Hank Williams Sr. died five days before his daughter was born in 1953 to Bobbie Jett. Elonzo Williams worked as an engineer for the railroads of the W. T. Smith lumber company. It was released as the B-side to the 1953 #1 hit "Take These Chains from My Heart", as well as to the 1976 re-release of "Why Don't You Love Me". As Williams told the story about it in his later concerts, the name change was supposedly all because of a cat's yowling, though, as the authors of Hank Williams: The Biography point out, "Hank" simply sounds more like a hillbilly and western star than "Hiram". Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously).  Gimarc contacted Williams' daughter Jett, and Colin Escott, writer of a biography book on Williams. Advance ticket sales totaled US$3,500. 5 Famous Sons of Country Music's Biggest Stars, 20 Country Songs That Will Make You Feel the Blues, A List of History's Best Country Gospel Songs, Top 10 Most Influential Women of Country Music, Country's Top 10 Most Influential Artists. , There are several versions of how Williams got his first guitar. His mother subsequently demanded that the school board terminate the coach; when they refused, the family moved to Montgomery, Alabama. It was at this time that Williams decided to change his name informally from Hiram to Hank.  The next day, two public ceremonies were also held at the New Orleans Civic Auditorium, where 14,000 seats were sold for each. She followed the record up with 2009's Here with Me; it featured the song "Mama," in which she talks about her mother Becky White's divorce from Hank Jr. Hilary Williams is the eldest daughter of Hank Williams Jr. and Becky White.  The songs depicted Luke the Drifter traveling around from place to place, narrating stories of different characters and philosophizing about life. , On February 8, 1960, Williams' star was placed at 6400 Hollywood Boulevard on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ", He worked for the rest of the war for a shipbuilding company in Mobile, Alabama, as well as singing in bars for soldiers. Finally, in 1985, when she was 21, the Alabama State Court officially declared her as the daughter of Jett and Williams. His funeral took place on Sunday, January 4, at the Montgomery Auditorium, with his coffin placed on the flower-covered stage. Williams married Audrey Sheppard, a musician on December 15, 1944, who gave birth to their only son âRandall Hank Williamsâ (later Hank Williams Jr.) on May 26, â¦ In June 1952, Williams moved in with his mother, even as he released numerous hit songs, such as "Half as Much" in April, "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" in July, "Settin' the Woods on Fire"/"You Win Again" in September, and "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" in November. Arthur Whiting was also a guitarist for the Drifting Cowboys. The song, backed by "Kaw-Liga", was number one on the country charts for six weeks.  Williams released seven hit songs after "Lovesick Blues", including "Wedding Bells", "Mind Your Own Business", "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)", and "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It". He was severely injured after falling from a truck, breaking his collarbone and suffering a severe blow to the head. Hank worked as a street performer as a young man before his recording career got underway. Hank Williams Jr.'s Daughters Pay Tribute to Late Sister Katherine: 'See You Again Beyond the Blue' this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. This was a detriment to his marriage with Audrey Mae Sheppard. At a Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Pensacola, Florida, doctors determined that the cause was a brain aneurysm, and Elonzo was sent to the VA Medical Center in Alexandria, Louisiana.  At a chance meeting in Georgiana, Hank Williams met U.S. Representative J. Lister Hill while he was campaigning across Alabama. 'The Garden Spot Programs' 1950", "Tom Hiddleston played country icon Hank Williams in biopic", "File Action to Untangle Hank Williams Estate", "Mother's Best, Hank's Best: A Conversation With Jett Williams and the Students", "The Year's Top Country & Western Artists/The Year's Top Country & Western Records", Listing of all Hank Williams' songs and alternatives, Pulitzer Prize Special Citations and Awards, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hank_Williams&oldid=997662174, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2020, Articles needing additional references from December 2019, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Special Awards and Citation for his pivotal role in transforming country music, Katherine Williams-Dunning (granddaughter), This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 17:03. The marriage was declared illegal, since Sheppard's divorce from her previous husband did not comply with the legally required 60-day trial reconciliation. A pop cover version by Tony Bennett released the same year stayed on the charts for 27 weeks, peaking at number one.  So many listeners contacted the radio station asking for more of "the singing kid", possibly influenced by his mother, that the producers hired him to host his own 15-minute show twice a week for a weekly salary of US$15 (equivalent to US$266.8 in 2021). His 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. His father was a railroad engineer who was also a victim of shell shock after a year of fighting in France in 1918 during World War I and spent many years in veterans hospitals. Jett Williams is the illegitimate daughter of Hank Williams Sr. and Bobbie Jett. What country star changed his first name from Randall to Hank? Hank has multiple children who have also given country music a go â Hank Williams III, Holly Williams, Hilary Williams, Samuel Williams ,and Katherine Diane Williams. Also, local magistrate Virgil F. Lyons ordered an inquest into Williams' death concerning the welt that was visible on his head.  Dr. P. H. Cardwell injected Williams with two shots of vitamin B12 that also contained a quarter-grain of morphine. , In 1977, a national organization of CB truck drivers voted "Your Cheatin' Heart" as their favorite record of all time.  He was born with spina bifida occulta, a birth defect, centered on the spinal column, which gave him lifelong pain – a factor in his later abuse of alcohol and drugs. Katherine Williams-Dunning was 27. The film makes note of multiple women Williams loved, impregnated, and then separated from along the way, and in real life, the singer fathered two childrenâ¦ Hank Williams, the country legend, didn't have the opportunity to live in the world long. The first celebration, in 1954, featured the unveiling of a monument at the Cramton Bowl that was later placed at the gravesite of Williams.  Some of the compositions were accompanied by a pipe organ. , He taught Williams chords, chord progressions, bass turns, and the musical style of accompaniment that he would use in most of his future songwriting. A month later, his father made his Grand Ole Opry debut, singing âLovesick Bluesâ and drawing six encores.  As a result of the new variety of his repertoire, Williams published his first songbook, Original Songs of Hank Williams. Audrey had singing aspirations of her own and sometimes performed with Hank on radio shows. , During his last recording session on September 23, 1952, Williams recorded "Kaw-Liga", along with "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Take These Chains from My Heart", and "I Could Never be Ashamed of You". , His final single, released in November 1952 while he was still alive, was titled "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive". Hank Williams, who nicknamed his son âBocephusâ after comedian Rod Brasfieldâs ventriloquist dummy, had three and a half years left to live. With Hill's help, the family began collecting the money. Many of their replacements refused to play in the band due to Williams' worsening alcoholism. Photos but no existing footage remain of this appearance. James Ellis Garner later played fiddle for him. He 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". PolyGram contended that Williams' contract with MGM Records, whose back catalogue they owned at the time, prior to current owner Universal Music's absorption of PolyGram the next year, gave them rights to release the radio recordings. Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 â January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams said he did not, and those are believed to be his last words.  Keeping his legacy alive, Williams' son, Hank Williams Jr., daughter Jett Williams, grandson Hank Williams III, and granddaughters Hilary Williams and Holly Williams are also country musicians. The first one died soon after birth. After the failure of his audition, Williams and Audrey Sheppard attempted to interest the recently formed music publishing firm Acuff-Rose Music. His salary was enough for him to start his own band, which he dubbed the Drifting Cowboys.  He continued to show up for his radio show intoxicated, so in August 1942 the WSFA radio station fired him for "habitual drunkenness". He won the first prize of $15, singing his first original song "WPA Blues". The Louisiana Hayride's Horace Logan described her voice as follows: "horrible, unbelievably horrible." Randall Hank Williams was born the son of the legendary Hank Williams and Audrey Williams. Due to Williams' tour schedules, some of the shows were previously recorded to be played in his absence. , 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.  An estimated 15,000 to 25,000 people passed by the silver coffin, and the auditorium was filled with 2,750 mourners. Audrey Williams asked Rose if her husband could sing a song for him on that moment, Rose agreed, and he liked Williams' musical style.  His recent win at the Empire Theater and the street performances caught the attention of WSFA producers who occasionally invited him to perform on air. In 1930, when Williams was seven years old, his father began suffering from facial paralysis.  Broadcast in 1949, the shows were recorded for the promotion of Hadacol.  