Considered among the most famous American country music singer/songwriters with tunes like “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin'” and “I Will Never Get Out of This World Alive.” Cut from rural stock, Williams, the 3rd child of Lon and Lillie Williams, grew up in a family that never had much cash. His dad was employed as a logger before going into the Veterans Administration hospital when youthful Hank was only six. Dad and son seldom viewed each other during the following ten years, with Williams’ mom, who ran rooming houses, moving your family to Greenville and after Montgomery, Alabama. His youth was likewise shaped by his spinal state, spina bifida, which set him apart from other children his age and nurtured a feeling of separateness in the world around him. A quick study, Williams learned the best way to play folk, country and, from an African American street musician named Rufus Payne, the blues.
From the time he had moved together with his mom to Montgomery in 1937, Williams’ music career was already in movement. Picking up the guitar for the very first time in the age of eight, Williams was only 13 when he made his radio debut. A year after he was entering talent shows and had his own group, Hank Williams and his Drifting Cowboys. In full support of Williams’ musical aspirations was his mom, Lillie. She drove her son and his group to shows throughout southern Alabama. From the early 1940s he had captured the eye of music executives in Nashville.
But coupled with Williams’ apparent gifts as a vocalist and songwriter was an increasing reliance on alcohol, which he had began mistreating so that you can ease his occasionally excruciating back pain. As a result he had not been considered a dependable performer. Williams’ private life took an important move in 1943 when he met Audrey Mae Sheppard, who had been the mom of a young daughter and had just lately left a dirty union. Under Williams’ guidance Sheppard started playing bass guitar and began performing in his group.
Sheppard, it appears, was incredibly keen to create a mark in show business and, despite her clearly small ability, driven her husband to let her sing. Moreover, her relationship with Hank’s mother proved complex. The two were frequently competitors for Williams’ time and focus. In 1946 Williams traveled to Nashville to meet with music publisher Fred Rose as well as the Acuff-Rose Publications firm. What started with Williams writing content for vocalist Molly O’Day finally gave way into a record contract using the recently created MGM label. In April 1948 he scored another Billboard success with “Honky Tonkin.'”
But along with this particular early success arrived increased unpredictable behaviour from Williams, who regularly showed up at live performances intoxicated. The functionality significantly raised Williams’ name recognition, however he still lacked a number one hit. That all changed in 1949 together with the release of “Lovesick Blues,” a throwaway performance of a classic show tune he had driven to record at the conclusion of a recording session.
The tune resonated with music fans, along with executives in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, who encouraged Williams to perform. In methods must have seemed incomprehensible to the poor country boy, Williams’ life immediately transformed. His stardom place cash in his pocket and gave him the sort of creative independence artists long for. He also composed several religious songs beneath the pseudonym Luke the Drifter.
As the names of some of Williams’ tunes indicate, heartbreak and chaos were never that far from his life. As his achievement deepened, so did Williams’ dependency on alcohol and morphine. The Opry eventually fired him, as well as in 1952 he and Sheppard divorced. His physical look fell, also. His hair started falling out, and he put on 30 extra pounds. In late 1951 he suffered a mild heart attack while visiting his sister in Florida.
A bit greater than a year after, on December 30, 1952, Williams, recently married to some younger girl named Billie Jean, left his mom’s house in Montgomery for Charlestown, West Virginia. Liquored up and abusing morphine, he fell in a hotel room in Knoxville, Tennessee. A physician was called to examine him. Despite his physical failings, Williams was cleared for more traveling. Williams was pronounced dead a brief while after.
His passing didn’t bring about the conclusion to his stardom, yet. It may be claimed, actually, that his early departure just enhanced his legend. If Williams had resided, it is not completely sure the Nashville music community, so ready to lose its hillbilly origins, would have continued to adopt Williams’ music. Now Hank Williams is an associate of the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as in 2010 the Pulitzer Board granted Williams a special citation for songwriting.