Years of back pain, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health. [37] 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. This began her quest to find out who she was and what had happened. [51] 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). The early years of his career were spent trying to overcome the legacy of his father and come into his own. Among the hits he wrote were "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Hey, Good Lookin'", and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". The suit demanded that both of the publishing companies continue to pay her half of the royalties from Hank Williams' records. Randall Hank Williams was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 26, 1949. [81] That evening, when the announcer at Canton announced Williams' death to the gathered crowd, they started laughing, thinking that it was just another excuse. The unfinished lyrics were later returned to Sony/ATV, which handed them to Bob Dylan in 2008 to complete the songs for a new album. [121] 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.[122]. Cut from rural stock, Williams, the third child of … His mother subsequently demanded that the school board terminate the coach; when they refused, the family moved to Montgomery, Alabama. [83] An estimated 15,000 to 25,000 people passed by the silver coffin, and the auditorium was filled with 2,750 mourners. The album, named The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, was released on October 4, 2011.[112][113]. [69] A relationship with a woman named Bobbie Jett during this period resulted in a daughter, Jett Williams, who was born five days after Williams' death. [27], Williams' successful radio show fueled his entry into a music career. The court rejected claims made by PolyGram Records and Legacy Entertainment in releasing recordings Williams made for the Mother's Best Flour Show. [32] Williams' alcohol use started to become a problem during the tours; on occasion he spent a large part of the show revenues on alcohol. 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. [92], On February 8, 1960, Williams' star was placed at 6400 Hollywood Boulevard on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 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. 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. Williams … What a tragedy to lose Hank Williams at such an early age. Because Williams may have left no will, the disposition of the remaining 50 percent was considered uncertain; those involved included Williams' second wife, Billie Jean Horton and her daughter, and Hank Williams' mother and sister. [109] On April 12, 2010, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Williams a posthumous special citation that paid tribute to 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". The local record shops reportedly sold all their Williams records, and customers were asking for all records ever released by Williams. The couple were married in 1944 at a Texaco Station in Andalusia, Alabama, by a justice of the peace. Lillie Williams became the Drifting Cowboys' manager. Advance ticket sales totaled US$3,500. Hank Williams was born in September 1923 in a small Alabama farming community about 70 miles south of Montgomery. Audrey could not take it anymore and decided to leave Hank. It is also included on 40 Greatest Hits, a staple of his CD re-released material. On New Year's Day 1953, he died suddenly while traveling to a concert in Canton, Ohio, at the age of 29. Audrey Williams was Hank Williams' first wife, and she provided inspiration for some of his most famous and unhappy songs. He wrote songs weekly to perform during the shows. The house had a small garden, on which they grew diverse crops that Williams and his sister Irene sold around Georgiana. Williams wrote the lyrics and used the tune of Riley Puckett's "Dissatisfied". [71] Malinin also wrote that Williams had been severely beaten and kicked in the groin recently. Williams told Hill that his mother was interested to talk with him about his problems and her need to collect Elonzo Williams's disability pension. The president of MGM told Billboard magazine that the company got only about five requests for pictures of Williams during the weeks before his death, but over three hundred afterwards. [11] Williams' father was frequently relocated by the lumber company railway for which he worked, and the family lived in many southern Alabama towns. Randall Hank Williams was born the son of the legendary Hank Williams and Audrey Williams. [29] That year Audrey Williams gave birth to Randall Hank Williams (Hank Williams Jr.). This is the tragic real-life story of Hank Williams. Holly Williams is the daughter of Hank Williams Jr. and half-sister to Hank III. Despite his brief life, Williams is one of the most celebrated and influential popular musicians of the 20th century, especially in country music. Under the name of Dr. C. W. Lemon he prescribed Williams with amphetamines, Seconal, chloral hydrate, and morphine, which made his heart problems worse. Malinin found hemorrhages in the heart and neck and pronounced the cause of death as "insufficiency of the right ventricle of the heart". The daughter of country music legend Hank Williams, Williams has often been referred to as "country music's best kept secret" since her paternity was unknown to her until she was an adult–and then it was only hinted at. He was severely injured after falling from a truck, breaking his collarbone and suffering a severe blow to the head. [9], As a child, he was nicknamed "Harm" by his family and "Herky" or "Poots" by his friends. [26] After school and on weekends, Williams sang and played his Silvertone guitar on the sidewalk in front of the WSFA radio studio. 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. Jett Williams is the illegitimate daughter of Hank Williams Sr. and Bobbie Jett. His son, Hank Jr., was ranked on the same list.[100]. Meanwhile, between tour schedules, Williams returned to Montgomery to host his radio show. [78] Carr later drove on until he stopped for fuel at a gas station in Oak Hill, West Virginia, where he realized that Williams was dead, and rigor mortis had already set in. [59] In 1951, "Dear John" became a hit, but it was the flip side, "Cold, Cold Heart", that became one of his most recognized songs. 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. Photos but no existing footage remain of this appearance. Hank Williams Sr. died when Hank Williams Jr. was only 3. Hank worked as a street performer as a young man before his recording career got underway. Holly became interested in music in her late teens and began to perform shortly thereafter. After the failure of his audition, Williams and Audrey Sheppard attempted to interest the recently formed music publishing firm Acuff-Rose Music. He formed the Drifting Cowboys backup band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote his time to his career. In 1952 he divorced Sheppard and was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry because of his unreliability and alcohol abuse. Hank has multiple children who have also given country music a go — Hank Williams III, Holly Williams, Hilary Williams, Samuel Williams ,and Katherine Diane Williams. 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". [114] In 1993, a double-disc set of recordings of Williams for the Health & Happiness Show was released. [11] The couple divorced on May 29, 1952.[68]. But father and son only scratch the surface on the incredible Williams family tree. [citation needed], On September 14, 1946, Williams auditioned for Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, but was rejected. The same year, she released the single "Sign of Life," which served as a musical companion to the autobiography. After suffering extensive injuries and undergoing scores of surgeries, Hilary released the 2010 memoir Sign of Life, which talked about her recovery. "Your Cheatin' Heart" was written and recorded in September 1952 but released in late January 1953 after Williams' death. '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,, 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. [96], In 1964, Hank Williams was portrayed by George Hamilton in the film Your Cheatin' Heart. [95] When Downbeat magazine took a poll the year after Williams' death, he was voted the most popular country and Western performer of all time—ahead of such giants as Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, Red Foley, and Ernest Tubb. [citation needed], 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".