That evening, when the announcer at Canton announced Williams' death to the gathered crowd, they started laughing, thinking that it was just another excuse.  In 1935, the family settled in Garland, Alabama and Lillie opened a new boarding house; after a while they moved with his cousin Opal McNeil to Georgiana, Alabama, where Lillie managed to find several side jobs to support her children despite the bleak economic climate of the Great Depression. That same year, Williams had a brief extramarital affair with dancer Bobbie Jett, with whom he fathered a daughter, Jett Williams (born January 6, 1953, two days after his burial). Birthplace: Georgiana, AL Location of death: Oak Hill, WV Cause of death: Heart Failure Remains:. On New Year's Day 1953, he died suddenly while traveling to a concert in Canton, Ohio, at the age of 29. Later on, Williams recorded one of the songs that Payne taught him, "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It". Holly Williams is the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. and half-sister to Hank III.  During his recovery, he lived with his mother in Montgomery, and later moved to Nashville with Ray Price. Williams later credited him as his only teacher. Fearful that disc jockeys and jukebox operators would hesitate to accept these unusual recordings, Williams used this alias to avoid hurting the marketability of his name. It provided the title for the 1964 biographical film of the same name, which starred George Hamilton. "I Won't Be Home No More", released in July, went to number 3, and an overdubbed demo, "Weary Blues From Waitin'", written with Ray Price, went to number 7. As a girl, Jones had lived down the street from Williams when he was with the Louisiana Hayride, and now Williams began to visit her frequently in Shreveport, causing him to miss many Grand Ole Opry appearances.  In October, Williams recorded a demo, "There's a Tear in My Beer" for a friend, "Big Bill Lister", who recorded it in the studio. Carr and Williams checked out of the hotel; the porters had to carry Williams to the car, as he was coughing and hiccuping. Hank's mother, Lillian Skipper Williams, played the organ in their local church and taught him gospel songs when he was six. The recordings were found by collector George Gimarc at radio station KSIB in Creston, Iowa. He remained hospitalized for eight years, rendering him mostly absent throughout Williams' childhood.  Sheppard later told Williams that she wanted to move to Montgomery with him and start a band together and help him regain his radio show. Too sickly and skinny for the hard labor jobs of his peers, Williams honed his guitar and singing skills. Photo Credits: Billboard Hiram "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 â January 1, 1953) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. But when Stone died herself just two years later, Jett was put into foster care. Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams relocated to Georgiana with his family, where he met Rufus Payne, an African American blues musician, who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. The court rejected claims made by PolyGram Records and Legacy Entertainment in releasing recordings Williams made for the Mother's Best Flour Show. , Williams was scheduled to perform at the Municipal Auditorium in Charleston, West Virginia, on Wednesday December 31, 1952. On the weekend after the tour ended, Williams was photographed backstage at the Grand Ole Opry signing a motion picture deal with MGM. After a lengthy court battle in the 1980s, she was ruled to be one of her father's legal heirs and due to half of the family fortune. Adkinson is the half-sister of Hank Williams Sr.'s son, Hank Williams Jr., who she battled in court along with the Williams family for her share of the Williams estate. Born six days after Hank Williams died, Jett was adopted by Hank's mother Lillie Stone. , In 1950, Williams began recording as "Luke the Drifter" for his religious-themed recordings, many of which are recitations rather than singing. He picked up a drinking habit as a teen he would never be able to beat. Of these, 16 have made the country charts, some with layers of strings overdubbed, as on the 1966 MGM The Legend Lives AnewâHank Williams with Strings, fairly ruining their intent. While living in Georgiana, Williams met Rufus "Tee-Tot" Payne, a street performer. In 1947, he released "Move It on Over", which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. Years of back pain, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health.  His 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. , At around midnight on Thursday, January 1, 1953, when they crossed the Tennessee state line and arrived in Bristol, Virginia, Carr stopped at a small all-night restaurant and asked Williams if he wanted to eat. Jessie Lillybelle Skipper Williams was the mother of Hank Williams. , On December 15, 1944, Williams married Audrey Sheppard. Williams' 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 Williams a place in the Grand Ole Opry. There are a handful of songs written about Jimmie Rodgers, but more than â¦ Lillie was unwilling to let him reclaim his position as the head of the household, so he stayed only long enough to celebrate Hank's birthday in September before he returned to the medical center in Louisiana.  