Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for January 7th!

Canadian History for Kids: Hank Snow

January 7, 1950 -Nova Scotia country singer, Hank Snow makes his debut on the Grand Ole Opry

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks at Hank Snow, one of the major figures in Canadian country music.

Hank Snow was born in the small community of Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, on May 9, 1914. As a boy, he had to face the pain of his parents’ divorce at just eight years old and he was forced to stay with his grandparents.

He regularly left his grandparents home to visit with his mother who taught him his basic guitar-playing skills.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive continues in 1926 when Hank went to sea as a 12-year-old cabin boy on fishing schooners. With his first earned income he bought his first guitar, a T. Eaton Special for $5.95. While at sea, Hank would listen to Jimmie Rodgers on the radio and began to copy him and entertain the crew. This is when Hank picked his own style.

His professional career started at CHNS Radio in Halifax in 1933 where he had his own radio show. He changed his name to “Hank, The Yodeling Ranger” because it sounded more western. He toured the Maritimes and Western Canada during the 30s and 40s, playing at county fairs and local radio stations.

In 1936 he made his first recording in Montreal with RCA Victor’s Bluebird label and signed a contract that would last 47 years.

Ernest Tubb invited Hank to the Grand Ole Opry on January 7, 1950. He performed at the Opry for 46 years. He wrote and recorded the song “I’m Movin’ On”, which became the top country song of 1950 and still holds the country music record for number of consecutive weeks at the number one chart position.

Canadian History for Kids has learned in the early fifties Hank discovered a young singer. The young talent’s name was Elvis Presley, and Hank took him on as an opening act, and later invited him to the Grand Ole Opry and introduced him to Colonel Parker who eventually became Elvis’ Manager.

Hank Snow sold over 70 million records in his career. He recorded over 100 LPs, and his recordings were released in England, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere.

He has been elected to eight different Halls of Fame, including the Country Music Hall of Fame of the United States of America (1979), The Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of fame and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame. He also was voted Canada’s top country performer ten times.

In May 1994 he received an Honourary Doctorate of Letters Degree from St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Hank Snow passed away , December 20, 1999 at his home in Madison, Tennessee at the age of 85.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!

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