Hank Locklin
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UntitledHANK LOCKLIN

International country music legend and Grand Ole Opry star Hank Locklin, who soared to stardom with the mega country/pop hit Please Help Me I'm Falling and wrote the country classic Send Me The Pillow You Dream On passed away on Sunday March 8th. He was 91 years old.
Locklin had been a Brewton, Alabama resident since 1984 and was well known among the locals as a friend and were never a stranger after meeting the cordial performer.
One of country's greatest tenors, Locklin scored one of the biggest hits of the music's golden era with "Please Help Me, I'm Falling," which spent a remarkable 14 weeks at No. 1 and 30 weeks in the Top 10 in 1960. With that hit came membership into the Opry, an honor he maintained for the rest of his life. Locklin's other big hits included Geisha Girl, Let Me Be The One, Country Hall of Fame and Danny Boy. For nearly two decades Locklin recorded for RCA Records (1955-1974). Locklin helped usher in the famous 1950s-60s Nashville Sound, which also featured the likes of fellow performers Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline and The Browns. His legacy grew overseas helping to spread country music popularity to Japan, Germany and especially to Ireland, where fans took to his clear, crisp tenor voice and claimed Locklin as an adopted son.
He was born Lawrence Hankins Locklin in the piney northwest Florida community of McLellan. In later years, after gaining international popularity, he was nicknamed the Mayor of McLellan by television/radio personality Ralph Emery. The name stuck as Locklin maintained residence there on his 350-plus acre Singing L Ranch until moving to Brewton 25 years ago.
While he was born into a family that reared doctors and educators, Locklin discovered very early he was to be a performer. Hank was picking guitar for amateur contests in nearby Milton, Florida, by age 10. In his teens he was a featured performer on Pensacola radio station WCOA. For the next several years, he played with a variety of groups through the South and worked at various jobs in Florida, including farmer, ribbon mill hanker, and shipyard worker.
After World War II ended, his career started taking off, and he appeared on Shreveport's Louisiana Hayride and the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas. He recorded briefly for Decca, and after meeting producer Bill McCall, Hank recorded for McCall's Four Star Records for five years. Hank scored his first Top 10 song in 1949 with "The Same Sweet Girls." Four years later, he had a No. 1 with "Let Me Be the One," and a recording contract with RCA Victor followed.
The next year started a string of hit singles, with "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On," which he wrote, "It's a Little More Like Heaven," "Geisha Girl," "Fraulein," "Why, Baby Why," and "Blue Grass Skirt." In 1960, the remarkable success of "Please Help Me, I'm Falling"—the song not only dominated the country chart that year, but crossed over into the Top 10 pop charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom—earned him membership in the Grand Ole Opry. It also introduced the slip-note piano style to country music through legendary pianist Floyd Cramer and was a major factor in creating the "Nashville Sound." Locklin remembers, "Chet played me the demo and Don Robertson (one of the co-writers) was playing that slip-note on the piano…I told Chet if we could get Cramer to copy that style, we'd have us a hit, and we did." The slip-note piano style was synonymous with Hank's recordings from20that point forward and considered his signature sound.
Many hits followed throughout the '60s, including "We're Gonna Go Fishin'," "Happy Birthday To Me," "Happy Journey," "Followed Closely by My Teardrops," "The Country Hall of Fame," "Danny Boy" and "Where The Blue Of The Night, Meets The Gold Of The Day." During this time, Hank pioneered the creation of concept albums in country music with releases such as Foreign Love and Irish Songs, Country Style. Hank is also credited with taking country music to unprecedented heights of popularity with International audiences throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's. In all, Hank has sold more than 15 million albums and received numerous industry awards from The Grand Ole Opry, BMI, ASCAP, Cashbox, Billboard and NARAS.
