The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams

Book - 2017
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After he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of twenty-nine, Hank Williams, a frail, flawed man who had become country music's most compelling and popular star, instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights in the postwar era with simple songs of heartache and star-crossed love, he would, with that outlaw swagger, become in death a template for the rock generation to follow. Presenting the first fully realized biography of Hiram King Williams in a generation, Mark Ribowsky vividly returns us to the world of country music's origins, in this case 1920s Alabama, where Williams was born into the most trying of circumstances, which included a dictatorial mother, a henpecked father, and an agonizing spinal condition. Tracing the singular rise of a music legend from the street corners of the Depression-era South to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and finally to a haunting, lonely end on New Year's Day 1953, Hank uncovers the real man beneath the myths, reintroducing us to an American original whose legacy, like a good night at the honkytonk, promises to carry on and on.
Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781631491573
Characteristics: xxiii, 472 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm


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" Carr said that Hank did not go in the diner, though waitress Hazel Wells said that Hank did come in, said who he was, and also inquired about a relief driver...Carr also said that before they left the town, Hank awoke, and---contradicting his assertion that Hank had already spoken his last words to him---wanted to find a doctor to give him another shot of morphine, but at that hour it was impossible, and they pushed off again. . . . the blanket Hank had wrapped around himself had fallen off. He was lying still on the seat in a kind of coffin pose, on his back, arms folded across his chest, eyes closed..Carr..touched one of Hank's hands. It felt cold as a stone and stiff..'I felt a little unnatural resistance from his arms.'...an older man from the restaurant took a look at Hank and summed up the situation with classic understatement. ' I think you got a problem,' he said."

Nicr Dec 25, 2016

A haunted life. A harrowing read.


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