229,744, This story has been shared 174,522 times. “It is unimportant whether you liked his songs, whether in your opinion he created ugliness or beauty. The funeral was held in the city auditorium in order that more people might attend but the crowd had to wait outside that cold January day." A rookie Tennessee highway patrol officer, Swann Kitts, told reporters he had stopped the Cadillac and fined Carr $25 for speeding, The United Press reported on Jan. 2, 1952. In the back seat lay country music superstar Hank Williams, dead for several hours, probably from an accidental overdose of morphine and whiskey. She was 27 years old. “If this world should last a thousand years,” Lyons said, “Hank shall remain dear to millions of hearts.”. When new wife Billie Jean asked what was the matter, she claimed his reply was, “I think I see God comin’ down the road.”. “In recent years, a Knoxvillian . At the time, Carr’s nervous account of the final few hours of the journey were enough to raise questions of foul play, especially when some witnesses — including a police officer — oddly claimed to have seen a soldier also riding in the car. It was all in Hank’s heart. 149,274, © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved The car in which Hank Williams passed his last few hours and died on New Year's Day, 1953 is exhibited at the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. The Journal that day reported WSFA received hundreds of calls and telegrams requesting the station play his songs. Hank Williams fans wanted to mark this spot for posterity. In 1953, months after Hank Sr.'s death, Williams paid his second wife Billie Jean Jones $30,000 to relinquish the title of "Hank Williams' Widow". The death of Katherine Williams-Dunning, the 27-year-old daughter of singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr., has been felt across the across the country community and beyond. But inclement weather meant they couldn’t get to Charleston, so the concert was canceled and they instead made a pit stop at the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville, Tenn. Williams had already been drinking when he was given a shot of B12 and morphine by the hotel doctor. Country singer, Sam Williams is breaking his silence with a number of social media posts just days after his sister, Katherine Williams-Dunning's passing. “Alabamians mourned the death of ‘their Hank,’ expressing themselves to newspapers, radio stations and to relatives staying at the home of the star’s mother,” that report continued. Stars of the Grand Ole Opry were expected along with thousands of fans to bid farewell to Williams. She was 27. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously). (AP Photo)ASSOCIATED PRESS. On the early morning hours on New Year's Day 1953, while traveling through West Virginia on the way to a show in Canton, Ohio, Hank Williams died in his sleep in the back seat of his Cadillac limousine at the age of 29. Here are more vintage images and stories of Alabama’s past. Hank Williams first auditioned for the Grand Ole Opry in 1946, but he did not make the cut. According to reports, Hank’s friend Darwin Dobbs, who had hosted Hank at his Lake Martin fishing lodge, posted Hank’s $25 bond, and paid the $10 fine for Hank to be released. Her brother is singer Sam Williams who opened for Cam on her UK tour last year. Stopping for gas in Oak Hill, West Virginia, Carr realized Williams was dead. But one big thing is left out of the movie: the singer’s mysterious death. This was the scene in Montgomery's Municipal Auditorium Jan. 4, 1953 as thousands filed past the open casket of singer-composer Hank Williams who died Jan. 1, 1953 at the age of 29. https://www.grunge.com/207260/the-tragic-real-life-story-of-hank-williams The day after Williams died, The Montgomery Advertiser recalled Williams as a former peanut vendor who learned to play guitar at age 6. When the singer’s death was announced to the waiting crowd at the Palace Theatre in Canton, they sang Williams’ “I Saw the Light” in unison. Some local citizens, however, didn't want Oak Hill to be remembered as the death site. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! In 1953, Williams died of a heart attack at age 29 after years of alcohol and prescription drug abuse, and his influence lived on in more ways than just as an artist. Hank Williams' death car is located in downtown Montgomery on the east side of Commerce St. just north of Bibb St. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Lyons recalled how Hank rose from being a shoeshine boy to star of the stage. She was married to Hank Williams and Erskine Guy. Hank Williams at his last personal appearance, December 28, 1952. Around 1988 WTVK Channel 26 in Knoxville, TN had a series of videos they did on country music. She died on November 4, 1975 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Below are excerpts of the Jan. 2, 1953, The Tennessean article on the death of country legend Hank Williams. He was 29. According to the Beckley Register-Herald, Oak Hill is "an area where ultra-conservative values conflicted with [Hank's] rambling lifestyle and reputation as a boozer." Hank Williams had been on thin ice with the organisers of Nashville’s already-fabled concert and broadcast institution, The Grand Ole Opry, when he pushed his luck too far on August 9, 1952. While her son was not on the stage, his song ‘I Saw The Light’ opened the show. They did one on Hank Sr and the story of his last day. He died of a heart attack at the age of 29 in 1953 in the backseat of his Cadillac. But when Stone died herself just two years later, Jett was put into foster care. Your Ad Choices Hank Williams, Dead Here. “Reporters answering telephoned queries concerning Williams’ death said many of the callers cried when informed that the reports were true.”