A Guide to the Hank Williams Collection, 1952
Hank Williams was born on September 17, 1923, in Mt. Olive, Alabama. When he was only eight years old, he was given a guitar and learned the blues, folk and country music. His mother moved to Montgomery, Alabama in 1937 and Hanks formed the Drifting Cowboys. From the mid 1940s until his death in 1953, Williams had several hit singles, including Your Cheatin’ Heart, Hey, Good Looking, and Howling at the Moon. Williams was also a member of the Louisiana Hayride, a popular Saturday night radio show.
Williams married Audrey Mae Sheppard in 1944, right before his music career took off. The couple had a son in 1949 named Randall Hank. Randall Hank would go on to perform as Hank Williams Jr., a well respected country singer in his own right. Williams divorced Audrey Mae in 1952 and shortly afterwards married Billie Jean Jones. Williams died of a heart attack on January 1, 1953, in Oak Hill, West Virginia, at the age of 29. He was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961.
“Hank’s Biography,” The Hank Williams Museum, accessed November 23, 2015. http://thehankwilliamsmuseum.net/hanks-bio/
The Hank Williams Collection consists of 8 CDs documenting the last three months of Williams’ musical career, and features compiled CDs featuring several different artists who performed with Williams between October - December 1952, including his second wife, Billie Jean (credited under her stage name Billie Jean Horton), Slim Whitman, Ray Price, and Charlie Walker, along with a three CD compilation dedicated to Fred Rose, as well as accompanying discography/narratives featuring performance information and mini-bios on each artist featured on the compiled CDs.
This collection is open for research use.
The donor retains copyright on all materials by the creator. Written permission must be obtained from copyright holder in order to photocopy or publish from the collection.
Hank Williams Collection, 1952, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Amanda Reyes, November 2015.
Detailed Description of the Papers