Long a favorite with Opry audiences, Hank returned to the studio in 2001 to record Generations in Song. Featuring long-time colleagues such as Dolly Parton and Jeannie Seely, newer friends and admirers like Vince Gill (who cites Hank as an influence) and Jett Williams. Recently, Hank recorded his 65th album, a gospel album, with an award winning cast of artists such as The Oak Ridge Boys, The Jordanaires, Gold City and Jeff & Sheri Easter.
Locklin is survived by his loving wife of thirty-nine years, Anita Locklin, his children Margaret Kent, Maurice Locklin, Beth Padgett, Nina Hendricks, Amy Alford, and Hank Adam Locklin, along with his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Locklin was a member of Red Rock Lodge F. & A.M. in Munson, Florida, The Scottish Rite Bodies of Nashville, Tennessee and Hadji Shrine Temple in Pensacola, Florida.
Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, March 12th from 4:00pm-8:00pm at The First Baptist Church in Brewton, Alabama. Arrangements are being handled by Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Brewton, Alabama, (251) 867-4304. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Covenant Hospice 1023 Douglas Ave, #204, Brewton, Alabama 36426, (251) 867-6993, or The Opry Trust Fund, 2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN, 37214, (615) 871-5812.


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Published in the Pensacola News Journal on Mar. 11, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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44 entries
March 22, 2009
A very kind wonderful man has departed this life. Great song writer and singer. I have never heard anything except positive wonderful things about this man. My greatest sympathy to his wife, daughters, sons and his some much loved grand children. Rest In Peace My Masonic Brother.
Larry Seal
March 22, 2009
WE HAVE LOST A VERY GOOD SONG WRITER AND A GREAT COUNTY SINGER.BUT WE ALL KNOW IT IS OUR LOST AND GOD'S GAIN.BUT I HOPE TO HEAR HIM ALONG WITH ALLTHE OTHER GREATS,THAT WENT ALONG BEFORE HIM . HE WILL BE MISSED, BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN.
HOWARD EUGENE VANN, SR .
MILTON,FLA.
HOWARD VANN ,SR.
March 21, 2009
I was raised on country music and loved his music. He will be sorely missed by fans.
Carol Beane
March 19, 2009
I'm so sorry for the loss of such a great man who meant so much to so many.
Belinda Jernigan
March 15, 2009
I am the daughter of Virginia Fleming Pfeiffer, Hanks first cousin who grew up in the McLellan area with him. Hank followed his dream . . and passion . . his love for music, and entertaining others. Most importantly, he remained a GOOD PERSON!
ginger werhan
March 14, 2009
I am a distant cousin of Hank Locklin's wish I had had the pleasure of meeting him..my thoughts and prayers are with his family Sally Bryant Mobile,Alabama
sally bryant
March 14, 2009
Cousin Hank grew up with my sister Juanita Madden and we always enjoyed his concerts at the GA Mountain Fair In Hiawassee. Juanita played with him as a child.
We loved him and his music... Sue Hogue Higdon
Sue Higdon
March 14, 2009
My prayers and thoughts are with you all. I grew up listening to Hanks music, as well as runing into him a time or two at the McClellan Country Store! That was the place to go on a hot afternoon to get your coke and see everyone.The store was even featured on one of his albums, His music will live on, it was so good back then and still is today.My prayers are with you, but He did leave some great things behind.
Denise Cooper-Whitfield
March 14, 2009
Our deepest sympathy go to you, the family,of Mr. Locklin. We grew up listening to his music and are fortunate enough to have some of his albums. May God bless all of you.
Mr. & Mrs. William King
March 13, 2009
My condolences to the Locklin family.Hank and My dad (Willie Morrell)go back over 40 years.Hank had some nice words to print on my dads 1st album in 1977.As a kid I was back stage for many shows with My dad and Hank.
Thanks Willie Morrell Jr
Milton,FL.
Willie Jr Morrell
March 13, 2009
This is a man whose time on earth was very well spent. He was considered a family treasure and adored by friends of all ages.
Shirley Bell of the Winstanley, Thompson, and Rogers Families.
