Hank Williams Sr

Born 17 September 1923. Died 1 January 1953.

country music legend

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Hank Williams - Cold Cold Heart

A TV Performance of 'Cold Cold Heart' is juxtaposed with the sad story behind the song inspired by Hank's difficult relationship with his wife. Taken from the BBC Arena documentary Hank Williams: Honkey Tonk Blues.

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Hiram King "Hank" Williams, Sr. (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential singers and songwriters of the 20th Century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, a black street performer who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams's later musical style, along with Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. He moved to Montgomery and his music career began there in 1937 when WSFA radio station producers hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote his time to his career.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of The Unreleased Recordings

    The Unreleased Recordings 2008

    Reviewed by Jon Lusk
    Williams' extraordinarily nasal, moaning drawl frequently sends shivers down the spine.
  2. Review of Lost Highway And Other Live Favourites

    Lost Highway And Other Live Favourites 2005

    Reviewed by Cormac Heron
    Hank took the old church songs and threw them on the back of his horse...
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