New Year’s marks 60 years since Hank Williams departure

Hank Williams’ music, mystery, legacy lives on
Posted on December 28, 2012 by Peter Cooper, The Tennessean

Hank Williams Sr.Sixty years ago, right about now, 29-year-old Hank Williams was getting ready to go.

He thought he was heading from Montgomery, Ala., to Canton, Ohio, to play a New Year’s Day show.

But he was heading to Birmingham, after taking a shot of morphine. Doctor’s orders. Or rather, Hank’s orders, to the doctor. His back hurt, all the time.

Beyond Birmingham, where he slept on Dec. 30, Hank was heading to Knoxville, to Corryton and Blaine and Bristol in Tennessee, to Bluefield up in West Virginia. And then on to Princeton and Mt. Hope, W.Va., and then to the great beyond. Maybe not so great, who knows? Anyway, the beyond.

Which is why 10 years ago I wrote a story about the death of Hank Williams, on the 50th anniversary of all that dreariness. (Read that story here.)