When he passed away last year, Country Music Hall of Famer Hank Thompson left a recording career that spawned seven decades and amassed over 60 million sold recordings. He captured virtually every award that the industry could present to him including the coveted spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame as well.
“Treasures-Unreleased 1950’s Recordings By Hank Thompson And The Brazos Valley Boys” brings to light a remarkable time in the career of Hank Thompson. This new album on Heart of Texas Records contains twenty songs that were recorded by Hank in his home studio in Oklahoma featuring one of the most versatile grouping of the Brazos Valley Boys.
“One of Hank’s first projects after his move to Oklahoma City in 1952, was to buy a state of the art Ampex tape recorder and set up a recording studio in his home,” Thompson’s biographer Warren Kice said. “Hank and his band were able to practice and perfect the songs before the final recordings were made at the Capitol Studio. A great majority of the songs that were prerecorded at Hank’s house were ultimately recorded in the Capitol studio and released. But there were twenty songs that were recorded that didn’t see the light of day until Hank Thompson Treasures.”
Thompson wrote fourteen of the songs on “Hank Thompson’s Treasures” including You’re Too Young To Cry Now” “I Know Exactly How You Feel” “Harbor Of Love” “You Can’t Put That Monkey On My Back” “Love Is Where You Find It” “I Could Love The Devil Out of You” and “Meet Me On The Corner.”
He also turned to his long time writing friends Weldon and Hathcock to contribute “Whipporwill Lane” “A Fool And His Dreams” “Everybody’s Crazy” and “Maple On The Hill.”
“Hank had worked on this songs in the past and even thought about releasing them,” Ann Thompson, Hank’s widow, said. “He just decided that the time was not right. After he passed away, Warren and I felt that these recordings were so great that we wanted Hank’s fans to hear them. We also wanted Heart of Texas Records and Tracy Pitcox to be the one to put out these treasures.”
Thompson’s voice is at his prime. During these recordings, Thompson was the engineer, producer, guitarist and vocalist all at the same time. These twenty songs would compare to any of Thompson’s Capitol recordings from the same era. It is truly a mystery why they were not recorded for release on Capitol.
The Brazos Valley Boys on these recordings include Billy Gray on Rhythm Guitar, Bobbie White and Pee Wee Whitewing on Steel Guitar, Amos Hedrick, Bob White and Curly Lewis on Fiddles, Paul McGhee on Drums, Billy Stewart on Bass, Gill Baca and Donny McDaniel on Piano, Dubert Dobson on Trumpet and Hank Thompson on Lead Guitar.
“Hank was working on a new project for Heart of Texas Records before he became ill,” Heart of Texas Records President Tracy Pitcox said. “We did not have the opportunity to finish the album before he passed away. I was so excited when Ann retrieved these great treasures from their attic. I was amazed at the quality of these recordings. It is amazing that after fifty years, we have a new Hank Thompson project.”
“Treasures-Unreleased 1950’s Recording By Hank Thompson and the Brazos Valley Boys” is available at record stores that stock traditional country music or from www.heartoftexascountry.com.