In his later years, he often put his words on a holder attached to his mike stand to make sure he does the song as it is supposed to be done. Over the years, Hank has not taken kindly to having songs foisted on him by overeager producers, even if they turn out to be hits. One was the novelty number “That Crazy Mambo Thing,” which went to Number Six on the charts in 1954. “I never did care for the song,” he recalled. “It was sent to me by Hill and Range, and they had sent me a lot of good songs.” Then there was “Mainliner”; it made the charts in 1955.

Composer Stuart Hamblen (“This Ole House”) ran into Hank in Hollywood and rushed him into the studio, at his own expense, to cut that one. “I never could get into the feel of the song,” said Hank. “It died the death of a rat.” On the other hand, Hank could be stubborn and tenacious when he was fighting for a song he believed in, one that had met his standards. His first blockbuster hit, “I’m Movin’ On,” is a case in point.

Hank wrote the song about 1946. “It was inspired by Jimmie Rodgers,” he remembered, “though I didn’t copy anything from him in it.” He tried to record it at his first American recording session for RCA, in Chicago in 1949, but producer Steve Sholes didn’t think much of it. “It was turned down in Chicago,” Hank explained, “even though it was the song I had most faith in.” 

A year later, Sholes scheduled another Snow session for Nashville, and this time the singer hatched a plan. He told his band, “I’ve got this song I’ve been trying to get Sholes to record for two years, and I think I’m gonna be able to do it this time. He’s only got three songs picked for our session, and I think we can get it by him.” He had the band rehearse an arrangement different from his earlier one, so that Sholes wouldn’t recognize the piece.

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