In 1951, "Dear John" became a hit, but it was the flip side, "Cold, Cold Heart", that became one of his most recognized songs. Hank Williamâs Struggles. Their daughter Irene was born on August 8, 1922 (died 1995). This began her quest to find out who she was and what had happened. Williams dropped out of school in October 1939 so that he and the Drifting Cowboys could work full-time. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFColin_EscottGeorge_MerrittWilliam_MacEwen2015 (. , He never learned to read music and, for the rest of his career, based his compositions in storytelling and personal experience. 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. Brokenhearted and distraught, Hank could not ask for a second chance from his then wife. Robert Silva is an electronics and audiophile hobbyist who writes about entertainment technology and films for more than 20 years. While he received a 4-F deferment from the military for his back after falling from a bull during a rodeo in Texas, his band members were all drafted to serve. The early years of his career were spent trying to overcome the legacy of his father and come into his own. But father and son only scratch the surface on the incredible Williams family tree. Survivors include his children; Malina Vibbert, Rebecca and Misty Williams and â¦ His son Hank Williams Jr. carried on the tradition with his rabble-rousing tunes in the '70s and '80s. , Williams is widely recognized as "the King of Country Music", a title he shares with fellow artists Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, and George Strait. The suit demanded that both of the publishing companies continue to pay her half of the royalties from Hank Williams' records. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him number 74 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. , Williams' successful radio show fueled his entry into a music career. It included 10 songs: "Mother Is Gone", "Won't You Please Come Back", "My Darling Baby Girl" (with Audrey Sheppard), "Grandad's Musket", "I Just Wish I Could Forget", "Let's Turn Back the Years", "Honkey-Tonkey", "I Loved No One But You", "A Tramp on the Street", and "You'll Love Me Again". Ultimately, the completion of the album included recordings by Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Jack White, Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Levon Helm, Jakob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, and Merle Haggard.  The original acetates made their way to the possession of Jett Williams. The worker claimed that she sold Williams' notes to a representative of the Honky-Tonk Hall of Fame and the Rock-N-Roll Roadshow.  The couple divorced on May 29, 1952.. Among the hits he wrote were "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Hey, Good Lookin'", and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry".  Rose signed Williams to a six-song contract, and leveraged this deal to sign Williams with Sterling Records. In 2004, she released her debut album The Ones We Never Knew; her music was in more of a singer-songwriter vein than traditional country.  From that time on, Lillie Williams assumed responsibility for the family. It is also included on 40 Greatest Hits, a staple of his CD re-released material. In 1996, he released Three Hanks: Men With Broken Hearts, which used studio technology to enable three generations of Wiliams singers in Hank, Hank Jr., and Hank III to sing together. Early life. When Hank turned 10 â¦  Williams' father was frequently relocated by the lumber company railway for which he worked, and the family lived in many southern Alabama towns.  "Take These Chains From My Heart" was released in April 1953 and went to number 1 on the country charts. The filling station's owner called the chief of the local police. The popular song "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It" became a hit for Hank Williams in 1949. Prior to that, duplicates were made and intended to be published by a third party. , Williams had 11 number one country hits in his career ("Lovesick Blues", "Long Gone Lonesome Blues", "Why Don't You Love Me", "Moanin' the Blues", "Cold, Cold Heart", "Hey, Good Lookin'", "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)", "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive", "Kaw-Liga", "Your Cheatin' Heart", and "Take These Chains from My Heart"), as well as many other top 10 hits.  The book only listed lyrics, since its main purpose was to attract more audiences, though it is also possible that he did not want to pay for transcribing the notes. Payne had a major influence on Williams' later musical style, along with Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb. She is a posthumous child; her birth on January 6, 1953, in Montgomery, Alabama occurred five days after her father's death on January 1. Born six days after Hank Williams died, Jett was adopted by Hank's mother Lillie Stone. He influenced Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Charley Pride and The Rolling Stones, among others. The material was restored and remastered by Michael Graves and released by Omnivore Recordings. , In 1945, when he was back in Montgomery, Williams started to perform again for the WSFA radio station.  