Click to listen

Click to listen

Sept. 24: “Look who’s coming through the door … I think we’ve met somewhere before,” Hank Snow sang at his recording session on this date in 1973. The next words were the song’s title, but they could easily have been “hello, hit record.” Because that’s what “Hello Love” was to become: a surprise No. 1 in the twilight of his great career.

“The Singing Ranger” had been recording country music for RCA since 1936, first in his native Canada (were he was “The Yodeling Ranger”), then, beginning in 1949, the United States. The following year’s “I’m Moving On” was the first Billboard No. 1 for the distinctive singer and stellar flat-top guitarist. It kicked off a string of big hits and landed him the spot in the Grand Ole Opry cast, where he’d remain for the rest of his life. (Read Snow’s bio here; click here and scroll down for his discography.)

But he didn’t get close to the top of the charts throughout most of the 1960s and into the ’70s. Until this song caught fire and reached No. 1 in April 1974. Snow was one month shy of his 60th birthday, making him the oldest ever to top the charts, a record that stood until Kenny Rogers (61 years, 9 months) broke it in 2000.

“Hello Love” proved to be Snow’s last hurrah as a recording artist. But he still had the Opry — plus, the career achievement honors started rolling in. The greatest of those, induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, came in 1979.