Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Hank Snow

Artist:Hank Snow
Song:I've Been Everywhere
Album:The Essential Hank Snow

Hank Snow was a pioneer of Canadian country music known for his traveling songs like I'm Movin' On and the 1962 smash hit I've Been Everywhere. I loved this song when I was a kid. Clarence Eugene Snow was born May 9, 1914 in Brooklyn, NS. He joined the Merchant Marines at age 12 to escape an abusive stepfather. He was a cabin boy for four years. Snow based his music on the great Jimmie Rodgers and learned to yodel from listening to Rodgers records. He moved to Halifax in 1933 and appeared as Clarence Snow and his Guitar and The Blue Yodeler on radio station CHNS. Announcer Cecil Landry suggested he change his name to Hank Snow because it sounded more western. This led to a contract with RCA Victor in Canada and national appearances on CBC Radio. So he was a star in Canada but RCA in the US refused to release his records because he wasn't a big enough star for them. He became friends with the legendary Ernest Tubb and an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry convinced RCA to release Snow's records. This paid dividends in 1950 when I'm Movin' On topped the country charts for 21 weeks. Snow had a regular stream of hits in the 50s. And he helped establish Elvis Presley's career when he introduced him to manager Colonel Tom Parker. In the late 50s, Snow was holding his own with the onslaught of Rock & Roll. I've Been Everywhere became Snow's second signature song when it topped the country charts in 1962 and also crossed over to pop. I've Been Everywhere was written by Australian songwriter Geoff Mack and was a hit in Australia for Lucky Starr. Mack's publisher thought it would be a good song for Snow and had Mack rewrite it with names of North American towns. The song has been adapted for many locations. Canadian country music legend Stompin' Tom Connors recorded a Canadian version. Johnny Cash notably covered I've Been Everywhere in 1996. Snow continued to have success in the 60s. But he didn't adapt well when country music went in a pop direction in the 70s and his career slowed down considerably. RCA dropped him in 1981 and he never recorded again. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Hank Snow continued to appear regularly on the Grand Ole Opry until his death on Dec. 20, 1999 at age 85. Hank Snow is a member of the Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame. Here's Hank Snow performing I've Been Everywhere on one of Ralph Emery's shows in the 60s.

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