Friday, August 8, 2014

I'm Movin' On - the Life and Legacy of Hank Snow by Vernon Oickle

Published by Nimbus

Hank Snow, a man who certainly has 'been everywhere'...a Canadian and international legend in his time and on through his legacy of country music. This biography by Vernon Oikle is a bit of an eye opener. We watched his burgeoning career, having been too young to see his beginnings. Born in 1914, his early life brutal and difficult, a life that began in the years of WW1, the Spanish 'flu, starvation and desperation in the small town of Brooklyn in Nova Scotia, Canada. This book follows his life from birth past death on to his post-mortem accolades. He may have been 'movin' on' but what he accomplished in his lifetime will fortunately remain with us. There are some wonderful old photos in the book, too.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves country music, ambition, accomplishment, and determination to succeed. Learn how one man accomplished so many dreams. I thought I knew Hank Snow's music, but soon discovered I didn't know much of anything. I knew his voice, but never understood his instrumental skills. Nor did I realize just how many hit songs he wrote that became huge hits for other vocalists of the '40s to '60s in particular, some who were in a completely different genre.

His legacy is not just his music, his fame, nor his name. His legacy includes the societies he set up and backed up for abused children. This, perhaps, was his biggest focus outside of music. As an abused child himself, he wanted to make a difference in the treatment of children. If he could have, he would have ended child abuse. That is how important this was to his life.

Hank Snow began his career as Jack Snow, regardless of the fact that his name was actually Clarence. This is just one of many strange facts scattered throughout this book. I wonder how many people living today remember that he began his career as a trick rider and yodeler. I wonder how many know that he wrote and recorded that still remain as best sellers. Today, in the digital world, this is a man who would have been in the forefront of writing songs for today’s country stars. He has so many awards, accolades, a museum and yearly festival in New Brunswick, where he was born, and inducted into so many Halls of Fame. A man who came from nothing but never gave up his dream. A man whose music goes on today, even 100 years after his birth.

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