Hank Williams, Jr.

Hank Williams, Jr.

Infobox musical artist
Name = Hank Williams, Jr.

Img_capt = Hank Williams, Jr. performing during a 2006 concert.
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Randall Hank Williams
Born = birth date and age|1949|5|26|mf=y
Shreveport, Louisiana, US
Died =
Instrument = Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, upright bass, steel guitar, banjo, keyboards, harmonica, fiddle, saxophone, drums [http://www.hankjr.com/about/?id=2 Hank Williams Jr. - Official Website ] ]
Genre = Country, outlaw country, southern rock, country rock
Occupation = Musician, singer-songwriter
Years_active = 1957 – Present
Label = MCA, Warner Bros., Curb
URL = [http://www.hankjr.com/ www.hankjr.com] |

Hank Williams, Jr., (born Randall Hank Williams, May 26, 1949) is an American country singer-songwriter and musician. His musical style is often considered a blend of southern rock, blues, and traditional country. The son of country music pioneer Hank Williams, he is the father of Hank Williams III, Holly Williams, Hillary Williams, Samuel, and Katie Williams.

Though he began his career imitating his famed father, Williams' style slowly evolved until he was involved in a near fatal fall that changed his personal and professional life forever. After an extended recovery, he challenged the country music establishment with a revolutionary blend of country, rock, and blues. After much critical and popular success in the 1980s, Williams earned considerable recognition and enjoyed substantial popularity. He is now considered a sort of elder statesman of country music.

A multi-instrumentalist, Williams can play electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, upright bass, steel guitar, banjo, piano, keyboards, harmonica, fiddle, and drums.

Early life and career

Born Randall Hank Williams in Shreveport, Louisiana, his famous father bestowed upon him the nickname Bocephus (named after Grand Ole Opry comedian Rod Brasfield's ventriloquist dummy). He was raised by his mother Audrey after his father's death in 1953. While he was a child, a huge array of contemporary musicians visited him, influenced, and taught him various music instruments and styles. These influences include: Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Earl Scruggs, Jerry Lee Lewis and many, many more. He began performing when he was eight years old, and in 1963, he made his recording debut with "Long Gone Lonesome Blues," one of many of his father's classic songs.

Williams' early career was guided, some say outright dominated, by his mother Audrey Williams, who many claim was the driving force that led his father to musical superstardom during the late 1940s and early 1950sFact|date=January 2008. Audrey, in many ways, promoted young Hank Jr. as little more than a Hank Williams impersonator, sometimes going as far as to have clothes designed for him that were identical to his father's stage clothes, and encouraging vocal stylings very similar to those of his father.

A change in musical direction

Although Williams's recordings earned him numerous country hits throughout the 1960s and early 1970s with his role as a "Hank Williams clone", he became disillusioned and severed ties with his mother in order to pursue his own musical direction and tastes. After recording the soundtrack to "Your Cheatin' Heart", a biography of his father, Williams, Jr. hit the charts with one of his own compositions, "Standing in the Shadows (Of a Very Famous Man)". The song signalled a move to rock and roll and other influences, as he tentatively began to step out of the proverbial shadow of his father.

Also during this time, Williams had his first two No. 1 songs: "All For the Love of Sunshine" (1970, featured on the soundtrack to "Kelly's Heroes") and "Eleven Roses" (1972).

By the mid-1970s, Williams began to pursue musical direction that would, eventually, make him a superstar. While recording a series of moderately successful songs, Williams began to heavily abuse drugs and alcohol, and eventually attempted suicide in 1973.Fact|date=January 2008 Upon moving to Alabama in an attempt to re-focus both his creative energy and his troubled personal life, Williams began playing music with Southern rock musicians Waylon Jennings, Toy Caldwell, Marshall Tucker Band and Charlie Daniels and others. "Hank Williams Jr. and Friends", what is often called his "watershed" album, was the product of these then-groundbreaking collaborations.

Injury and recovery

On August 8, 1975, Williams was severely injured while climbing Ajax Mountain near Missoula, Montana.

The accident shattered every bone within his face and exposed his brain to the open air. It would eventually take nine major surgeries to reconstruct his face. His recovery took two years. In order to hide the numerous scars, Williams adopted the look that would become his trademark: a thick, full beard, cowboy hat, and dark sunglasses. Upon his return to the recording studio, Williams worked with Waylon Jennings on the album entitled "The New South". Williams did not, however, reach the charts again until the late 1970s, with Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law", "Family Tradition" and "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound." Williams' unique blend of traditional country western music with southern rock and blues earned him a devoted following, although mainstream country radio stations would not touch his new songs in this blatantly untraditional sound.

Acceptance by country music establishment

*Williams' career began to hit its peak after the Nashville establishment gradually--and somewhat reluctantly--accepted his new sound. His popularity had risen to such levels that he could no longer be overlooked for major industry awards. He was extremely prolific throughout the 1980s, sometimes recording and releasing two albums a year. "Family Tradition, Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound, Habits Old and New, Rowdy, The Pressure is On, High Notes, Strong Stuff, Man of Steel, Major Moves, Five-0, Montana Cafe", and many others resulted in a long string of hits. In 1987 and 1988, Williams was named "Entertainer Of The Year" by the Country Music Association. In 1987, 1988, and 1989, he won the same award from the Academy of Country Music. The pinnacle album of his acceptance and popularity was Born to Boogie. During the 1980s, Williams became a country music superstar known for catchy anthems and hard-edged rock-influenced country.

*His last major hit was "There's a Tear in My Beer," a duet with his father, that was created using electronic dubbing techniques. The song itself was written by his father, and was recorded with Hank Williams playing just his guitar. The music video for the song combined existing television footage of Hank Williams performing and the dubbing techniques transferred the image of Hank Jr. onto the screen, so it appeared as if he were actually playing with his father. The video was both a critical and commercial success. It was named "Video Of The Year" by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country music. Hank Williams, Jr. would go on to win a Grammy award in 1990 for "Best Country Vocal Collaboration".
*He is probably best known today as the performer of the theme song for "Monday Night Football", based on his 1984 hit, "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight". The opening theme became a classic, as much a part of the show as the football itself. In 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994, Williams's opening themes for "Monday Night Football" would earn him four Emmy awards.

*In 2004, Williams was featured prominently on "CMT Outlaws".

*He has also made a cameo appearance along with Larry the Cable Guy, Kid Rock, and Charlie Daniels in Gretchen Wilson's music video for the song "All Jacked Up", whose album has been released. He and Kid Rock also appeared in Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" video.

*Williams donated $125,000 to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Biloxi, Mississippi on October 14, 2005. [ [http://top40-charts.com/news.php?nid=17448&string=Lox Hank Williams Jr To Donate $125,000 To Hurricane Relief Efforts In Biloxi @ Top40-Charts.com - 40 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 25 Countries ] ]

*On December 26, 2005 Hank Williams, Jr opened for "Monday Night Football" on ABC for the last time. In 2006, "Monday Night Football" moved to Disney corporate sibling, ESPN. Hank William, Jr. continues to open the show.

*For "MNF"'s 2006 debut on ESPN, Williams Jr. re-recorded the "MNF" opening theme with an all-star jam band that included Little Richard, ?uestlove, Joe Perry, Clarence Clemons, Rick Nielsen, Bootsy Collins, Charlie Daniels, Steven Van Zandt and others.

*On January 7, 2006, Hank Williams, Jr opened up for two games on ABC for the NFL Playoffs.

*Hank Williams Jr. visited with Randal McCloy Jr., the only survivor of the Sago Mine accident, on Wednesday, January 11, 2006, in Morgantown, West Virginia. Williams travelled to the hospital after learning that McCloy was a fan of his music. "It just hit me like a ton of bricks because I had a big mountain fall in the 1970s, and they said I wouldn't live," Williams told Pittsburgh TV station KDKA-TV. "It really, really affected me, and I said, 'I've just got to go there and meet the family."

*The Tennessee Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling stating that Hank Williams's heirs—son Hank Williams Jr. and daughter Jett Williams—have the sole rights to sell his old recordings made for a Nashville radio station in the early '50s. The court rejected claims made by Polygram Records and Legacy Entertainment in releasing recordings Williams made for the "Mother's Best Flour Show", a program that originally aired on WSM-AM. The recordings, which Legacy Entertainment acquired in 1997, include live versions of Williams's hits and his cover version of other songs. Polygram contended that Williams's contract with MGM Records, which Polygram now owns, gave them rights to release the radio recordings.

*Hank Williams, Jr. opened for Super Bowl XL which was aired February 5, 2006 on ABC. Williams Jr was in the stands as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

*On April 10, 2006, CMT honored Williams with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award, presenting it to him at the 2006 CMT Music Awards. Williams joins an elite circle of gifted performers to have received this prestigious mark of distinction, including Loretta Lynn (2005), Reba McEntire (2004), Johnny Cash (2003).

*In August of 2006 a petition was started online to place Hank Williams, Jr. into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

*On February 17, 2007, Hank Williams, Jr. filed for divorce from his fourth wife, Mary Jane, whom he married 16 years previously.

*Hank Williams Jr. sold the majority of his compound outside Missoula in 2007. He kept a small plot of land and now stays in his guesthouse when he is in Montana. He also resides in the small town of Paris, Tennessee and owns a hunting cabin in rural Pike County, Alabama.

*In 2008, Williams performed at the first annual BamaJam Music and Arts Festival in Enterprise, Alabama. [ [http://www.bamajammusicfestival.com/artistlineup.html BamaJam - Artist Line Up ] ]

2006 Arrest

In April 2006, Williams, Jr. was arrested in connection with an alleged assault on a waitress in a Memphis hotel. Williams, Jr was released without bond and the case went before a Grand Jury. [http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0404061_hank_williams_1.html] However, the case was later dismissed due to a lack of evidence. [ [http://www.cmt.com/news/articles/1553327/02262007/williams_jr_hank.jhtml CMT : News : Hank Williams Jr. Assault Case Dropped ] ]




External links

* [http://www.hankjr.com/home/ Official Website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/hankwilliamsjr Official MySpace]
* [http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8328166412 Official Facebook]
* [http://www.hankville.com/ Fansite Hankville]

NAME = Hank Williams, Jr.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Randall Hank Williams
SHORT DESCRIPTION= American country singer-songwriter
DATE OF BIRTH = May 26, 1949
PLACE OF BIRTH = Shreveport, Louisiana, United States of America

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