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    "Hank King" (of Russian origin, rn Harry Papaila) became a very important name in country music. Hank was born on October 08, 1932 in New Kensington, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Read more information on Hank's Biography.) He started singing and playing the guitar at age sixteen. Hank was influenced by Hawkshaw Hawkins, Buck Owens and Eddy Arnold. Hank performed at school events and many concerts. When Hank was twenty years old, many of the listeners in New Kensington, Pennsylvania were enjoying the musical talents of Harry Papaila, but fans knew him as Hank King. When he was a teenager, Hank got himself a job with radio station WKPA in New Kensington. When he was a young fellow of twenty-five, Hank had certainly been around. His career started via radio WKPA in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and he worked there a few years, becoming the most popular country artist at the radio station.

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    Hank King's smooth singing and guitar pickin' was certainly something to hear. Hank's first record release (see pic) was "Atom Bomb Heart" co-written with Howard Vokes. This became his signature song. Among Hank's recordings are Believe In Me, Cry Like A Baby, Excuse Me and Just Out Of Reach. Some of Hank's favorite country tunes are, If I Ever Get Rich Mom, Pickin' Sweethearts, Cry Like A Baby, I Want To Know Why You Don't Care For Me, and Until I Met You. Hank King has aquired an impressive list of recorded songs he has done throughout his career.


    Hank at one time recorded for Blue Ribbon Records, however, at that time he was recording for the fast-rising Blue Hen record label. His latest on Blue Hen bear the interesting titles of, I Want To Know Why You Don't Care For Me, backed up with Your Atom Bomb Heart and the record became to be his signature song followed by I Want To know, Believe In Me and Cry Like A Baby                        


View Hank Kings......>> Discography Page!


    Hank's first band was called The Country Squires. Hank's personal appearances have been many, and have taken him throughout Pennsylvania, and bordering states. Hank joined the "WWVA"

Jamboree in 1959. Hank King and his very good friend Howard Vokes were interviewed on a radio

show called Danna's Radio Diner. Hank has guested via the WWVA Jamboree in Wheeling West

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Virginia, Ernest Tubb Record Shop Show, WFBG-TV in Altoona, Pennsylvania and the Louisiana Hayride. Hank has appeared on the same bill with many Grand Ole Opry stars. Besides working on WKPA, Hank has done a lot of entertaining via WILY, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, WHJB in Greensburg, Pennsylvania and WAVL in Apollo, Pennsylvania. Hank had performed in other states and had long entertainment runs at places such as Crystal Cave in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hank was the featured singer with the Rusty Herman of the Missouri Mountaineer's. Besides appearing on TV and radio, Hank King appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, The Ernest Tubb Record Shop, The Jamboree USA, and The Ralph Emery Show. Hank has shared the stage with Abby Neal, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Howard Vokes and Bill Carlisle, just to mention a few. There is no doubt that Hank King with all his talent, personality, good looks, and keen sense of humor would be a big headliner in the country music industry. Hank received Pennsylvania's Country Music Association "Lifetime Achievement Award" and Bluebird Country News "Pioneer Award". His music is heard internationally.

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In the early years of Hank King's career, Howard Vokes first heard Hank King on the local radio station in King's home town of New Kensingtown, Pennsylvania, and signed him for Blue Ribbon Records. Since then, Howard Vokes had been in charge of all Hank King's recordings, personally supervising the recording sessions. Perhaps, this explains, in part the excellence of these recordings. No doubt, Howard Vokes became a big influence in Hank King's career. Howard and Hank were life-long good friends. At the time Hank was looking to get a record out, Howard Voke's efforts helped Hank get a recording made. Hank recorded two of Howard's compositions, "Atom Bomb Heart" b/w " and I  Want To Know Why You Don't Care For Me". Hank and Howard went on the road together and did rather well. Unfortunately, due to some unavoidable circumstances, Hank had to give up the business.


