Posts

Midnight: The Death of Hank Williams

Image
Midnight: The Death of Hank WilliamsDecember 31, 1952



     The story of the last 48 hours of Hank Williams' life has passed from reality, to legend to myth at this point. There are so many questions and inconsistencies with the various accounts given over the years, it is doubtful that the whole truth will ever be known. Just about every aspect of the story has been contested at some point or another, sometimes even by the people who made the original statement that is being argued. There are several "conspiracy theories" that have been floated over the years and there are even some people who claim, like Elvis Presley, that Hank didn't die that New Years night in West Virginia and actually faked his own death to escape the pressures of fame. It was actually a cover story of the Weekly World News Magazine in 1995.

     With that being said, I would just like to be clear that any account someone gives about the night of December 31, 1952 is not going to be 100% accurate…
Image
Hank Williams' Last ChristmasDecember 25, 1952     Hank Williams and his 20 year old, newly wed wife, Billie Jean Jones, drove his baby blue Cadillac down from Montgomery to Georgiana, Alabama on the morning of Christmas Eve 1952. According to accounts, he spent the day visiting and attended church with the Skippers (cousins on his mothers side) and even gave an impromptu acoustic performance at Taft's Country Store where he debuted a new song called "The Log Train."

     The song is unique in that it gives us an account of the things Hank Williams remembered about his father as a child. During this time, Lon Williams often found work on the railroads with various lumber companies in the area. The song is interesting from a songwriting perspective as this is the only expressly biographical song Hank Williams ever wrote and recorded. He made a demo of the song on December 3, 1952, at KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana, an acetate of which was found some twenty years later a…