Hank Williams / Sept 17, 1923 - Jan 1, 1953

One of my very favorites of the honky/cracker artists, country music star Hank Williams had a soulful delivery and wrote some lasting classics. He came from Alabama and got his guitar lessons from a black street performer named Rufus "Tee Tot" Payne before getting his professional start in Montgomery in '37. He started out on the radio before signing a recording contract with MGM. He became very popular and was part of the Grand Ole Opry for a brief period and made some television appearances.

He developed bad addictions to booze & painkillers (he was born with spinal problems) and they destroyed his life. He died on New Years Day '53 at 29, having released a total of thirty songs in his short life. He never knew how to read or notate music but was an important and influential songwriter with many classics: "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Move It On Over", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Hey Good Lookin", "Cold Cold Heart", "Moanin The Blues", "Jambalaya" (covered by the Meters!), "Settin' The Woods On Fire", "Honky Tonk Blues" and others.

Be warned that some later releases of his music tend to be ruined by strings and stereo reprocessing, etc. His son and grandson are involved in country, pop and heavy metal music, but Hank the first is the best of them all. A major, major architect of the country sound. His shit was authentic and I tend to not blame the country pioneers for the garbage that follows.

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