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Hank has been a member of the St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in his home town of New Kensington, Pennsylvania for over 30 years. Hank is an ordained sub - Deacon of his church. He served side by side with Father Paul Ziatyk over the many years. Sadly, 2018, Father Paul had passed.


Hank has always loved being a sub - Deacon of his church and working with so many wonderful people in his church and in his community. It has been a blessed experience he holds near and dear to his heart.



Billboard Magazine Articles


    1954 - Hank King had recently visited with the WWVA gang in Wheeling, West Virginia, and then went to Pittsburgh for a guest appearance with Buddy Williams at the Twin Gables.


    1954 - October 30 - Hank King, Blue Ribbon artist, is appearing on the "Western Jamboree" at WKPA, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, and making pesonal appearances in the Pittsburgh area.


    1955 - Cowboy Howard Vokes was promoting Joe Bisco, the Karoll Sisters, Hank King, Buddy Williams, as well as himself with Blue Ribbon Records. December, 1955, Cowboy Howard Vokes, Hank King, Skeets Martin (Hank's bass player) and Hank Gibson were guests on the Buddy Moore's TVer over WFBG, Altoona, Pennsylvania. Immediately after the show, Hank King and the rest of the entertainers went to Clearfield, Pennsylvania, for a guest appearance on the Jamboree at the Roxy Theater.


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    1955 - December 10 - Howard Vokes, of Vokes Music Publishing Company, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, reported that the "Country Carnival Jamboree," staged by Marty Krauss at Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh, November 26, pulled a whopping crowd, surprising many of the skeptics who had little faith in the project. According to Vokes, it will be a weekly venture after the first of the year. On the initial show were Hank King (Blue Ribbon Records), the Karroll Sisters (Decca Records), Matt Raye and His Alleghany Ramblers, Mac Martin and His Sunny Mountain Boys, Johnny Roberts and His Troubadours, Sandy Edwards and His Texas Pals, Betty Brent and Her Rangerettes, and Marty Krauss, WILY "DJ" MC. It was the first show of its kind ever presented in the Smokey City.


    1959 -  March 16 - Hank King will soon become a regular on "World's Original Jamboree," heard via WWVA, West Virginia.   


    1960 - July 04 - Mel Reeder is the producer of the country music show presented each Sunday At

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Pine Hedge Ranch Park, Franklin, Pennsylvania, with such regulars as Charlie McVae and Lonnie Weldon and The Lone Pine Boys, Mickey Rubin and Skeets Martin, Mabelene Baker, Cowboy Howard Vokes and the Youngblood Sisters plus a weekly guest star appearance, Hank King and his band members, Dick Vernon on steel, Bill Mazza on drums, Bill Electric on fiddle and Hank King on lead guitar and vocals, are the Fourth of July feature at Memoral Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From there they are going to Cleveland for an appearance on the Dennison Theater "Jamboree" show with Rudy Thacker and the Stringbusters.





    1968 - June 01 - Hank King has returned to the country music business. He was formerly with WWVA Jamboree and recorded for Blue Hen Records.


    Hank King Appearance Announcement - Real live performance on stage at the Aliquippa Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Cash Box Magazine Articles


    1956 - December 29 - Cash Box Magazine - Country Reviews - Comments on Atom Bomb Heart by Howard Vokes. Hank King Atom Bomb Heart Blue Ribbon label Cowboy H. Vokes. Hank King makes an impressive debut for the diskery as he neatly fashions a feelingful, moderate paced lilter. Merits a goodly share of the airplay.


    1956 - December 29 - Cash Box Magazine - Country Reviews - Comment - I Want To know Why You Don't Care For Me recording on the lower end the smooth-tones warbler softly decks out a pretty sound with heartfelt, love lyrics.


    Howard Vokes remarks on Hank King. Hank, a brand new artist contracted to Blue Hen Records  Hank King has all the prospects of having a big one in, "Atom Bomb Heart", according to Vokes.


