Anniversary of Hank Snow's Death

(Gibson) On this day in 1999, country music lost one of its great voices. Clarence Eugene Snow, known to the world as Hank Snow, passed away at the age of 85. When he died, he left behind a musical legacy rivaled only by his philanthropic work for abused children.

Snow's rise to stardom was an unlikely one. He was born in Brooklyn…no, not that Brooklyn…but Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada. His childhood was not a happy one. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He was forced to live with his paternal grandparents who forbade him from seeing his mother — and he was beaten when he snuck out to do so. Things weren't much better at his mother's house, where he was brutally beaten by his stepfather. Often he would seek refuge in nearby Liverpool's railway station. Eventually, Hank had enough and he left to work as a cabin boy on fishing schooners at the ripe old age of 12.

Somewhere amid the pains of his childhood, Snow discovered the escapist pleasures of the guitar. His mother taught him to play as a boy and, when he had earned enough money on his fishing trips, he bought himself a cheap acoustic. While at sea, he would sit by the radio and listen to the players of the day, like the great Jimmie Rodgers, and learn their songs to later entertain the crew. Eventually, his skills developed to a point where he was entertaining folks on land, as well, at parties and get-togethers. more on this story

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