Friday, July 10, 2009
Jango Song Of The Day-Hank Thompson
Song:The Wild Side Of Life
Album:Capitol Collectors Series
When folks think of the phrase "I didn't know God made Honky Tonk angels", Hank Thompson's 1952 hit The Wild Side Of Life is the song they are thinking of. Thompson was a country music star for decades. He was born Sept. 3, 1925 in Waco, TX. He grew up a big fan of Western Swing musicians like Bob Wills and Thompson's music fits into that mold. He had a local radio show as a teen and joined the Navy in 1943 as a radio technician. He formed his band The Brazos Valley Boys in 1946. He recorded a few singles and got the attention of Tex Ritter and Ritter helped Thompson get a contract with Capitol Records in 1947. Thompson had success but had his biggest success when he started working with producer Ken Nelson in 1951. The Wild Side Of Life topped the country music charts for three months in 1952 and it was Thompson's signature song. The Wild Side Of Life is based on the Carter Family song I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes with William Warren's lyrics obviously inspired by a failed relationship. Kittly Wells' answer song It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels was also a number one country hit. Thompson continued to have a lot of success and hosted the first TV variety show broadcast in colour. He also recorded the first live country music album in 1961. His recording career petered out in the 60s. He left Capitol in 1965 and though Thompson continued to record for Warner Bros. & Dot/MCA and was still a popular live act, he never reached the heights of the 50s. This comp covers his Capitol recordings. He was elected to the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1989. Hank Thompson died of lung cancer on Nov. 6, 2007 at age 82. Here's Hank Thompson performing The Wild Side Of Life on Hee Haw.