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Hank williams Sr - Essay Example

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Hank williams Sr

He befriended music from the very start and the guitar given to him by his mother when he was eight years old, became his lifeline. Williams' childhood friend Rufus Payne (aka Tee Tot) taught him how to play the guitar and sing the blues. Hank Williams' home (now Hank Williams' Boyhood Home & Museum), surroundings and the initial hard family times influenced the style of his songs.
Willing to take music as a career, Williams began performing around the Georgiana and Greenville areas of Alabama in his early teens. Forming a local band in Montgomery called the Drifting Cowboys, they became quite popular and the local radio station played their music regularly. Singing songs of the famous artists and his idol, Roy Acuff, the radio station dubbed him the Singing Kid. Lillie became the temporary manager for Williams and collected gate money, contracted and negotiated for gigs. Looking at the face of stardom, Williams contracted with alcoholism and turned intoxicated for his radio shows and eventually got fired due to his "habitual drunkenness".
Audrey Mae Sheppard became Williams' manager and short time later in 1943, his wife. Although at the time Williams was a local hero, but he couldn't make it to big names yet. To get further in the limelight, the couple toured Nashville to meet with a songwriter/music publisher Fred Rose who was one of the heads of Acuff-Rose Publishing. Rose instantaneously liked Williams' songs and recorded two sessions for Sterling Records. This resulted in two singles, both hits. Seeing the success and potential in him, MGM Records signed a contract with him in early in 1947 and Rose became the Williams' manager and record producer.

His first single with MGM, 'Move It On Over,' was instant hit and rose to the country Top Five charts. Songs released in 1948 like 'Honky Tonkin' and 'I'm a Long Gone Daddy' peaked in the charts too. Another huge success came in early in 1949 with 'Lovesick Blues,' which remained at number one for 16 weeks and crossing over into the pop Top 25. This song was performed at Grand Ole Opry and received a record six encores from the crowds.

During this time, Williams and Audrey had their first child, Randall Hank in 1949. Soon afterwards, Williams gathered the guitarist Bob McNett, bassist Hillous Butrum, fiddler Jerry Rivers, and steel guitarist Don Helms to perform the most acclaimed versions of Drifting Cowboys. He and his band were earning handsomely and most of their shoes were sold out. In the early 1950s Williams made at least seven hits and most of them made it to the Top Five Charts. During these years, a different side of Hank Williams came to be known. He started to record some religious and spiritual records under the name of Luke the Drifter. The change of name was due to the fact that he thought that the dick jockeys and jukebox operators would not play his non-traditional songs and there spiritual songs would hurt his reputation as a country musician. Although the name was chosen to hide his identity, he couldn't cloak his voice. The next year Williams came back with more of the hits to please his fans. He started taking parts in television shows and package tours to market him further. The music was going great with most songs of 1951 entering the top ...Show more


Hank Williams Sr. is known as the father of contemporary country music. Being a guitarist and an influential song writer, he became a national legend and his contributions to music are widely commended throughout the world. His short music career of 4 years ended at the age of 29 with him establishing the rules for all the country performers to come.
Author : westmona
Hank williams Sr essay example
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