. Williams-Dunning was driving a 2007 Chevy Tahoe towing a boat when it crossed the dividing median of … The art included in this digital article did not run with the original story. As the singer was exiting the jail, the famous picture of a shirtless, gaunt, and unshaved Hank Williams was snapped. Katherine is one of two children born to Hank Jr. and his third wife, Mary Jane Thomas. Most accounts have Williams looking and sounding groggy, and hotel porters allegedly had to carry him to the car. Montgomery, Alabama - Family at Hank Williams memorial unveiling. “The lanky guitar player with twangy voice began his musical career in Montgomery, singing over WSFA,” the newspaper reported. But suspicions about this final journey arose immediately. This story has been shared 229,744 times. Local lore also places Williams at a Knoxville hospital getting a second shot of morphine — this in addition to the one administered by the hotel doctor — that might have caused a drug overdose. has been telling people he was the doorman at the Andrew Johnson, and he says Hank was conscious and joking when he left.” Carr had insisted that Williams couldn’t have been dead in Knoxville, because they had spoken briefly in the car after leaving town. As people across his native Alabama picked up their morning newspapers that first morning of 1953, they were greeted with the tragic news Williams had died. A single-vehicle crash in Tennessee on Saturday night resulted in the death of the 27-year-old daughter of country music singer Hank Williams Jr., according to reports. Do Not Sell My Personal Information. As the rest of the world would soon learn, country music singer and composer Hank Williams had quietly rolled into town early that day in the backseat of his brand-new, baby-blue Cadillac convertible. Heart failure and hard living did him in. Williams-Dunning died … Hiriam King Williams (Hank, Sr.) died on New Years Day, 1953, from a combination of alcoholism and prescription pain killers from a back injury. Daughter of country music legend Hank Williams Jr. dies in car crash, authorities say. At the age of 29, he was dead. She is known for her work on Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar (1965), Your Cheatin' Heart (1964) and Country Music on Broadway (1965). The daughter of Hank Williams Jr.---27-year-old Katherine Williams-Dunning---died in a car accident Saturday (6-13) night on Highway 79 near West Antioch Road northeast of Paris, Tennessee. Thanks for contacting us. In 1975, Hank Williams Jr., then 26, fell off Ajax Mountain in Montana, sustaining serious injuries that required multiple surgeries. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/how-did-hank-williams-really-die Before it was over, some 20,000 people had filled the auditorium and the street outside for what was described as the largest funeral in Montgomery’s history. “You wrote only what you felt boil up inside you. Officials listed his cause of death as heart failure but noted that body contusions meant he had recently been in a fight. On Saturday, it was reported that Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country singer Hank Williams Jr., died as a result of a car crash. Instead, Williams died 67 years ago, on Jan. 1, 1953. Wikimedia Commons With the 50th anniversary of Williams' death approaching, plans call for another tribute concert and a retracing of Hank's final journey. The art included in this digital article did not run with the original story. Hank Williams in his coffin. In 1949, however, following the release of his hit "Lovesick Blues," it was a different story. Long plagued by alcoholism, Williams fell ill at the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville on the last night of 1952. On January 1, 1953, Hank Williams, Country Music Star and idol of millions, was found dead in the back seat of a chauffeured car on his way to a gig in West Virginia. At his mother’s request, the concert in Canton went on as planned. She was married to Hank Williams and Erskine Guy. Wynette died in the same room where Williams' widow Audrey Williams died in 1975 of alcoholism. Hank Williams died on New Year’s Day 1953, Montgomery funeral drew 20,000 mourners al.com - Jeremy Gray. . Audrey Williams was born on February 28, 1923 in Banks, Alabama, USA as Audrey Sheppard. According to reports, Hank’s friend Darwin Dobbs, who had hosted Hank at his Lake Martin fishing lodge, posted Hank’s $25 bond, and paid the $10 fine for Hank to be released. She died on November 4, 1975 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Williams, at the tender age of … He was born in Georgiana, Al., in 1923 as Hiram King Williams, and he died of a heart attack in 