It was the second marriage for both (each being divorced with children). The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2010 awarded him a posthumous special citation "for his craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life. Irene Williams Smith lived in a duplex in Oak Cliff, Stuart said.  He was ranked second in CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003, behind only Johnny Cash who wrote the song "The Night Hank Williams Came To Town". , In November 1951, Williams suffered a fall during a hunting trip with his fiddler Jerry Rivers in Franklin, Tennessee.  Payne's base musical style was blues. Williams would later relocate to Montgomery, where he began his music career in 1937, when producers at radio station WSFA hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. (In those days, radio programminâ¦ , In June 1952, he recorded "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)", "Window Shopping", "Settin' the Woods on Fire", and "I'll Never Get out of this World Alive".  In October 1952 he married Billie Jean Jones. James E. (Jimmy) Porter was the youngest, being only 13 when he started playing steel guitar for Williams. Hank's mother had claimed that he was dead.  During 1949, he joined the first European tour of the Grand Ole Opry, performing in military bases in England, Germany and the Azores. In February 2005, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling stating that Williams' heirs—son, Hank Williams Jr, and daughter, Jett Williams—have the sole rights to sell his recordings made for a Nashville radio station in 1951. Williams and his wife approached Fred Rose, the president of the company, during one of his habitual ping-pong games at WSM radio studios. His evocative, poetic songwriting has inspired performers from Lucinda Williams to Bob Dylan.  Malinin also wrote that Williams had been severely beaten and kicked in the groin recently. Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1961), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).  Lillie Williams began booking show dates, negotiating prices and driving them to some of their shows. Born Antha Belle Jett, she is the daughter of country music icon Hank Williams and Bobbie Jett, whose brief relationship with Hank Williams occurred between his two marriages. Hiram "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Hank W. Williams, Sr., 59 of Charlestown, IN died Thursday July 3, 2014 at Floyd Memorial Hospital in New Albany, IN. I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You), Learn how and when to remove this template message, Grammy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration, "Hilary Williams Details Her Brush with Death in 'Sign of Life, "Country Singer Hank Williams Jr.'s Daughter, 27, Killed in Tennessee Car Crash", "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams – review", Hank Williams Biography – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Colin Escott, George Merritt & William MacEwen 2015, "Show 9 – Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis. Malinin found hemorrhages in the heart and neck and pronounced the cause of death as "insufficiency of the right ventricle of the heart". The janitor was accused of theft, but the charges were later dropped when a judge determined that her version of events was true. , For other people named Hank Williams, see, American recording artist; songwriter, country music singer, Hank Williams in a publicity photograph for. The ceremony featured Ferlin Husky interpreting "I Saw the Light". Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously).  On October 22, 1975, a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia, ruled Horton's marriage to Williams was valid and that half of Williams' future royalties belonged to her..  Williams' remains are interred at the Oakwood Annex in Montgomery. Hereâs a look into what his five children have been up to. In the 1952 presidential election campaign, Williams was a vocal supporter of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican party nominee.  The recordings "Never Again" and "Honky Tonkin'" became successful, and earned Williams the attention of MGM Records. After the death of his father in 1953, Hank Jr. began his career in country music. , On August 11, 1952, Williams was dismissed from the Grand Ole Opry for habitual drunkenness and missing shows. Trying to break into the music business, Williams entered talent contests all over the country.  He brought together Bob McNett (guitar), Hillous Butrum (bass), Jerry Rivers (fiddle) and Don Helms (steel guitar) to form the most famous version of the Drifting Cowboys, earning an estimated US$1,000 per show (equivalent to US$10,745.5 in 2021). 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