About Hank Williams
As a child, future country legend Hank Williams met Rufus “Tee Tot” Payne, a Black blues musician who offered him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money.
∙ Williams distilled Rufus Payne’s blues, Jimmie Rodgers’ yodeling and lyric imagery, and Ernest Tubb’s honky-tonk into a unique—and highly commercial—sound.
∙ When he performed at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in 1949, he was called back for an unprecedented six encores.
∙ Hank’s longest-running No. 1 single, “Lovesick Blues,” stayed atop the C&W Singles chart for 17 weeks.
∙ During the last five years of his life, he recorded over 200 songs, more than half of which he wrote himself.
∙ Three songs from his final recording session—“Kaw-Liga,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” and “Take These Chains From My Heart”—became posthumous No. 1 hits.
∙ Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
∙ His life was the subject of two biopics, 1964’s Your Cheatin’ Heart and 2016’s I Saw the Light.
∙ His songs have been covered by such diverse artists as Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, and Tony Bennett.
BORNSeptember 17, 1923