68 Facts About Hank Williams

1.

Hiram "Hank" Williams was an American singer, songwriter, and musician.

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2.

Hank Williams began his music career in Montgomery in 1937, when producers at local radio station WSFA hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program.

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3.

Hank Williams formed the Drifting Cowboys backup band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote his time to his career.

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4.

Hank Williams married singer Audrey Sheppard, who was his manager for nearly a decade.

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5.

Hank Williams was unable to read or notate music to any significant degree.

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6.

Hank Williams was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry because of his unreliability and alcoholism.

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7.

Hank Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

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8.

Hank Williams was the third child of Jessie Lillybelle "Lillie" and Elonzo Huble "Lon" Williams .

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9.

Since Williams's parents were both followers of Freemasonry, Williams was named after Hiram I His name was misspelled as "Hiriam" on his birth certificate, which was prepared and signed when he was 10 years old.

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10.

Hank Williams was of mostly English ancestry and had some Welsh ancestry as well.

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11.

Hank Williams was born with spina bifida occulta, a birth defect of the spinal column, which gave him lifelong pain; this became a factor in his later alcohol and drug abuse.

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12.

Hank Williams's father was frequently relocated by the lumber company railway for which he worked, and the family lived in many southern Alabama towns.

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13.

In 1930, when Hank Williams was seven years old, Elonzo began experiencing facial paralysis.

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14.

Hank Williams remained hospitalized for eight years, rendering him mostly absent throughout Williams's childhood.

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15.

Hank Williams's worked in a cannery and served as a night-shift nurse in the local hospital.

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16.

At a chance meeting in Georgiana, Williams met U S Representative J Lister Hill while Hill was campaigning across Alabama.

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17.

Hank Williams told Hill that his mother was interested in talking to him about his problems and her need to collect Elonzo's disability pension.

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18.

Hank Williams's mother stated that she bought it with money from selling peanuts, but many other prominent residents of the town claimed to have been the one who purchased the guitar for him.

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19.

Later on, Hank Williams recorded "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It", one of the songs that Payne taught him.

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20.

In 1937, Hank Williams got into a fight with his physical education teacher about exercises the coach wanted him to do.

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21.

Payne and Hank Williams lost touch, though Payne eventually moved to Montgomery, where he died in poverty in 1939.

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22.

Hank Williams told a story in later concerts that attributed his name change to a cat's yowling.

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23.

Hank Williams won the first prize of $15, singing his first original song "WPA Blues".

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24.

Hank Williams wrote the lyrics and used the tune of Riley Puckett's "Dissatisfied".

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25.

Hank Williams never learned to read music; instead he based his compositions in storytelling and personal experience.

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26.

Hank Williams showed up unannounced at the family's home in Montgomery.

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27.

Hank Williams's salary was enough for him to start his own band, which he dubbed the Drifting Cowboys.

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28.

Hank Williams dropped out of school in October 1939 so that he and the Drifting Cowboys could work full-time.

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29.

Lillie Hank Williams began booking show dates, negotiating prices and driving them to some of their shows.

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30.

Now free to travel without Hank Williams's schooling taking precedence, the band could tour as far away as western Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

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31.

Hank Williams continued to show up for his radio show intoxicated, so in August 1942 the WSFA radio station fired him for "habitual drunkenness".

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32.

Hank Williams worked for the rest of the war for a shipbuilding company in Mobile, Alabama, as well as singing in bars for soldiers.

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33.

In 1943, Hank Williams met Audrey Sheppard at a medicine show in Banks, Alabama.

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34.

In 1945, when he was back in Montgomery, Hank Williams started to perform again for the WSFA radio station.

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35.

Audrey Hank Williams asked Rose if her husband could sing a song for him on that moment, Rose agreed, and he liked Hank Williams's musical style.

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36.

Hank Williams signed with MGM Records in 1947 and released "Move It on Over"; considered an early example of rock and roll music, the song became a massive country hit.

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37.

Hank Williams eventually started to host a show on KWKH and started touring across western Louisiana and eastern Texas, always returning on Saturdays for the weekly broadcast of the Hayride.