1953. Katherine Williams-Dunning was 27. Below are excerpts of the Jan. 2, 1953, The Tennessean article on the death of country legend Hank Williams. He was driving Hank Williams, 29, who died that night. Lillie Stone, Audrey Williams, and Hank Williams, Jr., seated on a bed while looking through letters and cards received after the death of Hank Williams, Sr. On the evening of Dec. 30, 1952, the restless, rail-thin 29-year-old tossed and turned in bed at his home in Montgomery, Ala. This was the scene in Montgomery's Municipal Auditorium Jan. 4, 1953 as thousands filed past the open casket of singer-composer Hank Williams who died Jan. 1, 1953 at the age of 29. Hank’s first and second wives watched from the front pew. He is the son of Hank Williams, one of country music’s most iconic figures, who died in 1953 at age 29 after writing a long string of hit songs. On June 11, 1949, Williams made his live Grand Ole Opry debut. Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights new years day 1953 his current hit song was i’ll never get out of this world alive at the age of 29 hank williams sr. died in the back seat of his cadillac somewhere between knoxville, tenn. and oak hill, west virginia while enroute to a show in canton, ohio. The house formerly belonged to country music legend Hank Williams. 174,522, This story has been shared 149,274 times. The daughter of country music star Hank Williams Jr. has died in a car crash. Katherine Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country music singer Hank Williams Jr. and his third wife, Mary Jane, died in a car accident in Tennessee on Saturday evening. His funeral was held the next day, Sunday Jan. 4, 1953, at Montgomery’s City Auditorium. Country singer, Sam Williams is breaking his silence with a number of social media posts just days after his sister, Katherine Williams-Dunning's passing. ‘Agents of SHIELD’ star Chloe Bennet tests positive for COVID-19, Harry Styles and Phoebe Waller-Bridge twin in ‘Treat People With Kindness’ video, Billy Porter glows in Times Square and more star snaps, ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Star Dawn Wells Dies of COVID-19 at 82, © 2021 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Fans baffled by Cyndi Lauper's awkward New Year's Eve performance, Kirk Cameron holds another maskless COVID event to 'pray' for country. Just before midnight, Carr set about getting Williams to a planned New Year’s Day show in Canton, Ohio. Some biographers (including Colin Escott, whose book “I Saw the Light” provides the basis for the film) have suggested that Williams may have even died at the Andrew Johnson in Knoxville, and that Carr had unwittingly driven several hundred miles with a corpse. . This being the days of Jim Crow, the 200 Black mourners were in a segregated balcony. But as Jack Neely, executive director of the Knoxville History Project, explains, local folklore tells a different story. A doctor injected Williams with B12 and morphine and porters carried the legendary singer-songwriter to the car. She is known for her work on Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar (1965), Your Cheatin' Heart (1964) and Country Music on Broadway (1965). The daughter of country music legend, Hank Williams Jr., has passed away. Meet the 81-year-old living in a 22,000-square-foot NYC mansion rent-free, This 19-year-old is 2020's 'Most Beautiful' woman in the world, Accused ‘Soho Karen’ attacker in Keyon Harrold Jr. case is identified, Ex-Bears Super Bowl champ arrested on murder charge, Biden to block Trump's 'midnight regulations', - Hank Williams to wife Billie Jean shortly before he died, Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston, who plays Hank Williams, in “I Saw the Light.”. Terms of Use In 1975, Hank Williams Jr. found his voice but almost lost his life. https://allthingsoflife.com/the-strange-death-of-country-star-hank-williams Privacy Notice “I actually wrote 13 pages for that scene but took them out because they felt superfluous,” explains Abraham. About six or seven hours later, on the morning of Jan. 1, 1953, Carr realized his passenger was dead and already beset with rigor mortis. “To have a kid [Carr] turn around, feel his pulse and realize [Williams] was dead, it felt anticlimactic.”, Besides, Neely adds, “No matter which account you pick, there are going to be people who say, ‘That’s not how it happened.’ ”. Roy Acuff, along with a host of country’s biggest stars, performed “I Saw The Light.”. “He was one of the finest young men that we ever knew,” Acuff said. The important thing is that he made millions of people happy,” an editorial in The Advertiser stated on Jan. 3, 1953. The prolific musician and performer wrote songs such as "Your Cheatin' Heart," drank too much whiskey, had family problems. Katherine Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country singer Hank Williams Jr., died in a car accident on June 13, 2020, as first reported by WKRN.She was 27. One woman was carried out after she collapsed. Carr was 17, a freshman on break from Auburn. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. His … Both women had been using the description professionally. Hiram "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. It was also something that was suggested by the initial police report. Sitemap But when Stone died herself just two years later, Jett was put into foster care. Celebrity Deaths in 2020 Read article Police found empty beer cans and unfinished song lyrics in the Cadillac where Williams died. Oak Hill, West Virginia. As the singer was exiting the jail, the famous picture of a shirtless, gaunt, and unshaved Hank Williams was snapped. Williams had married his second wife, Billie Jean Jones in October 1952, as 14,000 people looked on in Louisiana where Williams hosted radio shows after being fired from the Grand Ole Opry in August of that year. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It was swelling in him like a great body of water behind a massive dam,” Lyons said. (An audio recording of the funeral begins at the 7:30 mark of the video below.). This story has been shared 174,522 times. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). Born six days after Hank Williams died, Jett was adopted by Hank's mother Lillie Stone. Just before dawn on New Year's Day, 1953, a baby blue Cadillac pulled into the Pure Oil gas station on the south end of Oak Hill. Within 48 hours of Williams’ prediction, he had met his maker, but the circumstances surrounding how he died have given rise to one of music history’s greatest debates. “He was racked by physical and emotional afflictions, and these coupled with his gift of song, made him kin to millions.”. The death of Katherine Williams-Dunning, the 27-year-old daughter of singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr., has been felt across the across the country community and beyond. From The Montgomery Advertiser. Several people fainted in the crush of people which fire chief R. L. Lampley estimated at nearly 20,000. Hank Williams, the 29-year-old King of Country Music, was to have flown to Charleston, West Virginia for a New Year’s Eve concert but an ice storm … There’s so much conjecture that both “I Saw the Light” and the 1964 biopic “Your Cheatin’ Heart” chose to avoid depicting the final journey altogether. (Carr died in 2013 and, for much of his life, kept silent on his journey with Williams.). Hank Williams was country music's first megastar. The strange circumstances surrounding Hank Williams’ death quickly became apparent in the News Sentinel’s coverage back in 1953. They began to fill the auditorium hours before the afternoon funeral. A line of thousands filled two-and-a-half city blocks as the funeral procession carried Hank to Oakwood Cemetery. Katherine Williams-Dunning, 27, died … “He had a message. She cried out, “He’s gone ... gone” over and over as firefighters helped her out. We've received your submission. In a heartbreaking post, Holly Audrey Williams announced the death of her sister, who she called Katie, and shared the final family photo they took on Friday morning. “There was desire, burden, fear, ambition, reverse after reverse, bitter disappointment, joy, success, sympathy, love for people. ‘I think I see God comin’ down the road.’. She never remarried. Photo Credit The Strange Death of Country Music Star Hank Williams. Katherine Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country singer Hank Williams Jr., died in a car accident in Tennessee on Saturday, according to her sister. “I think he had a profound sadness in him,” says Marc Abraham, writer and director of the new biopic. Jones agreed to Williams' terms. Born six days after Hank Williams died, Jett was adopted by Hank's mother Lillie Stone. The daughter of country music star Hank Williams Jr. was killed in a single-vehicle automobile accident over the weekend in Tennessee. Having only recently recorded what would become some of his best-loved songs -- including ‘Kawliga’ and ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’ -- Williams performed his final concert in Austin, Texas on Dec. 19, 1952. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. They are in a bedroom in the home of Lillie (Hank Williams's mother) on North McDonough Street in Montgomery, Alabama. The singer, who suffered from a back problem, was given a sedative by his regular doctor — who had allegedly purchased a fake medical diploma through the mail and was rumored to frequently overprescribe — before setting off with a college student named Charles Carr acting as his driver. Your California Privacy Rights Hank Williams, the 29-year-old King of Country Music, was to have flown to Charleston, West Virginia for a New Year’s Eve concert but an ice storm near Nashville kept him away. There is a framework of events that is largely agreed upon, starting with Williams being chauffeured to a planned New Year’s Eve show in Charleston, W.Va. At cafes across the South, the paper added, his songs blared over radios as news of his death spread. The new biopic “I Saw the Light,” in theaters Friday, traces country legend Hank Williams’ struggles with alcohol, infidelity — and the weight of being one of the biggest music stars in the United States, following hits such as his cover of “Lovesick Blues” (1949) and his own “Why Don’t You Love Me” (1950). Instead, the Georgiana native hired a college student, Charles Carr, to drive him to perform a concert planned in Canton, Ohio. Audrey Williams was born on February 28, 1923 