    1957 - February 09 - (page 49) Cash Box Magazine - Country Reviews - Hank King played the Royal Ballroom in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 26 along with his band and WAMO's Abbie Neal. Hank King is getting the deejay plays on his Blue Hen disk, "I Want To Know."


Country Song Roundup Magazine Articles


    Hank King - Early 1950's - Stars On The Horizon Section (Cowboy Songs) Hank King is becoming a very important name in Country music. For a young fellow of 25 Hank has certainly been around. His career started via Radio Station WKPA, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania., where he worked for a few years, becoming the most popular Country artist at the station. See Article And Read More!


    Hank King - 1954 - Stars On The Horizon Section (Cowboy Songs) page 19. Hank King was born October 08, 1932, learned to pick a guitar at a very early age and today plays a swell rhythm guitar, which matches his excellent singing voice. This lad has been hitting the airways of WKPA in New Kensigton, Pennsylvania, now for quite a spell and is really popular with the girls. His very fine renditions of "Just Out Of Reach", "You're Right", "Bow Thy Head", "Slowly", "Even Though","Rattle-Snaking Daddy", and "False Hearted Love" are certainly something to hear.

    Hank has been featured in many states and has had long runs at the Crystal Cave in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is still making many, many personal appearancesand can be heard via WKPA from 4:45 to 5:15 every Saturday on the "Western Jamboree." Now recording for Blue Ribbon Records, of Staunton, Ill., Hank recently cut "Your Atom Bomb Heart" and "I Want To Know Why You Don't Care For Me". The first-named of these was written by Hank and his manager, Cowboy Howard Vokes.


Lifetime Awards


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On April 5, 2018, Hank received a letter in the mail from the National Traditional Country Music Association from Bob Everhart, President since 1975. Hank was very proud and pleased to have received this letter. To find out more about the Country Music Lifetime Achievement Award  for Hank King......>> Click Here!


View the Pennsylvania Country Music Association Award for Hank King......>> Click Here!


Remembering Catherine Papaila


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Catherine Papaila


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Hank King had a very long lasting, very happy marriage with his wife Catherine throughout his career and thereafter for 54 great years until her passing at age 84 on July 13, 2017. Catherine Papaila was a very much loved lady by her husband Hank and many friends. She will be sorely missed by everyone. If you had known Catherine, I know you would have loved her too! 


The Later Years


                                         Hank King


Hank King has had a wonderful career, with so many fond memories of all the entertainers he met and the many places he performed with them. Hank has had a loving marriage of 54 years with his wife Catherine until her passing on July 13, 2017. Hank King now enjoys the very calm and quiet later years in his home town of New Kensington, Pennsylvania with his church activities and many friends who keep him busy. Hank still enjoys playing his guitar and singing some of his favorite songs he has recorded through the years that he holds dear to his heart. Hank loves to do things around his grounds and take care of his flower gardens. Hank loves sports, especially baseball and football. Hank King is a kind and good hearted man. Hank says, "life has been good"!


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Hank's Photo Album


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Howard Vokes & Hank King   Hank and Catherine   Hank's Band Members   Hank King Discography


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Hank King Jamboree   Hank And Friends (1.)   Hank And Friends (2.)   Hank And Friends (3.)


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Hank And Friends (4)   Hank King And His Mother   Hank & Catherine Wedding   Hank's Mom And Dad


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Remembering Catherine   Hank's 1st Record Release   Country Western Scrapbook   Hank King's Song


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Hank Back Stage & Friends   Just Being Hank!   Hank King Today!    


Thank You, Hank King


 Frank And Judy Crispo

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Frank and I have a great love for country and western music. We especially love the original Traditional Country music of long ago. We feel that we have to keep this music alive. We have lost so many country and western artist of many years ago. I have enjoyed it so much working with Hank King and putting his web page together on my website. So many memories of his past I have enjoyed sharing with Hank King. Hank, we thank you so much for sharing with us and all the country and western fans.


Sincerely, Frank and Judy Crispo


 Please Note: Check back to view more information on Hank King.



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