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Welcome To Case's Column

Let me say a big welcome to all of you for joining me here. I'm going to call these blog meetings Case's Column. I wanted to use "Corner", but that was already taken. Since 2008, it's been a real privilege to come on here and share some of my life with you, and it's a big world where we live.

In these blogs, I'll just speak whatever is on my mind, but we will be playing within the rules here. I may pick a particular topic, point out an event, or shoot the breeze. I'm a little bit of an essayist at times, so I'll just speak what's on my mind, and I might tell a story or two. Or, I might spew out an opinion or three. There will be some serious moments, some tender, some poignant, but there will also be those moments that you'll just bust out laughing. But, hopefully, everything will be in good fun here. And, of course, there's a place below for your comments and thoughts as we go along here. So feel free to join me for the ride -- I sure as heck hope I'm doing this right and not making any mistakes.

Thanks for taking your time in reading Case's Column. Hopefully, you'll enjoy being entertained by it as much as I've enjoyed putting these writings together. And thanks for the time you spend in City-Data.com, where it's great to be alive!



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All Hanked Out? Be Glad THESE Country Artists Didn't Make It

Posted 06-21-2023 at 04:02 AM by case44

Anyone can listen to old-time country music all day long, and chances are good that you might run into a whole bunch of guys named Hank. Truth is, in the olden days, that's just how the cards played out as country music was starting to come into its own.

It all comes back to the guy I call "The Man Who Wrote The Book", Hank Williams. He really did write the book on country music and honky-tonk fare. Later on, you'd have his offspring, Hank Williams, Jr., who had basically two careers in country as he would become one of the leaders in the Outlaw movement of the 1970s. In addition, there'd be another Hank after that, this one is Hank Williams III, and his trademark is psychobilly.

While there were other Hanks with different last names to come along and go, let's just, for now, stick with the play on Hank Williams' name. Intentional or not, there actually was an artist who tried to make a play on that name, and, lo and behold, he got a hit to his repertoire. A fellow was already establishing himself in the biz, and emerged with the name of Hank Wilson.

Let that sink in.

If you can.

Hank Wilson, in actuality, was none other than Leon Russell, renowned studio musician (who, by the way, played in a band in high school with fellow Oklahoman David Gates, who would later be with Bread). At least, he didn't try other names. Wouldn't it have been tough if George Jones had an opening act and Hank Wilbanks didn't show up?

Never mind that the guest list on these television country music shows couldn't feature someone named Hank Willis. Perhaps Teddy and Doyle Wilburn didn't have a third sibling when they were in their heyday. That would have been something if Loretta Lynn had done a duet with Hank Wilburn. Alas, she hadn't, but Conway Twitty had that great musical pairing for a number of years.

And how about back in Texas? That's the place where Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys plied their trades. I doubt seriously that the public would have ever accepted a recording with Tommy Duncan and Hank Wills. What instrument might he have played? Who knows?

When country music went through a bit of a transition in the 1980s and new artists were pouring in, some of the old guard didn't put out as many hit songs as before. As far as we know, no big hits were made by Hank Wilcox. And there were also no studio cats who put their riffs together with a name of Hank Wilemon even if Leon Russell had ever invited him.

Many radio deejays found second careers as country singers, some with greater success than others. It's quite the Who's Who, if you think about it. Waylon Jennings. Jack Reno. John Conlee. Hank Willoughby? Likely not. Speaking of John Conlee, he's still very much around, making frequent appearances at The Grand Ole Opry.

Nowadays, life at the Opry is beholden to newer artists, like it or not. The old guard might be standing in the shadows, to quote not Hank Wilkins, not even Hank Willett, but someone else named Hank. Country music should be so fortunate.
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