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Friday, June 3, 2011

Hank Penny Part 1.........................

Hank Penny Part 1.............

Herbert Clayton Penny (September 18, 1918 in Birmingham, Alabama – April 17, 1992 in California of heart failure) was an accomplished banjo player and practitioner of western swing. He worked as a comedian best known for his backwoods character "That Plain Ol' Country Boy" on TV with Spade Cooley. He was married to country singer Sue Thompson from 1953-63.

Penny was the leader of the Radio Cowboys, which featured guitarist Julian Akins, steel guitarist Sammy Forsmark, tenor banjo player Louis Damont, bassist Carl Stewart, and vocalist, guitarist, and fiddler Sheldon Bennett in the 1930s. At WLW Radio in Cincinnati during World War II, Penny formed the Plantation Boys, which included fiddler Carl Stewart, guitarist/bassist Louis Innis, fiddler Zed Tennis, and lead guitarist Roy Lanham.

Penny had three hits on the Billboard Country Singles chart, "Steel Guitar Stomp" (1946) an instrumental featuring both Noel Boggs on steel guitar and guitarist Merle Travis, "Get Yourself a Red Head" (1946), and his own composition "Bloodshot Eyes" (1950). A lifelong fan of jazz, Penny recorded "Hillbilly Be-Bop" for King Records in 1949 and included jazz oriented sidemen in his band including guitarists Jimmy Wyble and Benny Garcia. For a time in 1950 singer Jaye P. Morgan was part of his larger band known as the Penny Serenaders.

Along with Amand Gautier, Penny co-founded the Palomino Club in Hollywood in 1949. The club was open seven days a week, and on Monday nights, after the closing time, it was "open stage" to some of the most famous jazz musicians in the country.

In 1952, Penny began hosting his own local Los Angeles series, The Hank Penny Show, which was canceled after only seven weeks.

By 1954, Penny had moved to Las Vegas, where he began a seven-year run as a performer at the Golden Nugget casino, fronting a band which included the likes of steel guitar virtuoso Curly Chalker and at the same time, Roy Clark, whose own comedy delivery was influenced considerably by Penny's onstage comic timing. Penny's band backed Clark on his first album for Capitol Records.

Penny made a 1970's appearance with Peggy Conner on America 2-Night playing a country husband-and-wife singing duo called Buck and Harriet Pine.

He is the father of actress Sydney Penny and his son, Greg Penny, has produced albums for Elton John and K.D. Lang.

Here's some tunes:
Alabama Jubilee (alt take)
Alabama Jubilee
All night and all day long
Army blues
Back up a little bit
Big fat papa
Black eyed Susie
Bloodshot eyes
Blue melody
Blue ridge blues
Boogie woogie now (alt take)
Catch 'em young, treat 'em rough, tell 'em nothing
Cheatin' on you, baby
Chill tonic
Cowboy's swing
Fan it (w/ Jay P. Morgan)
Flamin' Mamie
Flamin' Mamie 2
Get yourself a red head
Guess who took your place
Hot time Mama
Hawaiian honeymoon
Hesitation blues
Hillbilly be-bop (alt take)
Hillbilly be-bop
Hillbilly jump
Hope your satisfied
I don't love anybody but you
I told them all about you
I was satisfied
I'm counting the days
I'm gonna change things
I'm singing the blues
I've got the right key baby
Jersey bounce (take two)
Jersey bounce
Just a message
Just for old times sake
Just forget
The freckle song

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