Hank Thompson

~ Person

Legal name: Henry William Thompson


Henry William Thompson (September 3, 1925 – November 6, 2007), known professionally as Hank Thompson, was an American country music entertainer whose career spanned seven decades.

Thompson's musical style, characterized as honky tonk Western swing, was a mixture of fiddles, electric guitar and steel guitar that featured his distinctive, smooth baritone vocals.

His backing band, The Brazos Valley Boys, was voted the top Country Western Band for 14 years in a row by Billboard. 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 intense instrumental soloing from his musicians that Wills encouraged; however, the "Hank Thompson sound" exceeded Bob Wills in Top 40 country hits.

Although not as prominent on the top country charts in later decades, Thompson remained a recording artist and concert draw well into his 80s.

The 1987 novel Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb was inspired by Thompson's life, specifically by his practice of picking up a local band to back him when he toured. In 2009 Cobb's novel was turned into a successful film directed by Scott Cooper and starring Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1952 Favorites 1
1955 Songs of the Brazos Valley 1
1958 Favorite Waltzes 1
1959 Songs for Rounders 1
1960 Most of All 1
1961 An Old Love Affair 1
1961 At the Golden Nugget 1
1967 The Gold Standard Collection 1
1968 On Tap in the Can or in the Bottle 1
1968 Country Blues 1
1968 Sings the Gold Standards 1
1969 Hank Thompson Salutes Oklahoma 1
1969 Smoky the Bar 1
1970 You Always Hurt the One You Love 1
1971 Next Time I Fall in Love (I Won't) 1
1972 Cab Driver: A Salute to the Mills Brothers 1
1973 Kindly Keep It Country 1
1974 Movin' On 1
1975 Sings Nat King Cole 1
1976 Back in the Swing of Things 1
1977 Doin' My Thing 1
1977 The Thompson Touch 1
1978 Brand New Hank 1
1980 Take Me Back to Tulsa 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1971 25th Anniversary Album 1
1972 Greatest Hits, Volume 1 1
1992 The Country Music Hall of Fame 1
2006 Country Legend 1
All-Time Greatest Hits 1
Famous Country Music Makers 1
Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys #2 1
Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys #9 1
Hank Thompson 20 Greatest Hits 1
Seven Decades 1
The Best of Hank Thompson 1966-1979 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1963 At the State Fair of Texas 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1946 Swing Wide Your Gate of Love / Whoa Sailor 1
1947 California Woman / What Are We Gonna Do 1
1947 Lonely Heart Knows / Starry Eyed Texas Gal 1
1947 Whoa Sailor / Swing Wide Your Gate of Love 2
1948 Green Light / You Remembered Me 1
1948 Second Hand Girl / My Heart Is Jig-Saw Puzzle 1
1948 Yesterday's Mail / What Are We Gonna Do About Midnight 1
1949 You Broke My Heart / I Find You Cheatin' on Me 1
1949 Tomorrow Night / My Front Door Is Open 1
1949 Grass Looks Greener Over Yonder / Soft Lips 1
1949 Cat Has Nine Lives / Give a Little Take a Little 1
1950 All That Goes Up Must Come Down / Standing on the Outside Looking in Now 1
1950 She's a Girl Without Any Sweetheart / Take a Look at the Broken Heart 1
1950 California Women / Humpty Dumpty Heart 1

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