Shirley Bell
March 13, 2009
Its a sad shame that all I ever got to do for Hank was to pump a tank of gas for him. When he has provided many years of enjoyment of his music for me. He will be missed but not forgotten.
Glenn Dixon
March 12, 2009
Such beautiful music right to the end.
I found the beautiful album that you made recently Grace of God. It like
it is your last message to your fans
who loved your music. God bless your family and I sure you are singing in Heaven.
Diane Johnson
March 12, 2009
Hanks Spirit will always be with the world. Best to his Family. God bless Alabama and the United States of America.
Gene
Eugene Hayth
March 12, 2009
Anita, Sorry to hear of your loss. Enjoyed Hank's music very much. I'll treasure it. My husband & I went to the club with him & you and Dr. West in Jay. Sincerely
Teena (Nelson) Devine
March 12, 2009
To Anita and Family, my sympathy.
You know we in Pembroke loved Hank and you.
We have "Precious Memories" at Holy Cross.
In God's Time, we'll meet again.
Patricia Barbee
March 12, 2009
There will never be another talent like you, Hank. Rest in Peace and may God be with your family.
Respectfully,
Susan Wallace
March 12, 2009
Anita, Hank Adam, Nina, and Amy....I am so sorry about the loss of Hank. I loved to hear him sing because he did it the way country music was meant to be and it was obvious how much he loved his music and his fans. He was a sweet Southern gentleman who will be greatly missed in the community and in Nashville. He paved the way for so many singers and his legacy will live forever. May God Bless each of you during this difficult time.

Love, Stephanie Jernigan-Watson
Stephanie Jernigan-Watson
March 12, 2009
RIP Hank. I grew up on your songs.
Bob Kane
March 12, 2009
I met Hank when I was 11 years old. Hillary Thompson my papal took all us grandkids to meet a good friend of his in Mcllen. I remember the guitar shaped mailbox that had Hank Locklin on it. I still own 2 records and will always cherish them. Thanks for great music. GOD bless all of you during this hard time our prayers are with you.
Christie Noel, Pearce
March 12, 2009
We were saddened to hear of Hank's death. He was a great singer & person. Earths lost is Heavens gain.
We had the honor to shank hands & speak to him at the Pecan Festival in Theodore, Al. God bless his family and the world feels your lost.
Ernie & Daisy Mayton
March 11, 2009
May God comfort the family of Mr. Locklin. He was one of the greats.
Sheila Ballard
March 11, 2009
My sympathy to all the family for their loss
John Miller
March 11, 2009
Hank will be greatly missed. He was a great man,a great artist,and a friend to all who knew him.God be with his family in their time of sorrow and always.
Buddy and Melinda Meredith
March 11, 2009
Condolences from the C.H. and Joan Partain Family
Joan Partain
March 11, 2009
my sympathy go out to his family.
i was introduced to him in 1979.by r.m lockin sr.when he was still live in mclellan. he will be missed
hank morris
March 11, 2009
HANK, I HAVE LOVED YOUR MUSIC FROM THE BEGINING. YOU ARE GREAT. PRAYERS FROM THE IRONS FAMILY OF DECATUR, ALABAMA.
FRANK IRONS SR
March 11, 2009
Condolences to the Locklin Family. Hank's music was an integral part of my growing up and have always loved his music. The world will sorely miss him
Mark, Doris, and Matthew Simpson
March 11, 2009
First and Most , My prayers go out to the Family.It will be such a great loss to old time country music fans, but a gain to all the ones who are with him in Heaven. I always loved his song "Send Me The Pillow". Thank God his music can live on.
Nancy Higgins
March 11, 2009
To the family of Mr. Hank Locklin:
My father, Dr. T.J. Stewart, introduced me to Mr. Locklin many years ago in the back of the "old" Century, Fl drugstore. I was in my very early teens and had absolutely no clue as to whom I was being blessed with meeting. But, I can still in a very vivid manner recall having the full impression that I was, indeed, meeting a very "true gentleman." And such he is and shall remain for the ages.
