He was a defining force in modern country music, an innovator who’s songs foreshadowed rock’n’roll, a songwriter who’s influence far outlived his tragically short life, and earned a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Citation. Hank Williams was called ‘country music’s first superstar’ by the Encyclopedia Britannica – and it’s hard to argue that.
This Sunday (Sep.17th) marks the 100th anniversary of Hank’s birth – and the perfect day for me to spotlight this amazing figure.
Whether you’re a country music fan – or just love great music – I hope you’ll join me for a dozen of Hank’s classic songs, including his first recordings, some rarely-heard live performances and a few songs released after his untimely death at just 29. Another of his nicknames was ‘The Hillbilly Shakespeare’ – tune in to make your own opinion.
Next week also marks Leonard Cohen’s birthday – he once sang of Hank Williams ‘a hundred floors above me in the tower of song.’ In the show’s first hour – ‘Our Sunday Best – A Century of #1 Hits’ (2-3pm), I’ll play chart-topping songs from this week in 1932, ’42, ’52, ’62, ‘and 72 … and I’ll tell you ‘The Story Behind the Song‘ ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’. It’ll be a great show – I hope you’ll tune in from 2:00 to 4:30.