Hank Williams, born in Butler County, Alabama on September 17, 1923, singer, songwriter and musician. Hank was given a guitar at about 10 years of age. He was taught how to play the chords, progressions, and bass lines and turns in Blues and Folk Music on his guitar by Rufus Payne, an African American Blues guitarist and street musician in Georgiana, Alabama. The Williams family paid Payne for his guitar lessons by serving him meals prepared by Hank’s Mother. Hank claimed that Payne was his only teacher. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1070, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence in 1987.

At this point in our little project, we reach a point where the guitars are plugged in and amplified. The electric 6 string and lap steel guitar are prominently featured in both Move It On Over (1947) and Mind Your Own Business (1949), both tunes written by Hank. The Boogie rhythm is apparent in both tunes, although it is slowed down in Mind Your Own Business, which is more of a blues song. In Move it On Over, Hank writes the melody line by taking the eighth notes of the Boogie progression and putting them to good use in the verses.

Hank Williams died at age 29 in Oak Hill, West Virginia, before dawn on New Year’s Day, 1953, en route to his next scheduled performance that evening in Canton, Ohio. There were several other Country Music artists booked to perform in Canton that evening, with Hank scheduled to close the show. At the Canton show, the MC opened by announcing to the audience that Hank had passed away. The audience began to laugh, thinking that Hank had had too much to drink and was unable to perform. Then, all the performers came on stage and began to sing “I Saw The Light”. Before the end of the first stanza, the crowd was standing and singing with the performers. Hank Williams is gone, but his music and his musical influence live on here.

In the next post we add a horn section to the piano, electric guitars and vocals.

Rock on!


Move It On Over-Hank Williams & Drifting Cowboys-MGM 10033(1947)
Mind Your Own Business-Hank Williams & Drifting Cowboys-MGM 78 rpm No. 10461(1949)

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