Hank Garland

Publié le 16 Avril 2020

Walter Louis Garland (11 November 1930 – 27 December 2004) professionally Hank Garland, was an American guitarist and songwriter. He started as a country musician, played rock and roll as it became popular in the 1950s, and released a jazz album in 1960. His career was cut short when a car accident in 1961 left him unable to perform. 2007 saw the release of the Hank Garland biopic Crazy. 

Hank Garland


Born in Cowpens, South Carolina, Garland began playing guitar at the age of six. He appeared on local radio shows at 12 and was discovered at 14 at a South Carolina record store. He moved to Nashville at age 16, staying in Ma Upchurch's boarding house, where he roomed with Bob Moore and Dale Potter. At age 18, he recorded his million-selling hit "Sugarfoot Rag". He appeared on the Jubilee program with Grady Martin's band and on The Eddy Arnold Show. Garland is perhaps best known for his Nashville studio work with Elvis Presley from 1958 to 1961 which produced such rock hits as: "I Need Your Love Tonight", "A Big Hunk o' Love", "I'm Coming Home", "I Got Stung", "A Fool Such As I", "Stuck on You", "Little Sister", "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame", and "I Feel So Bad". He worked with many country music rock and roll musicians of the late 1950s and early 1960s, such as Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins, The Everly Brothers, Boots Randolph, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, and Moon Mullican.

Garland's guitar drove such classic recordings as Little Jimmy Dickens' "I Got a Hole in My Pocket"; Benny Joy's "Bundle of Love" and "I'm Gonna Move"; Jimmy Lloyd's (recorded under pseudonym of (Jimmie Logsdon) "You're Gone Baby" and "I've Got a Rocket in My Pocket"; Lefty Frizzell's "You're Humbuggin' Me"; Simon Crum's "Stand Up, Sit Down, Shut Your Mouth"; and Johnnie Strickland's (1935-1994) "She's Mine"; plus, seasonal staples "Jingle Bell Rock" with Bobby Helms, and Brenda Lee's seasonal "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". Don Gibson's "Sweet Sweet Girl" and "Don't Tell Me Your Troubles"; Patsy Cline's "Let the Teardrops Fall"; Ronnie Hawkins' "Jambalaya"; and Faron Young's "Alone with You" spotlighted Garland's guitar work. He played with George Shearing and Charlie Parker in New York and went on to record Jazz Winds from a New Direction with Gary Burton on vibraphone, Joe Benjamin on double bass, and Joe Morello on drums.

At the request of Gibson Guitar company president Ted McCarty, Garland and guitarist Billy Byrd influenced the design of the Byrdland guitar, which derived from the Gibson L-5, having a slimmer body and shorter scale for ease of playing. In September 1961, a car crash left Garland in a coma. He regained consciousness and recovered with the help of his wife, Evelyn and two daughters, but not sufficiently to return to the studios. After Evelyn died at the age of 38 in a car crash in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 2, 1965, Garland's parents took care of him until their deaths. Garland suffered from constant ill health in his later years and died in Orange Park, Florida on December 27, 2004 of complications from a staph infection. He was 74 years old. He is interred in Jacksonville Memory Gardens in Orange Park. On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Hank Garland among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.


  • After the Riot in Newport (with The Nashville All-Stars) (1960)
  • Jazz Winds from a New Direction (1961)
  • The Unforgettable Guitar of Hank Garland (1962)
  • Holiday for the Harp (with the Daphne Hellman Quartet)
  • Big Beat Country Melodies with Jimmy Richardson and Boots Randolph (1961)

Rédigé par Rolling Stones Stories

Publié dans #Musicien

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