On Dec. 15, 1944, two souls became one when Hank Williams married his first wife, Audrey Mae Sheppard (Guy). The two met at a medicine show, but, ironically, there was no prescription strong enough to cure the tumultuous relationship the couple endured.
Though the marriage was strained, to say the least, it can be credited for some of the most renowned Hank Williams music, as well as one of his best creations: his son, Hank Williams, Jr. (named Randall Hank Williams at birth). The two also collaborated on several of Hanks’ recorded tunes, including “Lost on the River”, “Dear Brother”, “Something Got a Hold of Me”, “I Heard My Mother Praying for Me”, and many more.
Following Hank Jr.’s birth, the pair’s struggles intensified, oftentimes displaying the marital problems in the public eye. Ultimately driven to divorce due to allegations of infidelity and substance abuse, Audrey became most well-known as “Hank Williams’ Widow” upon his untimely death in 1953. In fact, to secure the title, Audrey reportedly bought it from Hank’s second wife, Billie Jean Jones.
Audrey passed away from heart failure in 1975, with many attributing her death to alcohol and drug abuse that mirrored her late husband’s.
In 2015, a biography, I Saw the Light, was created under the watchful eye of director, writer and producer Marc Abraham. The film has an anticipated release date of March 25, 2016, and will chronicle the short and musically successful life of Hank Williams, including the spark and fizzle of his relationship with Audrey Williams.