Locklin's and King's death (Only one day apart. Locklin died on Saturday, March 7, and King on Sunday, March 8) provide southerners, especially Alabamians, an opportunity to brag about the numerous great musicians that have come out of Alabama. They will bring up the Muscle Shoals musicians (the ones who backed up Aretha Franklin, among others), Hank Locklin and Willie King. And they will end up by saying in no uncertain terms, "Not all the great ones came from Mississippi and Tennessee you know!"
The following is an editorial from the Anniston Star, a newspaper out of Anniston, Alabama (http://www.annistonstar.com/as-index.htm) that does a little bragging of its own. Check it out.
The loss of Locklin, King
In Our Opinion
The silence that comes when famed musicians pass away is a shock to those who treasure such glorious work. This week, that silence is being felt all across Alabama. The deaths of Hank Locklin and Willie King, immortal musicians both, have left a gaping hole in the decorated list of legendary Alabama performers. Neither men, nor their work, can be replaced.Locklin, of Brewton, was the oldest member of the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed for nearly five decades and became a cornerstone performer of old-time country music. With the God-given talent of his famed tenor voice, Locklin recorded 65 albums, charted 70 singles and sold more than 15 million records worldwide. His status is secure Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, described Locklin's death in the New York Times as the loss of country music's "fourth Hank." The other three were Hank Williams, Hank Snow and Hank Thompson.
No less important was the Alabama blues of King, whose voice and guitar work were heralded for setting the standard for what he called the "struggling blues" of Deep South juke joints. Once named the male artist of the year by Living Blues magazine, King's never-bending style and rigorous touring schedule made him an international star.