By Mark Brine
Throughout the years, I've heard much said of Hank Snow and his temperament
and nature. This was much to the contrary of what I found him to be truly like.
Of course, all I can speak of is what I knew of him, the kind of person
he really was from my first hand observations.
The very first thing that comes to mind, in my recall, is a particular situation
that I think best relates his true and deeper nature. It was an event that occurred
in his Grand Ole Opry dressing room, the night before my debut there. I had
come to see him and as well, appear on the Friday Night Opry's taping
of the Grand Ole Gospel show (The Gospel show was recorded after the Opry went off the air
on Friday night and was aired on Sundays I believe.)
In any event, all of the Rainbow Ranch Boys were there in the dressing room. They
were just as friendly a group of fellas as could be. In all the conversations, at last,
one broke out with a story that recalled a 'voluptouous' woman that they
had encountered in their touring days. One that literally 'threw herself'
(again, voluptuously and literally speaking...!) upon them. I believe
you understand what I mean by that. She was speaking right up in their faces,
purposely and shamelessly flaunting her wares! That's all it amounted to ... and
every one sort of got a chuckle out of it and moved on to other conversation
subjects. I really didn't think much of that story as you hear so much of that
kind of talk, in and about the business and life, in general.
The next morning, in my hotel room, I get a call from Hank ... apologizing for the
incident and assuring me that he had told the band not to be carrying on like
that in the dressing room with guests present. I assured him it hadn't bothered
me and that I've heard much of the like, many times before. Besides, it was
almost 'innocent' humor ... few details supplied and well, just mild,
compared to what else I'd heard in my time.
This greatly impressed me! This to me, was 'the man' - Hank Snow! High moral fiber,
willing to risk whatever ridicule, etc. that might come of his speaking out
for the 'decent way'! Not that what the band had said, had even bordered on the
more infamous trash-mouths of our time! Again, it was mild comparatively, but again,
Hank was that kind of man! A real, super decent man!
Another incident related to the appearance on the Opry shows more Hank's nature.
BMI was supposed to send out a photographer that night (per my label at the time) and
shoot some promotional shots for the forthcoming CD, "Rig Rock Jukebox" (which featured
my "New Blue Yodel" and my 'debut' song for that night), but had something
else come up.
Hank employed his friend, Ruth Bauer, to shoot the photos instead. This, was all
unbeknownst to me, until much later. He was a top-rate person! A quiet man, which is
often misread as a stuck-up, etc. (for its reclusive similarities...) but he had
a big heart. A good heart. One...that had probably been abused by 'takers' in the
past and so, the retreat. I am truly proud to have known him and blessed by his
Credits & Sources
- Article courtesy of Mark Brine, a singer/songwriter
and guitarist who hails from Cambridge, Massachusetts. He spent eleven years
in Nashville and performed on the Grand Ole Opry as a guest of Hank Snow.
His style of music is a blend of folk, traditional country and blues, that ultimately
creates his own unique style of Americana. Baltimore's "Citypaper" summed it up: "Brine
knows his stuff well enough to know that there was a time in this country when
blues, country, jazz, gospel and popular song were not nearly as isolated from each other
as they are today."
- Mark Brine Music
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