in Banks, Alabama, USA as Audrey Sheppard. By Danielle Garrand June 14, 2020 / 6:38 PM / CBS News Roy Acuff leads a host of country stars singing at the funeral of Hank Williams. Country music legends June Carter and Bill Monroe were among those who filed past his open casket as Hank’s band, The Drifting Cowboys, backed up those singing tributes to the fallen star. On Saturday, it was reported that Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country singer Hank Williams Jr., died as a result of a car crash. He died in the back seat of his Cadillac while being driven to a gig on New Year's Day 1953. “I told Carr that Williams looked dead but I did not press the point when Carr explained that Williams had been given two sedatives,” Kitts was quoted as saying. - Hank Williams to wife Billie Jean shortly before he died But suspicions about this final journey arose immediately. This story has been shared 149,274 times. This story has been shared 229,744 times. “He was dead on arrival at an Oak Hill hospital,” the front page of The Alabama Journal read. This is Hank Williams, Audrey Sheppard Williams and the Drifting Cowboys band in 1951. Country singer Hank Williams Jr.’s daughter Katherine Williams-Dunning has died at the age of 27 after a fatal car accident, Us Weekly can confirm. She was 27. That night, the singer’s body was taken back to Montgomery. It's three blocks west of city hall, or seven blocks east of I-65 exit 172. People from 35 states were said to have made the trip to say farewell to Hank. Williams and her son, Hank Jr., became estranged after he turned 18. E! Heavy Turbulence. This was the scene in Montgomery's Municipal Auditorium Jan. 4, 1953 as thousands filed past the open casket of singer-composer Hank Williams who died Jan. 1, 1953 at the age of 29. Carr drove through the night as Williams declined his offer to stop for food. The newlyweds spent Christmas 1952 with Williams’s mother in Montgomery. Dom Calicchio is … “Hank Williams had something that humanity universally needs -- a song with a heart-felt message.”. Ernest Tubbs began the funeral with “Beyond the Sunset” and Red Foley and The Statesman Quartet sang “Peace In The Valley.”. After a lengthy court battle in the 1980s, she was ruled to be one of her father's legal heirs and due to half of the family fortune. All rights reserved (About Us). Katherine Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country music legend Hank Williams Jr., died in a car crash Saturday night in Tennessee, authorities told CBS News. From The Birmingham News. “When he played on his guitar, he played on the heart-strings of millions,” pastor Henry Lyons of Highland Avenue Baptist Church told the crowd gathered on Perry Street. Katherine Williams-Dunning, the daughter of country singer Hank Williams Jr., died in a car accident on June 13, 2020, as first reported by WKRN.She was 27. Charles Carr told the AJC in 2002 he was the only witness when Hank Williams died. But one of the most interesting twists in the hotel’s history is tied to the life of legendary, hard-partying, country artist and Alabama son, Hank Williams. Katherine Williams-Dunning, the 27-year-old daughter of Hank Williams Jr, has tragically died in a one-car crash in Henry County, Tennessee. After a lengthy court battle in the 1980s, she was ruled to be one of her father's legal heirs and due to half of the family fortune. The break had to come,” he added. Williams … Asked if he feels that Oak Hill has taken advantage of the Hank Williams story, he replies, "Not nearly to the extent that it could have." Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. “Tom [Hiddleston, the actor portraying Williams] puts across that impending sense of doom. Twenty-nine-year-old Hank Williams and his teenage driver spent the night on the second floor of the Redmont Hotel in late December 1952. But clearly Williams' tragic death got in the way of that plan. You wrote only what happened to you and the people around you,” Advertiser columnist Allen Rankin wrote on the day of the funeral. But clearly Williams' tragic death got in the way of that plan. Hank Williams, byname of Hiram Williams, also called the Hillbilly Shakespeare, (born September 17, 1923, Georgiana, Alabama, U.S.—died January 1, 1953, Oak Hill, West Virginia), American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who in the 1950s arguably became country music ’s first superstar. "Hank's funeral drew the largest crowd ever to attend any funeral in Montgomery. Shelton Hank Williams (Hank III) is also a recording artist with a style very different from his father. Williams … Beside Hank’s coffin were two large wreaths shaped like guitars, another set of flowers was shaped like a Bible, two lamps were shining purple lights, and in his hands there was a small Bible. About 3,000 friends of the family shuffled through his mother’s living room on Montgomery’s North McDonough Street where Williams’ body was lain in state that Saturday night. Hank felt there was something bad around the corner.”. It was something he apparently saw coming. Hank Williams had been on thin ice with the organisers of Nashville’s already-fabled concert and broadcast institution, The Grand Ole Opry, when he pushed his luck too far on August 9, 1952.