Lawrence Hankins 'Hank' Locklin (February 15, 1918 – March 8, 2009) was an American country music singer-songwriter. A member of the Grand Ole Opry for nearly 50 years, Locklin had a long recording career with RCA Victor, and scored big hits with "Please Help Me, I'm Falling", "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On" and "Geisha Girl" from 1957-1960. His singles charted from 1949-1971.
Hank Locklin in 1968
|Birth name||Lawrence Hankins Locklin|
|Born||February 15, 1918|
McLellan, Florida, United States
|Died||March 8, 2009 (aged 91)|
|Labels||RCA Victor, 4 Star Records|
Locklin was one of country music's early honky tonk singers. He first recorded for Royalty, a small label in northeast Texas, but soon moved to 4 Star Records, a regional country music label, before signing a long contract with RCA Victor. He had an estimated 15 million record sales worldwide and his songs were recorded by many other artists, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Rogers, Dwight Yoakam and Dean Martin. He regularly appeared on the Grand Ole Opry beginning in 1960, making his final appearance in 2007.
Locklin had 70 chart singles, including six No. 1s on Billboard's country chart. Locklin's biggest hits included "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On", "Geisha Girl" and his signature "Please Help Me, I'm Falling", which went to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart. Billboard's 100th anniversary issue listed it as the second most successful country single of the rock and roll era. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. Other hits for Locklin included "Fraulein" (1957), "Happy Journey" (1961), "Happy Birthday To Me" (1962) and "The Country Hall Of Fame" (1968).
Born in McLellan in the Florida Panhandle, Locklin grew up working in the cotton fields to supplement his family’s low income. He began playing the guitar at the age of nine after being seriously injured by a school bus.
His first marriage to Willa Jean Murphy ended in divorce. In 1970 he married Anita Crooks of Brewton, Alabama. He had two sons and four daughters, 12 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and a few close great nieces and nephews.
In the 1960s, Locklin built a ranch house called The Singing L in the field in McClellan where he had picked cotton as a boy. He was later made the honorary mayor of the town.
Locklin had a strong following in Europe, especially in Ireland. His popularity was such that in 1963 he recorded an album called Irish Songs Country Style. He has a fan club in Langeli, Bjerkreim, Norway. The obituary in The Times described Locklin as "the last remaining link between country music’s hillbilly roots and the lusher, modern pop sound of Nashville."
In 2006, Locklin appeared on the PBS special, Country Pop Legends in which he performed "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On," and "Please Help Me I'm Falling". Until his death at the age of 91 in 2009, he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry. Hank had recently released his 65th album, By the Grace of God, a collection of gospel songs.
He moved to Brewton, where he remained throughout his later years, and died there at home in the early morning on March 8, 2009. He is buried in the United Methodist Church Mount Carmel Cemetery, Jay, Florida.
|1958||Foreign Love||RCA Victor|
|1960||Please Help Me, I'm Falling|
|A Tribute to Roy Acuff–King of Country Music|
|1963||The Ways of Life|
|This Song Is Just For You (RCA Camden CAL-765)|
|1964||Irish Songs, Country Style|
|Hank Locklin Sings Hank Williams|
|1965||Hank Locklin Sings Eddy Arnold|
|Once Over Lightly|
|The Best of Hank Locklin|
|1966||The Girls Get Prettier||26|
|The Gloryland Way (w/ The Imperials)|
|1967||Send Me the Pillow You Dream On|
|1968||Country Hall of Fame||20|
|My Love Song for You||40|