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38.

Hank Williams's version became a huge country hit; the song stayed at number one on the Billboard charts for four consecutive months, crossing over to mainstream audiences and gaining Hank Williams a place in the Grand Ole Opry.

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39.

In 1950, Hank Williams began recording as "Luke the Drifter" for his religious-themed recordings, many of which are recitations rather than singing.

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40.

In November 1951, Hank Williams fell during a hunting trip with his fiddler Jerry Rivers in Franklin, Tennessee.

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41.

Hank Williams later started to consume painkillers, including morphine, and alcohol to help ease the pain.

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42.

That same year, Hank Williams had a brief extramarital affair with dancer Bobbie Jett, with whom he fathered a daughter, Jett Hank Williams.

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43.

Audrey Hank Williams divorced him that year; the next day he recorded "You Win Again" and "I Won't be Home No More".

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44.

Hank Williams returned to Shreveport, Louisiana, to perform on KWKH and WBAM shows and in the Louisiana Hayride, for which he toured again.

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45.

Hank Williams's performances were acclaimed when he was sober, but despite the efforts of his work associates to get him to shows sober, his abuse of alcohol resulted in occasions when he did not appear or his performances were poor.

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46.

Hank Williams met Horace "Toby" Marshall in Oklahoma City, who said that he was a doctor.

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47.

Hank Williams purchased the DSC title for $25 from the Chicago School of Applied Science; in the diploma, he requested that the DSc be spelled out as "Doctor of Science and Psychology".

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48.

The marriage was always turbulent and rapidly disintegrated, and Hank Williams developed serious problems with alcohol, morphine, and other painkillers prescribed for him to ease the severe back pain caused by his spina bifida occulta.

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49.

Hank Williams's mother adopted Jett, who was made a ward of the state after her grandmother died and then adopted by another couple.

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50.

Hank Williams had married Sheppard before her divorce was final, on the 10th day of a required 60-day reconciliation period.

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51.

Fitzgerald was interviewed, and he suggested that Lillie Hank Williams operated a brothel at her boarding house in Montgomery.

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52.

Carr and Hank Williams checked out of the hotel, but the porters had to carry Hank Williams to the car as he was coughing and hiccuping.

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53.

Hank Williams said he did not, and those are believed to be his last words.

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54.

Carr later drove on until he stopped for fuel at a gas station in Oak Hill, West Virginia, where he realized that Hank Williams had been dead for so long that rigor mortis had already set in.

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55.

Hank Williams found hemorrhages in the heart and neck and pronounced the cause of death as "insufficiency of the right ventricle of the heart".

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56.

Hank Williams wrote that Williams had been severely beaten and kicked in the groin recently, and local magistrate Virgil F Lyons ordered an inquest into Williams's death concerning a welt that was visible on his head.

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57.

Hank Williams's funeral was said to have been far larger than any ever held for any other citizen of Alabama, and the largest event ever held in Montgomery.

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58.

Hank Williams's remains are interred at the Oakwood Annex in Montgomery.

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59.

Hank Williams has been called "the King of Country Music" in popular culture.

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60.

Hank Williams had 11 number one country hits in his career, as well as many other top 10 hits.

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61.

Hank Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 and into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

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62.

In 1964, Hank Williams was portrayed by George Hamilton in the film Your Cheatin' Heart.

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63.

Hank Williams was ranked second in CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003, behind only Johnny Cash who recorded the song "The Night Hank Williams Came To Town".

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64.

In 1999, Hank Williams was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.

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65.

Meanwhile, Lewis Fitzgerald's son Ricky billed himself as Hank Williams IV following his father's claim of being Williams's son.

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66.

Material recorded by Hank Williams, originally intended for radio broadcasts to be played when he was on tour or for its distribution to radio stations nationwide, resurfaced throughout time.

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67.

Hank Williams had an agreement giving his first wife half of the royalties, but allegedly there was no clarification that the deal was valid after his death.

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68.

In 1951, Hank Williams hosted a 15-minute show for Mother's Best Flour on WSM radio.

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