Hank Locklin

Hank Locklin (born Lawrence Hankins Locklin), one of country music's great tenors, was born February 15, 1918, in the small town of McLellan, located in the lumbering district of the Florida Panhandle. The youngest son of four children, he went to a one-room schoolhouse and was musical even as a young child. Locklin was injured at the age of eight in an accident and the long recovery process was the time when he first begin to learn music. Although interested in the guitar early on, it wasn't until his mid-teens that he really began to master that instrument. Locklin was active in music in high school (which he never finished), and at 18 won first prize in a talent show. He went on to do spots on the local radio station as he became more and more interested in entertaining. By the mid-'40s he was playing on the radio and doing in-person performances in Florida and nearby states. For the next ten years or so, Locklin worked many jobs (musical and otherwise), played with a variety of groups, and through a variety of trials, gradually worked his way up the country music ladder to recognition. (A good account of these years can be found in the Bear Family box set liner notes, written by Otto Kitsinger.)