One of the biggest names in country music is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who died on January 1 (1923-1953). He is well known as the first superstar of country music. He was born in Alabama to Elonzo Huble and Willie Williams.
He had a career that was relatively brief yet had a big influence and produced many timeless songs. These songs he sang are now considered classics and are frequently covered and honored by musicians from a wide range of genres.
Hank Williams’ work continues to play a key role in the history of country music, inspiring both musicians and listeners for centuries.
When Did He Start to Sing?
In his childhood, he was a street singer, and because of his passion, he started playing guitar at 8. Williams and his mother moved to Montgomery in 1937, where he met Rufus Payne, an African-American street singer. Williams learned folk, bluegrass blue, and country songs from Rufus in his childhood on the streets.
At the age of 13, he released his first radio recording, and later he participated in different talent shows with the full support of his mother.
He made his band named Hank Williams and Drifting Boys, and in the early 40s, the band gained popularity in Southern Alabama. But after World War II, the band broke, and some of his contracts were canceled due to his alcohol addiction.
William’s Style of Singing
As previously mentioned, Williams started as a street singer. He began to sing without any instrument or amplification.
He was a big fan of Jammie Rodgers and was inspired by him. He sang in a full-throated way without any music. He was assigned a contract in 1946 with the Acuff Rose Company and MGM Label.
After meeting with Fred Rose, the music composer of that time, Williams recorded his first hit Move it on Over, an excellent piece that scored a ranking on Billboard.
He appeared in the Grand Ole Opry in 1949 for the first time. This was when he succeeded and recorded other great hits such as Hey Good Looking, Cold, Cold Heart, and Lost Highway.
Williams was not only a singer but a songwriter and wrote some religious songs. It proves he was a holy man who belonged to primitive Baptists. As a teenager, he sang in a Baptist Church in Georgiana, Alabama. Williams was a spiritual artist who loved to sing sincerely.
When we enjoy his music articles, we can quickly feel the pain of his emotions, poor life, pain, and life sufferings.
A Quick Look at His Biography
Let’s take a closer look at some of the details about Hank Williams.
|Name||Unique style of singing with storytelling|
|Occupation||Singer, Guitarist, and Songwriter|
|Date of Birth||17 Sept 1923|
|Famous for||Unique style of singing with storytelling|
|Date of Death||1 January 1953|
|Death City||West Virginia, US|
Hank Williams Songs
Williams recorded 55 great hits in his short life, which ranked on the Billboard chart. Three of them were released after when he passed away.
Now, could you take a look at his music career below?
His Starting Years Were the 1930s
In the first years, at the end of the ’30s, he started participating in live stage shows. At the Empire, Theatre, he introduced his song WPA Blues and won $15 as the first prize.
He used to sing different songs outside the streets of the radio stations, and because of his passion, WSFA radio producers gave him a chance to perform on air and it was the start of his music career.
His music band is based on Freddie Beach, Braxton Schuffert, and Smith Hezzy. They acted in stage shows, local gatherings, and parties.
Afterward, they started Honky Tonks, but due to his excessive use of alcohol, he returned to Montgomery and started back his radio recordings.
In the Mid Years of his Career 1940s
We won’t be wrong if we say these years were hard times for Williams. His band left him, his military service took off because of his back injury, and WSFA fired him.
He started working as a helper in a shipbuilding company in Alabama. After some years of struggle and learning a lesson, he returned to WSFA radio studio in 1945 and published a book based on his written songs named Original Songs of Hank Williams.
In 1946, he started working with Fred Rose, he recorded six hits for Rose. After the success of Sterling Records, he was assigned another contract with MGM Records in 1947. He published Move it on Over, which became the year’s super hit. In 1948, he started the KWKH radio show in Louisiana.
This was the year he recorded his greatest hits, and he later started Grand Oly Opry in 1949.
The Last Years of his Career were the 1950s
The successful era was when he recorded many of his theme songs. His career peaked, and he recorded some other hits at the time. He took a tour with another actor to the US.
In 1951 he appeared on television and recorded live shows for the first time. He went to New York to record The Kate Smith evening hour. He was fired from Grand Oly Opry because of his habitual drunkenness.
The last years of his life were a mix of happiness and grief.
Some other songs of Williams are mentioned below:
- There is a Tear in my Beer
- Lost Highway
- I Saw the Light
- Lord Bill, Me a Cabin
- Settin’ the Wood on the Fire
- I’ll Never Get Out of This
- Dust on the Bible
- You Win Again
- Move it on Over
- Why Don’t You Love Me
- Your Cheating Heart
- Take These Chains From
- Hony Tonk Blues
- Cold, Cold Heart
- Long Gone Lonesome Blues
- My Bucket’s Got a Hole
- The Whole Country’s Church
- A Tramp on the Street
Awards and Accomplishments
He received different awards because of his hard work and super hits:
- CMA Awards: Vocal Event of the Year Award 1989 and Music Video of the Year 1989
- Academy of Country Music Awards: Country Music Video of the Year 1990
- Music City Walk of Fame: Walk of Fame Guitar Star 2008
- Grammy Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award 1987, Best Country Vocal Collaboration 1990, and Album of the Year 2010
- Hank Williams was a legendary country music artist who left an indelible mark on the genre.
- His career was tragically cut short at 29, but his influence continues to resonate today.
- With his soulful voice and poignant songwriting, Williams crafted timeless classics that explored themes of heartache, love, and the human condition.
- His authenticity and raw emotion endeared him to fans worldwide, earning him a permanent place in the annals of music history.
- Hank Williams’ legacy lives on, reminding us of the power of storytelling through song and the enduring impact of his musical contributions.