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Hank Snow Snow In Hawaii (CD)

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1-CD Digipak (4-plated) with 19-page booklet, 28 tracks. Playing time approx. 75 mns​.... more

Hank Snow: Snow In Hawaii (CD)

1-CD Digipak (4-plated) with 19-page booklet, 28 tracks. Playing time approx. 75 mns​.

During his earliest years in Nova Scotia, Hank Snow (1914-1999) was attracted to the soothing sound of a Hawaiian steel guitar. "Mother saw an advertisement in a magazine for a Hawaiian guitar," Snow recalled in his 1994 autobiography. "Mother ordered the guitar, and in a few weeks it came in the mail. She really prized that instrument. I think it helped her relieve her tension, because when she was upset, she'd take out the guitar to play and sing."

When Marie Alice Snow allowed her son to try the instrument, his apparent natural talent intrigued her. "I used the regular Hawaiian steel bar, and I'd slide it up and down over the strings to get different chords and tones," he wrote. Before long the youngster was entertaining his neighbors in their homes, but he was careful not to play the instrument around her future husband, a man whose brutality would soon drive the youngster from their home. "Looking back now, maybe Mother bought the guitar for me, thinking that music would help me endure the frustrations in a house that could never be a home. I wonder."

At age 12, Snow escaped his stepfather's wrath by joining the crew of a fishing schooner. For the next four years, he endured grueling conditions in the North Atlantic. "On those lonely Sundays I kept thinking if I had Mother's Hawaiian guitar, I could pass the time away and entertain the crew, who knew I would enjoy it."

Eventually resettling with his sister and her husband in Bluerocks, Nova Scotia, Snow bought his first guitar. Now drawn to the 'blue yodels' of Jimmie Rodgers, he abandoned the steel slide to master chord progressions in standard tuning.

By 1937 Snow was an established country singer on Canadian radio and records, but he still retained his love for Hawaiian music. Although he seldom strayed far from the Maritime Provinces, he often dreamed about life in the picturesque Pacific Islands. He wrote his first Hawaiian song in 1937 while working at a Halifax radio station. The earliest track here, Under Hawaiian Skies, was cut during a February 1941 session in chilly Montreal. Later that year, Snow bought a single-neck, six-string electric Hawaiian guitar and a small amp from a Montreal music store. "I found it relaxing to play the Hawaiian guitar, but I could only play what Mother taught me years earlier," he said.

CKNB in Campbellton, New Brunswick, hired 'Hank, The Yodeling Ranger' in February 1942. In addition to his own broadcasts, Snow played soft Hawaiian steel melodies behind station manager Stan Chapman's Sunday night poetry readings. "On the first couple of Sunday night shows, I was nervous because I had to play continually for the full fifteen minutes, and I was afraid I would run out of tunes," Snow recalled. He began improvising melodies through the entire broadcast, underscoring Chapman's sonorous recitations. "The listeners liked it, too, and I continued playing background for him as long as I remained at CKNB." Snow left the station that spring to launch a Canadian theater tour, formally ending his secondary career as a Hawaiian lap-steel stylist.

Article properties: Hank Snow: Snow In Hawaii (CD)

  • Interpret: Hank Snow

  • Album titlle: Snow In Hawaii (CD)

  • Genre Country

  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Preiscode AR
  • Edition 2 Deluxe Edition
  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 4000127164292

  • weight in Kg 0.2
Snow, Hank - Snow In Hawaii (CD) CD 1
01 Hula Love
02 Beyond The Reef
03 On The Beach At Waikiki
04 Hawaiian Sunset (instrumental)
05 My Little Grass Shack In Kealakekua, Hawaii
06 Tradewinds
07 Don't Sing Aloha When I Go
08 Blue For Old Hawaii
09 Hawaiian Cowboy
10 To You My Sweetheart, Aloha
11 Cry My Guitar, Cry On
12 Oahu Rose
13 Dreamer's Island
14 Bluebird Island
15 On That Old Hawaiian Shore With You
16 Everybody Does It In Hawaii
17 Tears In The Tradewinds
18 Pearly Shells
19 Now Is The Hour
20 Hula Love
21 Everybody Does It In Hawaii
22 Hula Rock
23 A Message From The Tradewinds
24 Hilo March (instrumental)
25 Sing Me A Song Of The Islands
26 Bluebird Island
27 Under Hawaiian Skies
28 My Kalua Sweetheart
Hank Snow Before 22-year-old Hank Snow auditioned at the Montreal offices of RCA... more
"Hank Snow"

Hank Snow

Before 22-year-old Hank Snow auditioned at the Montreal offices of RCA Victor's Canadian Division in October 1936, Repertoire and Recording Manager A.H. 'Hugh' Joseph asked if he had any original songs. "Friends, I told him a little white lie," Snow recalled in his 1994 autobiography. "I said yes, I have two good songs that I have just written."

