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May 19

Why today? One of Hank Snow’s signature hits, the song was recorded on this date 58 years ago.

About the record: RCA Victor 20/47-5034, recorded May 19, 1952, at Brown Radio Productions in downtown Nashville. Released in November of that year, it reached No. 4 on Billboard‘s country chart in early 1953. First LP appearance was on Country Classics, RCA Victor LPM-1233, released in 1956.

The opening notes from Joe Talbot’s steel have a mellow, Hawaiian feel, and Tommy Vaden’s fiddle is understated as well. But once the singing starts, there’s no doubt who owns that powerful nasal voice; in the instrumental break, there’s no doubt who’s playing that staccato flat-top guitar.

This is classic Hank Snow. Elvis’ version cut six years later was the bigger hit, and Bob Dylan took a crack at it a decade after that. But pardon me if I’m sentimental for the original by Hank Snow, the Singing Ranger, and His Rainbow Ranch Boys.

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