The life of Hank Thompson, a western swing and country music icon who spent several years of his life as a Sand Springs resident, will be celebrated Aug. 29 with a Cain’s Ballroom show and dance courtesy of his longtime band, the Brazos Valley Boys.
The Brazos Valley Boys also will celebrate the release of their new disc (“Swingin’ Our Way”) at the event. Tickets ($10 advance; $15 day of show) can be purchased at cainsballroom.com.
Thompson charted singles and albums in five consecutive decades beginning with the single “Humpty Dumpty Heart” in 1948. He sold more than 60 million records, and his Brazos Valley Boys were named Top Country & Western Band by Billboard magazine for an unprecedented 14 years.
Though Thompson died in 2007, the Brazos Valley Boys continue to perform the brand of western swing made famous by their leader.
“Hank told me several times he wanted me to keep the Brazos Valley Boys going, and to keep the quality of the music high,” Morey Sullivan, Thompson’s longtime bandleader, said in a news release. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Sullivan said the new disc “incorporates all of the musical genres that make up western swing music.” Author John Wooley, host of Public Radio Tulsa’s Swing on This program, said the disc is one “that would, I think, make their former boss very proud.”
The tribute and release show coincides with several Thompson-related anniversaries, including the 75th anniversary of the Brazos Valley Boys, the 70th anniversary of “Wild Side of Life” (a former country music’s song of the year), the 70th anniversary of the beginning of his professional association with Tulsa-based music impresario Jim Halsey and the 60th anniversary of the release of his groundbreaking “At the Golden Nugget” LP, the first live album recorded by a country music artist.