The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 Hank Williams, Sr

Photo added by Donald Greyfield

Hank Williams, Sr

Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, USA
Death 1 Jan 1953 (aged 29)
Oak Hill, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA
Burial Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, USA
Plot Hank Williams
Memorial ID 1109 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Country-Music Singer, Guitarist and Songwriter. Hank Williams peacefully and quietly passed away at age 29 due to a heart attack while en route to a performance in Canton, Ohio in the back seat of his 1952 Cadillac. His hits included a dozen singles at No.1 and many more in the country top 10. Among them were "Your Cheatin Heart" "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" "Cold Cold Heart" "Hey Good Lookin" "Jambalaya" (On the Bayou) "Move It On Over" and "Lovesick Blues." Hank was country music's first superstar, selling ten million records from 1947 to 1953. His songs have become classic's and are still major sellers. He was born Hiram King in the rural area known as Mount Olive near Georgiana, Alabama to parents Alonzo Williams and Jessie Lillybelle Williams. As a youngster, he was introduced to music by his mother and often sang at Mount Olive West Baptist Church while she played the organ. His father was an employee for a lumber company railway line and was frequently transferred by his employer and the family lived in many Southern Alabama towns. At seven, Hiram's life changed radically as his father would be admitted to a veterans hospital where he would remain for some eight years forcing his mother to provide for him and a sister. When he was ten the family briefly lived with his aunt and uncle in Fountain, Alabama, where his aunt Alice McNeil taught him to play the guitar and music became his passion. However, Rufus Payne, an area black intenerate blue musician would befriend him while teaching and influencing his style and desire for a career in music. At sixteen, the family moved to Montgomery where his mother, his Aunt and Uncle opened a boarding house in the downtown area. While attending high school, he became a busker, singing and playing his Sear's Silvertone guitar on the sidewalks for money his main spot in front of radio station WSFA. Noticing his talent the station would invite him inside to play on the air. Public interest in the form of letters and phone calls soon led to his own fifteen-minute show, twice a week and he changed his name to Hank. Encouraged, he quite high school to pursue a career in music. He formed a band while still employed at the station calling it the "Drifting Cowboys." The group played throughout Alabama, performing in clubs and private parties. Dark Clouds began forming for Hank at the start of World War II. He was physically unfit to serve and his entire band was drafted. Hank was born with a disorder of his spinal column commonly known as a bad back, a problem shared by thousands of Americans and only they know the excruciating life long pain that must be endured. Hank began using alcohol and drugs to alleviate the pain. He became a drunk and his band suffered as replacement players quit because of Hanks drinking. Habitually drunk at his radio station job led to his firing. He would be fired from the Grand Ole Opry and his band the "Drifting Cowboys parted company. William's personal life was out of control and his marriages disintegrated. However, he kept producing song after hit song until the fatal trip to Ohio and his short career was over. His funeral was held in a jammed full Montgomery Civic center Auditorium with some 25,000 people crowding around the building outside listening to a piped broadcast. Roy Acuff, Red Foley and Ernest Tubb sang at the service. Legacy...The Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel promotes their famous country singer while accommodating the thousands who visit the southern portion of the state attracted by the short life of icon Hank Williams. They have dubbed the areas that he frequented the "Hank Williams Trail." An official brochure outlines an easy to follow guide...The high points are his boyhood home in Georgiana, The Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery and Lincoln Cemetery his burial place. Inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. Inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Inducted in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1985. Inducted into the Grand Old Opry in 1949. The Broadway play "Hank Williams: Lost Highway" was a tribute to Williams and recounted major events in his life. The movie "Crazy" was made in 2006 and he was portrayed by rock guitarist Steve Vai. Hank is pictured on a 29 cent US commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of American Music series on 25 September, 1993. Son Hank Williams Jr., his daughter Jett Williams and his grandchildren Hank Williams III and Holly Williams and granddaughter Holly carry on in the Country Music field. A life size statue has been erected adjacent to the Montgomery City Hall the site of many of his concerts and scene of his funeral. In a bit of ironic trivia...His mentor Rufus Payne (Tee-Tot) is also buried at Lincoln Cemetery but the exact location of his grave is unknown as recycling has obliterated the site and no marker was ever installed.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

Family Members





How famous was Hank Williams, Sr?

Current rating:

931 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1109
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hank Williams, Sr (17 Sep 1923–1 Jan 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1109, citing Oakwood Annex Cemetery, Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .