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Hank Williams And The Big Huerta Know Men With Broken Hearts

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Hiram King Williams, or as country and city folk know him, good ol’ “Hank”. He was born in Alabama, moved to Babylonia, got a condo made of stone-a. Funky Tut…Tut…the ladies loved his style…rockin’ for a mile. Now this Mr. Williams fella is known as one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century. Yes, one could say Hank was one of the first rock stars…meaning he died at the ripe young age of 29. Twenty nine folks. In those 29 years Hank wrote 35 top ten singles on the Billboard Country and Western charts. Eleven of those placed at Numero Uno. This means “Number One” to our friends north of the border. Now dig, Hank couldn’t even read music let alone notate on a staff. In fact, he couldn’t even be a staff sergeant due to his uncontrolled drinking. This drinking may have led him to make the decision to marry his manager. For the grace of God, it wasn’t Colonel Tom Parker but Audrey Sheppard, whom he later divorced. Oh, but Big Huerta, you mean without Hank we wouldn’t have Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley or Kenney Chesney??? Now don’t blame Hank for these poseurs. Those peeps are the results of many years of inbreeding and media flatulence. Let us look at the good side of this..Hank influenced Johnny Cash, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, even Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III, not to mention George Hamilton I-IV, were influenced by The Hillbilly Shakespeare! This man is both a member of The Country Music and Rock and Roll Hall of Fames. No, I am not gonna list all of his hits, they are too numerous, but TBH does recommend Hank Williams 24 Greatest Hits on MGM Records. Now folks, I am just touching on the life of Luke the Drifter..please for more info check out the several books written by Colin Escott or Paul Hemphill. Hank passed away in the back of a Cadillac in 1952 on the way to a gig with morphine, B12, chloral hydrate and alcohol found in his system.

I painted this portrait of Hank in a sepia tone. I can’t imagine seeing Hank Williams in color…for me he exists in a time that will always be in black and white…it would be like seeing The Three Stooges in color or Rick Neilson and Bun E. Carlos in color. I also mixed a fair amount of yellow for his skin tone, a sort of jaundiced look*. I tried to give him a sort of glazed demonic look in his eye. The background is red, white and blue, all blurry and hazy, no definition…for Hank was truly Americana, dealing with the things that we all face, lovesick blues and the thought of never leaving this world alive. RIP Hank. A special thanks to Steve Crawford- for getting me back in touch with some truly inspiring music and to Iman Lababedi, for his patience, friendship, faith in me, and the opportunity to express myself in his wonderful and informative website. You are a good man, sir, Bless you. *(I must be real and acknowledge the harm that alcohol will do to a person. My heart goes out to those that fight the battle with the bottle. If it is anyone out there that is reading this, please, get help, not only for yourself but for your loved ones. It is an excruciatingly painful process to watch someone that you love destroy themselves.) Until next time, stay strong, TBH

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