Snow was born in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada. When he was 14 when he ordered his first guitar from Eaton's catalog for $5.95, and played his first show in a church basement in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia at the age of 16. He then traveled to the nearest big city, Halifax, where he sang in local clubs and bars. A successful appearance on a local radio station led to him being given a chance to audition for RCA Records in Montreal, Quebec. In 1936, he signed with RCA, staying with them for more than forty-five years.

A weekly CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio show brought him national recognition and he began touring Canada until the late 1940s when American country music stations began playing his records. He headed to the "Country Music Capital of the World", Nashville, Tennessee, and Hank Snow, the "Singing Ranger" would be invited to play at the Grand Ole Opry in 1950. That same year he released his mega-hit, "I'm Movin' On." The first of seven Number 1 hits on the country charts, "I'm Movin' On" stayed at Number 1 for nearly half a year.

A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Hank Snow persuaded the directors to allow a new singer by the name of Elvis Presley to appear on stage. He used Elvis as his opening act, before introducing him to Colonel Tom Parker who eventually became Elvis' manager.

Performing in lavish and colorful sequin-studded suits, his career covered six decades during which he sold more than 80 million albums. Although he became a proud American citizen, he still maintained his friendships in Canada and remembered his roots with the 1968 Album, "My Nova Scotia Home."

In Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville, Henry Gibson played a self-obsessed country star loosely based on Hank Snow.

In 1979, Hank Snow was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame. Despite his lack of schooling, he was a gifted songwriter and was elected to The Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Canada, ten times he was voted that country’s top country music performer.

In 1994 his autobiography, "Just a Hank Snow Story," was published, and later The Hank Snow Country Music Centre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia would open.

The victim of an abusive childhood, he set up the "Hank Snow International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse. "

Hank Snow died in Madison, Tennessee in the United States and was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee.

Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, and Emmylou Harris, amongst others, covered his music.

RECORDING ACHIEVEMENTS as compiled by The Hank Snow Country Music Centre:

  • Total Singles Charted -- 85
  • Top 40 Chart Hits -- 65
  • Top 10 Chart Hits -- 43
  • No.1 Chart Hits -- 7
  • Total Number of Weeks on Charts -- 876
  • Total Number of Weeks at #1 -- 56
  • Total Albums Released -- 120 (Est.)

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