Hank Williams Biography
Hiram "Hank" King Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter, who has become an icon of country music, Rock 'n' Roll and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. A leading exponent of the Honky Tonk style, he had numerous hit records, and his charismatic performances and succinct compositions fueled his fame. His songbook is one of the backbones of country music, several are pop standards as well. He has been covered in a range of pop, gospel, and rock styles. His legend has only grown since his premature death at the age of 29. His son Hank Williams Jr., his daughter Jett Williams, and his grandchildren Hank Williams III and Holly Williams are also professional singers.
On January 1, 1953, Williams was due to play in Canton, Ohio, but he was unable to fly due to weather problems. He hired a chauffeur and, before leaving the old Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee was injected with B12 and morphine. He then left in a Cadillac, carrying a bottle of whiskey with him.
When the seventeen year-old chauffeur Charles Carr pulled over at an all-night service station in Oak Hill, West Virginia, he discovered that Williams was unresponsive and becoming rigid Upon closer examination, it was discovered that Hank Williams was dead. Controversy has since surrounded Williams' death with some claiming Williams was dead before leaving Knoxville. Approximate estimation of Hank's death is around 3 AM.
Williams' final single was ominously titled "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive". Five days after his death, his illegitimate daughter by Bobbie Jett (Jett Williams) was born. His widow, Billie Jean, married country singer Johnny Horton in September of that year (1953).
Cover versions of Hank Williams songs include:
Songs which pay tribute Hank Williams include: