Hank Williams – Long Gone Lonesome Blues

19th September 2023 · 1950, 1950s, Country, Music

Hank Williams would have been 100 years old on Sunday. Instead he died, on New Year’s Day 1953, at the age of 29.

He was the first superstar of country music – he had 50 hit singles including 12 chart toppers – and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

He’s also one of the missing links between black and white music, having learned guitar from a black street performer, Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne.m Listening to Hank the first time made me realise that country music, in its original pre-Nashville form, really is the white man’s blues.

Hank really did have the blues: born with spina bifida, his life was plagued by back pain, morphine adduction and alcoholism.

He wrote so many great songs – Jambalaya, Honky Tonkin’, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Hey Good Lookin’ – but this has always been my favourite.