The Life of Hank WilliamsBook - 2005
Hank Williams, the quintessential country music singer and songwriter, died alone in the backseat of his Cadillac on New Years Day, 1953. He died much as he had lived: drunk, forlorn, suffering from a birth defect, wondering when the bubble would burst. Having sprouted out of nowhere, like a weed in the wilds of south Alabama, he was gone at the age of twenty-nine.Now, with his definitive biography of the man and his music, Paul Hemphill takes the reader on a journey through Hank Williamss life and times: his dirt-poor beginnings as a sickly child, learning music from a black street singer, refining it in raucous rural honky-tonks during the Depression, emerging as a star of the Grand Ole Opry. Uneducated, virtually fatherless, an alcoholic in his teens, unlucky at love, Hank mined his experiences to write songs that will live forever.Hemphill, author of The Nashville Soundand the son of a long-distance trucker from Alabama, brings his background to bear on a story that often reads like fiction. He has unearthed many fresh details in Williamss life, but most importantly, he has explained that life and given it the lively telling it deserves.