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SCV Newsmaker of the Week | Ep. 250: Jack Hannah, Sons of the San Joaquin

Uploaded 04/01/2008

Ep. 250: Jack Hannah, Sons of the San Joaquin

SCV Newsmaker of the Week, Episode 250


Sons of the San Joaquin

Taped in April 2008 at the William S. Hart Mansion in Newhall





star  About the Sons of the San Joaquin

The Sons


The upbeat, airtight, three-part family harmonies of the Sons of the San Joaquin are being heard in a lot more places these days. This sound has carried Joe, Jack, and Lon Hannah from church and community gatherings to places like Switzerland, where traditional cowboy music is even more revered than modern country music. In the Arabian Peninsula they found enthusiastic receptions from people who regard their own traditions to be a close parallel to our cowboy heritage.

Lon Hannah

Lon Hannah

Here at home, their widespread acceptance is an indication of the rich durability of the music and the quality presentation of Jack Hannah’s highly respected original cowboy material. Cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell refers to Jack Hannah as “one of the very best cowboy songwriters” .

The Sons of the San Joaquin sound first took shape in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where the Hannah family had moved from depression-era Missouri. “There were some prominent cattle ranches there,” says Jack, “and that’s where our romance with cowboys began. Our dad became a fan of the Sons of the Pioneers back in the 1930’s, and he’d sing a lot of those songs.   We learned our first ones from him, and became great fans of theirs, too.” Joe and Jack performed with their family at local gatherings and eventually began traveling on weekends while pursuing degrees in education, playing some professional baseball, and becoming school teachers. Jack was a high school counselor and coach (he was baseball Coach of the Year for the Western Region United States in 1980). Joe was a junior high teacher and coach. Both have performed as church soloists and in opera and musical theater. All the Hannahs are horsemen. Jack also breaks horses, ropes steers and does day work on area ranches. Lon became a second grade-teacher and also had experience singing in church, in musical theater and with the Bennett Consort (a college vocal group often compared to Manhattan Transfer). In 1987, Lon approached his father (Joe) and Uncle Jack with the desire that they sing together for his grandfather’s birthday celebration. Almost by accident, the Sons of the San Joaquin were born.

Jack Hannah

Jack Hannah

They gained a needed break when Lon met cowboy singerGary McMahan at a Western Music Association convention. He invited the trio to perform at the 1989 Elko Nevada Poetry Gathering. There they ended up singing on stage with Michael Martin Murphey, who invited them to join him on his Cowboy Songs album.

In 1992, Joe and Jack were able to take early retirement from teaching to pursue the Son’s growing career full-time. Lon took leave of absence from teaching before resigning in mid 1993. There are a number of avenues of expression opening up to this dynamic trio. Their repertoire includes arrangements for an evening of Western Music and symphony orchestra and they are continuing to field international invitations. Television appearances include theGrand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits, Nashville Now, American Music Shop, Prime-Time Country and Old Time Country Music.

Joe Hannah

Joe Hannah

Since 1992, the Sons of the San Joaquin have recorded several albums.  One of them being “Gospel Trails” which features some of the Hannnah’s favorite hymns. One of the selections, “In the Sweet By and By”, features a special appearance by Dale Evans Rogers as lead vocalist.

A lifetime of family singing combined with their true love of cowboy music has the Sons of the San Joaquin in constant demand. Family is the key word for the Sons of the San Joaquin. Joe and Carol, Jack and Linda, and Lon and Susan consider anyone who has ever picked up a rope, watched an old Western, or hummed a cowboy tune, to be part of their family.



The Sons
Western Music Association: 
Traditional Duo/Group
1997, 1998, 1999, 2001,
2002, 2004, 2007, 2009
Hall of Fame 2006
Traditional Album of the Year Sing One for the Cowboy” – 2001
Way Out Yonder” – 2006
Academy of Western Artists:
Traditional Album Great American Cowboy” –1996
Entertainers of the Year 2004
Western Heritage Museum / Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award:
Outstanding Traditional Western Album
Way Out Yonder” – 2005
American Cowboy Culture Award:
Western Music 2008
Walk of Western Stars:
Santa Clarita 2007
City of Clovis:
Hall of Fame 2003
California State University Fresno:
Outstanding Alumni,
Kremen School of Education
& Human Development
Joe Hannah
Western Music Association:
Song of the Year – I Hope She’ll Love Me” with Juni Fisher
Words & Music by Juni Fisher – 2007
Jack Hannah
Western Music Association:
Songwriter of the Year 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2011
Song of the Year Whence Came the Cowboy” – 1998
He Just Can’t Be Seen From the Road”   Jack Hannah & Baxter Black – 2000
Sing One for the Cowboy” Jack Hannah and Darrell Arnold – 2001
Academy of Western Artists:
Song of the Year “Where the Very Same Cottonwoods Grow” – 2006
Western Heritage Museum / Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award:
Outstanding Original Western Music Composition He Just Can’t Be Seen From the Road” Jack Hannah & Baxter Black – 1999
Charlie and the Boys” – 2000
Outstanding Factual Narrative There’s No Place Like California” With the Fresno County Office of Education
Music by Jack Hannah – 2001
Fresno Advertising Federation/Central California Addy Awards
Creative Excellence in
Advertising Music and Lyrics
Where Do All The Cowboys Go” – 2009


(c)2008 SCVTV
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