Hank Wangford


If Daniel O'Donnell is the brightly
scrubbed face of British country music then Hank Wangford is its guilty
conscience, its dark and troubled grubby soul. Hank has picked at the miserable
underbelly of country music for twenty eight years, inspiring others like Billy
Bragg, The The,  The Alabama Three and other alt.country musicians. 

He has spread the word with his two ground
breaking television series, Britain’s first on Country music, "Big Big
Country" and "The A to Z of C&W" and his books "Lost
Cowboys" and "Hank Wangford Vol 3 The Middle Years".

This messianic derailment onto the path of
country music came from befriending and playing with Gram Parsons, ex-Byrds and
Flying Burrito Brothers, in the seventies. This was at a time when Hank - as Dr
Sam Hutt - was a rock 'n roll doctor. Many of his patients were from the world
of rock music and the hippie alternative world. The Grateful Dead, the Who and
the Rolling Stones were some of his clients.

It was when Gram Parsons came over to hang
out in London with Keith Richards that Keith sent Gram with his wife to see
Doctor Sam. Gram passed the country torch to Emmylou Harris and the Rolling
Stones as well as to Doctor Sam.  Since then Hank has fronted a series of
hot country bands, aiming for country non-believers. It's not all misery. Some
of his songs and stories are sad and some funny. His new album WHISTLING IN THE
DARK has some recent pearls.

In 1999 the LOST COWBOYS played a tour of
the Falkland Islands and filmed it for BBC's Video Diaries. As well as his
songs and books, Hank has been writing travel articles for the Sunday
Telegraph, the Guardian and Caribbean World. He has written on Romania,
Georgia, Argentina, Uruguay, Coney Island, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the
Falkland Islands' tour, Route 66, Branson Missouri, Nude Mountaineering on
Everest, eco-farmers in Marin County California and his son's marriage by Elvis
Presley in Las Vegas.

Through the '90s Hank has done several radio
series for the BBC: "Nine Pound Hammer" - the history of railroad
songs in the USA, "Ghengiz Khan was a Cowboy Too" tracing the
development of C&W music from its Mongolian roots and journey West.
"Way Out West" about Galway and Connemara, his new-found spiritual
home. "He'll Have To Go" on telephone songs, "Looking for the
Lonesome Yodel" on yodel songs around the World and several others. Hank
continues to be President of the Nude Mountaineering Society.

In another life, Hank is a doctor and
continues to work in sexual healthcare and contraception. He lectures and
trains doctors and nurses around Britain. He has trained doctors and nurses in
Georgia and in Bosnia during the war. He regularly visits Transylvania, Romania
where he has had a project for women since 1991 and has helped set up two

Hank knows that laughter, tears and music
are the greatest healers we have. This is why he loves Country music. 
Hank continues to tour extensively both with the Lost Cowboys and as a duo with
Reg Meuross touring village halls on the Rural Arts Scheme.  This is an
Arts Council and local Council supported scheme to bring music and arts to
village halls.  This is Hank’s NO HALL TOO SMALL tour and he has played in
two hundred and twenty village halls throughout England and Scotland in the
last three years. 

Hank's time with Gram Parsons is described
in "Hank Wangford Volume 111 The Middle Years", now out of print, and
in Ben Fong Torres (2002) biography of Gram Parsons "Hickory Wind" on
Simon & Shuster, and in Twenty Thousand Roads  "The Ballad
of Gram Parsons and his Cosmic American Music" by David N Meyer 
Bloomsbury (2008).