|1970||Hank Locklin with Danny Davis and the
Nashville Brass (w/ Danny Davis)
|Bless Her Heart...I Love Her|
|1972||Mayor of McLellan Florida|
|The Best of Hank Locklin|
|1977||There Never Was a Time|
|Country Hall of Fame||Top Spin|
|2004||Generations in Song||Coldwater|
|2006||By the Grace of God: The Gospel Album||Yell|
|1949||"The Same Sweet Girl"||8||singles only|
|"Knocking at Your Door"|
|"Send Me the Pillow (That You Dream On)"|
|"Our Love Will Show the Way"|
|1950||"Fifty Miles of Elbow Room"|
|"Come Share the Sunshine with Me"|
|"No One's Sweeter Than You"|
|"Year of Time"|
|1951||"Song of the Whispering Leaves"|
|"Your House of Love Won't Stand"|
|"Crazy Over You"|
|1952||"Tell Me You Love Me"|
|"Down Texas Way"|
|"Harvest Is Ripe"|
|"Who Is Knocking at My Heart"|
|1953||"Alone at the Table for Two"|
|"Crazy Over You"|
|"Let Me Be the One"||1|
|1955||"Your Heart Is an Island"|
|"Who Am I to Cast First Stone"|
|1956||"Why Baby Why"||9|
|"Good Woman's Love"|
|"Seven or Eleven"|
|"She's Better Than Most"|
|1957||"Fourteen Karat Gold"|
|"Goin' Home All by Myself"|
|"Geisha Girl"||4||66||Foreign Love|
|"Livin' Alone"||flip||Please Help Me, I'm Falling|
|1958||"Send Me the Pillow You Dream On"||5||77|
|"It's a Little More Like Heaven"||3|
|"Blue Grass Skirt"||flip||Foreign Love|
|"That Inner Glow"||singles only|
|"I Gotta Talk to Your Heart"|
|1959||"Foreign Car"||Please Help Me, I'm Falling|
|"Border of the Blues"||single only|
|"Blues in Advance"||Please Help Me, I'm Falling|
|1960||"Please Help Me, I'm Falling"||1||8|
|1961||"One Step Ahead of My Past"||14||singles only|
|"From Here to There to You"||12|
|"You're the Reason"||14||107||Happy Journey|
|"Happy Birthday to Me"||7|
|"We're Gonna Go Fishin'"||14||The Ways of Life|
|"Wabash Cannonball"||A Tribute to Roy Acuff|
|1963||"Flyin' South"||23||singles only|
|"Followed Closely by My Teardrops"||15|
|"I Was Coming Home to You"|
|"Forty Nine, Fifty One"||32|
|1966||"The Girls Get Prettier (Every Day)"||35||The Girls Get Prettier|
|"The Best Part of Loving You"||69||Nashville Women|
|1967||"Hasta Luego (See You Later)"||41|
|"The Country Hall of Fame"||8||Country Hall of Fame|
|1968||"Love Song for You"A||40||My Love Song for You|
|"Everlasting Love"||57||single only|
|"Lovin' You (The Way I Do)"||62||My Love Song for You|
|1969||"Where the Blue of the Night
Meets the Gold of the Day"
|1970||"Please Help Me, I'm Falling" (w/ Danny Davis)||68||Hank Locklin with Danny Davis|
and the Nashville Brass
|"Flying South" (w/ Danny Davis)||56|
|"Bless Her Heart...I Love Her"||68||Bless Her Heart...I Love Her|
|1971||"She's as Close as I Can Get to Loving You"||61||Mayor of McLellan Florida|
|"Only a Fool"|
|1972||"Love Has a Mind of Its Own"|
|"I Forgot to Live Today"|
|"Goodbye Old Ryman"|
|1973||"Before My Time"|
|"Jonas P. Jones"|
|"Send Me Your Coffee Cup"||Hank Locklin|
|1976||"Baby I Need You"||There Never Was a Time|
|"Daytime Love Affair"|
|"You Love Me Don'tcha"|
|1977||"There Never Was a Time"|
- A"Love Song for You" peaked at No. 29 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.
|1967||"Chet's Tune"||Some of Chet's Friends||38|
- Trott, Walt (1998). "Hank Locklin". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 300–1.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 10 - Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 126. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
-  Archived May 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- "Obituary". The Times. 11 March 2009.
- "Grand Ole Opry member Hank Locklin dies in Alabama". Associated Press via WVLT-TV. 2009-03-09. Archived from the original on 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- Hank Locklin at Find a Grave
- "Lawrence Hankins "Hank " Locklin - Division of Cultural Affairs - Florida Department of State". Florida-arts.org. Retrieved 2015-08-18.