Giving the budding recording artist the address of an old church RCA was temporarily using as a studio, Joseph told him to appear there at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Although elated by this opportunity, Snow now worried about those two non-existent originals he promised to have ready. Returning to his hotel room, he wrote a Jimmie Rodgers pastiche titled Lonesome Blue Yodel and a convoluted ballad about a cowboy singer turned outlaw. While no lyrical masterpiece, Prisoned Cowboy became an auspicious start to a recording career stretching across six decades. It also reflected Snow's lifelong fascination with the American and Canadian West – romantic places he only dreamed about during his Nova Scotia childhood.

At age 12 Snow escaped an abusive stepfather's wrath by signing on as a cabin boy on a fishing schooner. For the next four years, the slight-statured youth endured grueling conditions in the North Atlantic. On his occasional visits home, he'd wind up his mother's Victrola and repeatedly play Vernon Dalhart's The Prisoner's Song and The Wreck Of The Old 97. Eventually resettling with his sister and her husband in Bluerocks, Nova Scotia, Snow bought his first guitar. Now drawn to the blue yodels of Jimmie Rodgers, he mastered the Singing Brakeman's songs and style.

Prisoned Cowboy and Lonesome Blue Yodel sold enough copies to merit a second session. By now Snow concentrated on songwriting, many of his lyrics built upon sentimental Western themes. Early songs like We Met Down In The Hills Of Old Wyoming, I'll Ride Back To Lonesome Valley and There's A Picture On Pinto's Saddle hardly compared with the vivid Western sagas of Bob Nolan or Stuart Hamblen, but they helped establish a following for 'Hank, The Yodeling Ranger.' The Texas Cowboy, recorded in February 1939, was one of Snow's livelier early efforts. Its spoken introduction gives us an idea of Snow's formative broadcasts on Canadian radio.

Snow's ten sessions for Canadian RCA through 1947 included at least one song about Texas or the open range. Not all were written by the singer. Snow learned Bobby Gregory's Riding Along, Singing A Song from a Decca 78 by Denver Darling. Philadelphia promoter and song publisher Jack Howard gave him Tom Grindhart's Blue Ranger. Howard, one of the first Americans to champion Snow's career, booked him into several Philadelphia-area venues during July 1944. He also brought the singer to Wheeling to meet Harry 'Big Slim' McAuliffe, who offered to help Snow land a slot on WWVA's Midnight Jamboree.

Realizing his career could only go so far in Canada, Snow moved to Wheeling. As he did with many other young talents, McAuliffe worked tirelessly on Snow's behalf. Besides bringing him to WWVA, McAuliffe outfitted Snow with the essentials for a traveling stage show, including a trained horse. For the next four years Snow and his troupe zigzagged across the border. But despite his high visibility and popularity in his home country, Snow found it difficult to get any real foothold in America. Hugh Joseph lobbied RCA Victor's New York office to release his best-selling couplings in the United States. Label officials weren't interested, even though a few resourceful American country disc jockeys spun his Canadian Bluebird records to good listener response.

In January 1948 the American Federation of Musicians forbade its members to make recordings. Desperate to maintain a release schedule through the year, RCA Victor turned to Snow's Canadian masters. My Sweet Texas Bluebonnet Queen was released that April, followed two months later by Brand On My Heart. Dallas disc jockey Hal Horton turned Brand On My Heart into a local hit. Its success led Snow to abandon his futile attempt to break into Hollywood; he arrived in Dallas early that fall, his trained horse in tow and only eleven dollars in his pocket.

Joining KRLD's new live showcase Big-D Jamboree, Snow drew sizable crowds in clubs and concerts, but financially these proved to be lean months. Ernest Tubb, himself a Texas expatriate, convinced Snow that Nashville was the place he needed to be.

RCA Victor issued three more Canadian couplings by 'Hank, The Singing Ranger' before the musician's union settled its dispute with the record companies. Though none were national hits, all sold well enough to merit Snow's first American session in March 1949. Eight songs were recorded in Chicago, and Jenny Lou Carson's Marriage Vow became a modest chart success. It gave Tubb enough leverage to bring his friend to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry roster.

Using Tubb's Texas Troubadours for his initial Opry appearances in January 1950, Snow eventually recruited a young, top-flight band, including steel player Joe Talbot and fiddler Tommy Vaden. "Together they created exactly what I wanted for the Hank Snow sound,” he wrote. He brought both musicians to his next RCA Victor session on March 28, 1950. Augmented by Velma Williams on rhythm guitar and Ernie Newton on bass, they recorded four songs including a two-year-old Snow original, I'm Moving On. Released the following month, it stayed on 'Billboard's' country charts for 44 weeks, 21 of them at #1. Snow's next two singles, The Golden Rocket and The Rhumba Boogie, also had lengthy chart runs, both peaking at #1.

Snow also began recording 16" discs for radio stations subscribing to RCA's Thesaurus Transcription Service. Compared to his hit-driven singles, these casually produced transcriptions revealed the scope of Snow's working repertoire. Five Western-themed tracks from these discs appear here: Stuart Hamblen's Texas Plains, Jimmie Rodgers' Yodeling Ranger, Bob Wills' San Antonio Rose, Bob Nolan's Chant Of The Wanderer and a medley of Gene Austin's I'm Coming Home and...

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