Hank Williams (country music legend)

~ Person

Legal name: Hiram King Williams

Also performs as: Luke the Drifter

Wikipedia

Hiram King "Hank" Williams, Sr. (/hæŋk wɪljəmz /; September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential country music musicians of all time, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, a black street performer who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams's later musical style, along with Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. He moved to Montgomery and his music career began there in 1937 when WSFA radio station producers hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote his time to his career.

When several of his band members were conscripted into military service during World War II, Williams had trouble with their replacements and was dismissed by WSFA due to his alcoholism. Williams eventually married Audrey Sheppard, who managed the singer for nearly a decade. After recording "Never Again" and "Honky Tonkin'" with Sterling Records, he signed a contract with MGM Records. In 1948 he released "Move It on Over", which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. One year later, he released a cover of "Lovesick Blues", which carried him into the mainstream of music. After an initial rejection, Williams joined the Grand Ole Opry. He was unable to read or notate music to any significant degree. Among the hits he wrote were "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Hey, Good Lookin'", and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry".

Several years of back pain, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse severely deteriorated Williams's health; he divorced Audrey and was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry, citing unreliability and frequent drunkenness. Williams died in the early morning hours of New Year's Day in 1953 at the age of 29 from heart failure exacerbated by pills and alcohol. Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on twentieth-century popular music, and especially country music. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists, and have been hits in various genres including pop, gospel, and blues. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Rating Releases
1952 Moanin' the Blues 2
1953 Memorial Album 1
1954 Honky Tonkin' 3
1959 The Unforgettable Hank Williams 2
1960 The Lonesome Sound of Hank Williams 1
1995 Alone and Forsaken 2
1998 Jambalaya 1
2002 Hillbilly Hero 1
2013 Eight Classic Albums - Disc Two 1
Cheating Hearts 1
I Saw the Light 1
Jambalaya 1
Lost Highway and Other Live Favourites 1
Ramblin' Man 1
There's Nothing as Sweet as My Baby 1
Vintage Vaults - Volume 2 4 1
Vintage Vaults 1 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Rating Releases
1965 Hank Williams Sings Kaw-Liga and Other Humorous Songs Compilation 1
1976 24 Greatest Hits Compilation 2
1984 40 Greatest Hits Compilation 2
1992 The Original Singles Collection Compilation 1
1993 24 Greatest Hits Vol. 2 Compilation 1
1994 American Legends: Best of the Early Years Compilation 1
1995 Legendary Country Singers: Hank Williams Compilation 2
1995 The Legend Lives Anew Compilation 1
1997 20 of Hank Williams' Greatest Hits Compilation 2
1998 The Complete Hank Williams Compilation 1
1999 Live at the Grand Ole Opry Compilation 1
1999 Lovesick Blues Compilation 1
1999 Move It On Over Compilation 1
1999 The Legendary Hank Williams Compilation 1
2000 Lost Highway Compilation 1
2001 The Best of Hank Williams Compilation 1
2001 The Legend Compilation 1
2002 The Best of Hank Williams Compilation 1
2002 The Ultimate Collection Compilation 1
2003 The Hank Williams Story Compilation 1
2003 The Essential Hank Williams: Hillbilly Legend Compilation 1
2004 Cold Cold Heart Compilation 1
2004 Jambalaya (On the Bayou) Compilation 1
2004 Your Cheatin' Heart Compilation 1
2005 Turn Back the Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection Compilation 1
2005 The Complete Collection Compilation 1
2006 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Hank Williams, Volume 2 Compilation 1
2006 The Hank Williams Story Compilation 1
2007 Collected Compilation 1
2008 The Unreleased Recordings Compilation 1
2008 Honky Tonk Country Compilation 1
2009 Rockin' Chair Money: Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight Compilation 1
2009 Revealed Compilation 1

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