NASHVILLE, Tenn., (Reuters) – Country music star Hank Locklin, who helped pioneer the idea of the concept album and whose songs were popular from Ireland to Japan, has died at age 91, Grand Ole Opry officials said yesterday.
The singer, songwriter and guitarist died on Sunday at his home in Brewton, Alabama, of undisclosed causes.
Born Lawrence Hankins Locklin in 1918 in Florida’s timber-rich Panhandle, he played guitar and sang on radio stations across the South as a teenager.
He scored his first top 10 country hit with “The Same Sweet Girls” in 1949 and scored another chart-topper with “Let Me Be the One” in 1953.
His 1957 recording of “Send Me the Pillow You Dream On” crossed over from the country to the U.S. and British pop charts and became a standard for many performers, including Dwight Yoakam and Dolly Parton.
His recording of “Please Help Me, I’m Falling” spent 14 weeks at the top of the country music charts in 1960, the same year Locklin joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.