See copyright notice at

Williams Sr., Hank


Williams' influence on later developments in rock & roll [was huge]: Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and Bob Dylan, to name just three, owe a great deal to his writing and singing style.

Mentioned by Bob as an influence in the Bono Vox interview

Date:    Thu, 30 Nov 1995 08:34:53 -0600
From:    Mark Gonnerman (markg@LELAND.STANFORD.EDU)
Subject: Who's Who/ Hank Williams

 I learned t' choose my idols well
     T' be my voice an' tell my tale
     An' my first idol was Hank Williams

        --Bob Dylan, JOAN BAEZ IN CONCERT, PART 2 Jacket Notes (1973)

Hiram "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 - January 1, 1953)

"Hiram 'Hank' Williams was 'the hillbilly Shakespeare' to millions of
farmers, truck drivers, and factory workers.  Born in an Alabama log
cabin, he took his only musical instruction from Tee-tot [Rufus Payne], a
black street singer.  Williams wrote 125 songs, dozens of which wring
pathos out of the simplest lyrics.  "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Your
Cheatin' Heart," "Cold, Cold Heart," and "Alone and Forsaken" embody a
world of loss and loneliness.  Hank Williams, making his sad songs sadder,
died on New Year's Day, 1953, at the age of twenty-nine.  Officially, he
died of a heart attack.  Unofficially, he died of too much living,
alcohol, and drugs" (Robert Shelton, NO DIRECTION HOME [New York: William
Morrow, 1986], 39).

For a complete biography and discography, see Colin Escott, HANK
WILLIAMS:  THE BIOGRAPHY (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1994).

Polydor in England assembled a greatest hits collection that included all
original (i.e. undubbed) versions.  That collection was remastered for CD
in the United States and is available as 40 GREATEST HITS (Polydor


Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 10:20:01 EDT From: Bob Harwood (harwood_bob@KEITHLEY.COM) Subject: Re: Who's Who \ Hank Williams Folks, For those truly interested in Hank, Polydor has also put together an eight-cd collection called The Collector's Edition which contains just about everything Hank ever recorded. It is a fascinating body of work with cuts that range from spare acoustic demo arrangements to some rare live recordings as well as ALL of his hit singles (all chronologically arranged). Notes are by Colin Escott and Nick Tosches (they should have given us more info however, oh well - read Colin's book!). There is one catch however - This is available ONLY at Tower records and lists for 69.99 (not bad for eight CDs). These volumes all used to be available as single CDs but were missing from the shelves since the early 90s. I spoke to Polygram in Nashville and they said this was a special marketing promotion to sell the all of the volumes as a whole body of work. Get it while you can! Does anyone remember Bob and Joanie singing I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry in Don't Look Back? Good stuff!! Bob Harwood

Who's Who