I made a bad joke to friends a few years ago when Hank Cochran died that he was the fifth best-known Hank, and we were down to just a few contenders left. Well, I consider Hank Locklin the third best-known Hank, and the highest-ranked “living Hank” before his death yesterday.
Hank Locklin’s greatest moment may have been “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On,” a really sweet song, so earnest that it could never be recorded today, when the sentiment would be considered creepy. I believe that “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” was an even-bigger hit, although both songs became hits for several other artists. But I’ll always remember him for a song called “While the Band Plays the Blues,” a song my Dad requested that I find for him. When the only copy I could find was my own copy of Hank’s 1960 LP, I happily gave it to my Dad. I got the LP back a few months later, and put it back into my collection. Dad’s probably bugging him tonight to play it live.
And officially, I consider the order to be Williams, Snow, Locklin, Thompson, Cochran and Penny.
RIP Mr. Locklin.