Another country great has left us. Hank Thompson died from lung cancer late Tuesday at his home in the Fort Worth suburb of Keller. Thompson died just days after canceling his tour and announcing his retirement.
The last show Thompson played was Oct. 8 in his native Waco. That day was declared “Hank Thompson Day” by Gov. Rick Perry and Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy.
Fans loved Thompson’s distinctive voice and his musical style, which drew on the Western swing first developed in the 1930s by fellow Texan Bob Wills. Thompson was named to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989.
His first hit record was “Whoa, Sailor” in 1946. That year, he started a band called the Brazos Valley Boys, which won Billboard magazine’s touring band of the year award 14 consecutive times.
A “celebration of life,” open to fans and friends, will be held Nov. 14 at Billy Bob’s Texas, a Fort Worth honky-tonk.
Survivors include his wife, Ann. He had no children.