Hank Wilson – The decade started with World War II having been over for 5 years and the mood in America is jubilant. Folks are celebrating, and happiness reigns supreme, except in country music. Country music was dominated by honky tonk songs that told the sad stories of men with a tear in their beer. Luke the Drifting Cowboy (Hank Williams) and his songs Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, spoke to the loneliness and despair that many in the South felt. In 1952 Hank Thompson, released “The Wild Side of Life” which told the story of a woman stepping out of her role as an always stay at home person and enjoying the bright lights of the Honky Tonk.
In 1953 Kitty Wells, responded with the classic “It’s Wasn’t God Who Created Honky Tonk Angels”, and for the first time, a female singer burst onto the scene with a number 1 hit and telling everyone the truth. If the men would stay home and treat their partners’ right, there wouldn’t be any issue. This was a theme that followed through later country music in songs by ladies such as Patsy Cline, Jean Shepard, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette.
As the decade progressed, so did the sound, at least in terms of smoothness and polish. Moving away from the rough sound of the 1940s, artists such as Chet Akins and of course Patsy Cline helped this progression as country music headed into the 1960s. It was also at this time that rock and roll was coming into its own, and this new sound, rather than competing with rock and roll, was unique and carved out its own place in the music industry.
The top artists during the 1950s in country music included stars such as, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton Tennessee Ernie Ford, Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Kitty Wells, Jim Reeves, and Ray Price. All of which you can listen to right here on The Country Music Time Traveler Radio Station.