Hank Locklin

That's How Much I Love You

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A typical marketing strategy in country music in the '60s was to have a popular artist, such as Hank Locklin in this case, record a raft of enduringly popular songs for release on a budget album. At a low price, the combination of well-known songs and a well-known artist could sell itself. What makes That's How Much I Love You a little different from the average economy package is that it is an unadvertised tribute to Eddy Arnold. Most of the songs were major hits for Arnold in the late '40s, and the ones that were not are nonetheless associated with him. "Mommy Please Stay Home with Me," a classic cautionary tale in which a drunken, neglectful mother is effectively punished by the death of her child, was one of Arnold's first recordings, as was "I Walk Alone." Locklin's versions are modernized with Nashville Sound production values and a lush vocal chorus, and his performances are simply excellent. It may have been humbly conceived, but That's How Much I Love You is worth its budget price and more.