“Hank Williams is the father of contemporary country music (CMT).” Hank was an American singer and song writer who is regarded as the most important musician to country music of all time. Hank’s career was cut short by a sudden death at the early age of 29.
Hank was born September 17, 1923 in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama. His birth name was Hiram Williams which was later changed to Hank when he began his career. This is where he met Rufus Payne, who they called Tee Tot. This black street performer taught Hank how to play the guitar in exchange for money and food. Williams moved to Montgomery, Alabama in 1937 where he began his career at WSFA radio station. They hired him to perform and host a fifteen minute program. While at the radio station he was a backup in a band called Drifting Cowboys which was managed by his mother. Hank later dropped out of school to devote his time to his career. The original members were guitarist Braxton Schuffert, fiddler Freddie Beach, and comedian Smith "Hezzy" Adair. James E. “Jimmy” Porter was the youngest, being only 13 when he started playing steel guitar for Williams.
World War II was troublesome for Hank; he lost several of his members to the military. He started having trouble with the band members he replaced and turned to drinking which caused him to lose his job at WSFA. During the war Hank worked at a shipbuilding company in Mobile, Alabama. He also was singing at the bar for soldiers. While at medicine show in Banks, Alabama he met Audrey Sheppard. Hank married Audrey in 1944; she played bass guitar and performed in his band. They were married in 1944 in a Texaco Station in Andalusia, Alabama, by a justice of the peace. The marriage was declared illegal, since Sheppard's divorce from her previous husband did not comply with the legally required sixty day trial reconciliation.
In 1945 Williams started performing again for WFSA where he was writing songs for his weekly show. While he was there he...
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