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Hank Williams: Lost Highway
Cast and Crew
Notes on
Hank Williams:
Timeline
Dear Hank
Bibliography
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Press/Reviews
Hank Williams: Lost Highway
A Hank Williams Timeline

1923
September
Hiram “Hank” Williams is born in Mount Olive West, Alabama; his father notes a “raised spot” on his spine, a symptom of spina bifuda.

1925
November
The Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting from Nashville.

1931
Hank’s mother buys Hank his first guitar and enrolls him in a singing school.

1933
While living with cousins, Hank begins drinking.

1934
Hank begins busking on the streets, taking informal lessons from Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne.

1939
Having dropped out of high school, Hank plays regular gigs in local honky tonks.

1942
October
Roy Acuff and Fred Rose form Acuff-Rose Publications.

1943
August
Hank meets Audrey Mae Sheppard Guy, aged 21 and married to a serviceman.

1944
December
Days after Audrey’s divorce, she and Hank are married by a Justice of the Peace at a gas station on the way to a gig.

1946
September
Hank and Audrey visit Nashville, where they introduce themselves to Fred Rose; Fred signs Hank to a contract within months.

1947
August
Hank's first MGM single, “Move It On Over,” peaks at #4.

1948
May
Audrey divorces Hank, but she has it annulled in August.
August Hank debuts on the “Louisiana Hayride” radio program.

1949
May
“Lovesick Blues” becomes Hank’s first #1 hit; he will record ten more #1 hits in the next three years, including 2 posthumous #1s.
June Hank debuts at the Grand Ole Opry, garnering seven or more curtain calls; the appearance turns Hank into one of the top-drawing artists of the era.

1951
May
Hank is hospitalized for an operation on his spine and detoxification.
July Hank stars in the “Hank Williams Homecoming” in Montgomery, supported by the Carter Family and Chet Atkins.
August Hank headlines the Hadacol Caravan Medicine Show, co-starring Minnie Pearl, Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante and Carmen Miranda.

1952
January
Audrey files for divorce a second time.
August Hank is fired from the Grand Ole Opry.
December Hank agrees to perform on New Year’s Day; late on New Year’s Eve, on the drive to the concert, Hank passes away; he was 29.

1953
January
An estimated 25,000 people attend Hank’s funeral service.


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