Music

8 Things You Didn't Know About Hank Williams

Hank Williams Sr. is one of the most celebrated country music artists of all time. He's a Grand Ole Opry member, a Country Music Hall of Fame member, a country radio station mainstay, a beloved hillbilly and an icon of American music. Not to mention the father of noted Monday Night Football performer Hank Williams Jr. From Ohio to California and Shreveport to West Virginia, Hank Williams Sr. is a star.

But how much do you know about the MGM Records star? Hop on this Louisiana hayride for some lesser-known facts about Hank Williams Sr.

1. He's a Bama Boy

Hank Williams was born in Mount Olive, Alabama in 1923 and also lived in Greenville and Georgiana, Alabama as a kid during the Great Depression. The family eventually moved to Montgomery.

2. He's Got a Weird Name

Okay, no. "Hank" isn't a weird name. But Hank is just his nickname. The "Luke the Drifter" singer and Billboard star's actual first name is Hiram. Why such an odd name? Williams was named for Hiram I of Tyre, one of the three founders of the Freemasons according to Masonic legend. But don't worry Hank, even if your first name is a little funky, I'm still in love with you. I can't help it! (So is everyone else too.)

3. No Audience at the Grand Ole Opry Ever Wanted to A Guy to Keep Playing More

At the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1949 the audience begged the "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Lovesick Blues" singer to perform a record six encores. That has never been topped. He definitely didn't have the honky tonk blues that night.

4. He Was in the First Country Music Hall of Fame Class

The "Cold, Cold Heart" performer is a member of the first Country Music Hall of Fame class along with Jimmie Rodgers and Fred Rose.

5. He's a Pulitzer Winner

Unfortunately, however, this superstar didn't get to enjoy the award while alive. The songwriter was given the award posthumously in 2010. We're not sure how anyone could hear "Hey Good Lookin'" and wait that long to give him the award. 

6. The Man Has the Singing and Songwriting Work Ethic of a Hummingbird

Over a five-year span Hank Williams Sr. recorded 225 country songs, of which he wrote 128 of them. "I Saw the Light", "Move it On Over", "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" -- if there's a Williams song you like chances are the country singer put one of his number one hits on record during that span.

7. His Dad Was Wounded in World War I

Lon Williams served from July 1918 until June 1919 and was severely injured when he fell off a truck. The fall broke his collarbone and caused a serious head injury as well.

8. He Influenced Everyone -- and We Mean EVERYONE

Here's a short list of the artists who say that the "Why Don't You Love Me" and "Moanin' the Blues" singer inspired them:

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubb, Rufus Payne, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, George Jones, Charley Pride, and The Rolling Stones.

Now Watch: 10 Things You Didn't Know About George Jones

 

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8 Things You Didn't Know About Hank Williams