Country Music History
Hank Williams (1923-1953) is the most legendary figure in the history of country music. For many, Williams is country music and his spare songwriting and expressive singing is its spirit and soul. He seemed to appear out of nowhere, a honky-tonk man who became famous overnight and lived his life (one of hard drinking and domestic woe) as a country archetype. Williams, who hailed from Alabama, had actually been working on his singing career since age 16, but that didn't matter. In the last five years of his life, Williams became a star and rose and fell. He built a songbook that has been constantly revisited, and when he died in the back of his Cadillac at age 29, he passed from hard living into legend.