Allen Stewart
March 11, 2009
Hank you will be missed terribly. My sympathy goes out to yourwife and family. Hank you rate as one of the best singers today. May God bless you.
Ronald L. Myrick
March 11, 2009
He will be missed. We are loosing our country singers one by one with no one else to take their places. The music they play today isn't even close to country music. I am so sorry, he was so very good.
Janesville, WI
Marlene Woodward
March 11, 2009
I remember My Mother Ola Irene Dixson Moon talking about Mr. Locklin. As a child I remember his songs. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Marge Moon - van Brero
Marge van Brero
March 11, 2009
Hank was a familiar face around country station WPFA back in the early '70s when I worked there as a DJ. He was always friendly and available for an 'on air' interview. A GREAT guy and a country music SUPER STAR! He will be missed!
Dwight Stagner
March 11, 2009
Ms. Margaret I was sorry to hear about your dad. I grew up listening to him with my parents and I know that he will be greatly missed by everyone. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Mary Ann Morgan (Benton)
March 11, 2009
i was a fan of his.
sybil sanders
March 11, 2009
I would like to say that I Loved UNCLE HANK VERY MUCH !! I remember from the time that I was little swimming at his pool, on the ranch,right up through my rough years,then after that UNCLE HANK was my inspireation. My mother and father made many trips with him to Nashville,owned a small country club together,UNCLE HANK came to our house many,many times to visit. My mother has know him for 76+ years. I just want to say , ONE OF UNCLE HANKS FAVORITE SAYING'S WAS ///YOU LOVE ME DON'T YA // WELL I CAN SAY FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART YES I DO AND ALLWAYS WILL!!! PLEASE REST IN PEACE UNCLE HANK / BECAUSE I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AND I WILL MEET YOU AGAIN / THANKS FOR ALL THE LOVE
Nathan Findley
March 11, 2009
I am sorry to hear of your loss. I grew up listening to Mr. Hank as that was the only music I knew. May God be with you at this time and remember that some of us will continue to listen and remember such wonderful music.
Zenobia DeWitt
March 11, 2009
My condolences to Anita and the family of Hank. I have known this fine man since the 50's when I started my DJ work at WEBY in Milton. Hank was always a strong supporter and let me manage his Coldwater Publishing Co. and then made several guest appearances on my programs on WAAZ in Crestview.
He was a great man. A great loss to country music and great loss to everyone who knew him. Hank, you will forever be missed.
Doyle Cook
March 11, 2009
Hank, will be missed dearly by family and friends.
Turkey Tolbert
March 11, 2009
our family sends out our prayers to hanks family members and loved ones........he will always be remembered by our family.....the parkers of ms and the kolb family from milton fla..........god bless!!!!!!!!
sharon kay parker/kolb
March 11, 2009
I cannot believe I've lived here for so long, and did not know that Hank was from here. He was one of my all time favorite singers. What a great voice. What memories are associated with his music!!!
Elizabeth Duncan
March 10, 2009
COUNTRY MUSIC AND THE WORLD HAS LOST ONE OF THE GOOD ONES... BUT GOD NEEDED ANOTHER SINGER FOR HIS BIG COUNTRY MUSIC SHOW.... AND WE ALL CAN BE HAPPY JUST KNOWING THAT WE WILL SEE AND HEAR HIM AGAIN ONE DAY..... GOD BLESS THE LOCKLIN FAMILY..... IN YOU SAD TIME JUST REMEMBER HANK IS WITH GOD AND WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER IN GODS TIME......(((BIG HUGS)))....WALTER WEYBURN
WALTER WEYBURN
March 10, 2009
It is a sad day in Brewton, Alabama and around the world to lose such an incredible voice, a writer, and a man. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family as they go through this time of loss. What a legacy Hank leaves behind for his family- -the world was a better place for him being in it. Blessings.
-Holly and Jimbo Shirley
Holly Shirley
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