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Dec. 15: Most of the songs featured on 3 Chords a Day were known to me when I picked them. Occasionally, however, an event on the history calendar leads me to a discovery. Today I saw that on Dec. 15, 1960, a Hank Thompson session yielded the old favorite “Oklahoma Hills,” and the unfamiliar-to-me “Hangover Tavern.” I like Thompson’s music a lot, and now I’m happy to have an addition to my favorites list.

I’ve bragged on Ernest Tubb’s mid-’60s band as one of the best. But Thompson’s Brazos Valley Boys of this period ranks right up there. I’m especially partial to the Travis-style guitar work, provided by none other than Merle Travis himself. Thompson’s is a wonderful sound, cut to perfection by Ken Nelson at the superb Capitol Records studios in the label’s headquarters tower at Hollywood and Vine.

Thompson was an active recording artist in SEVEN decades, from the 1940s to the 2000s, and has a few firsts on the credit side of his ledger. Check out his Country Music Hall of Fame profile, and enjoy this western swing honky-tonk hero on a fine drinking song that just gets better with age.