Hank Locklin

"It almost mashed me flatter than a fritter," Hank Locklin once told the Birmingham News about being hit by a school bus at age 9. The incident gave the Grand Ole Opry staple, who died on March 8 at 91, a second chance early in life. He used it wisely.

During his recuperation, he learned to play guitar, combining that newfound skill with a singing ability honed in church. By the time Locklin was a teenager, he was a traveling musician, taking odd jobs along the way to help supplement his income. In the late 1940s, he ended up in Houston,...

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