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I have always enjoyed Hank Williams. I swear it seems as if I was raised on a piece of him. My mom would always play Hank Williams' records (along with some Johnny Cash). It's hard to imagine that the man had such a short life, yet managed to make such an impact on all of us. Hank Williams Sr. manages to live to this day, in some ways. His music is still played, every day. His influence has an impact on every singer. His tunes and lyrics are known and loved around the world. Hank Williams is nothing less than a legend.





"Was Hank Williams A Cajun?"


It's easy to answer the famous part of this, but is Hank Williams a famous Cajun? The short answer is no, as far as we can tell, but his ties to Louisiana through his music has led many people to believe otherwise. Hank Williams was born in Mount Olive, Alabama on September 17, 1923. His father was Elonzo Huble Williams, and his mother was Jessie Lillybelle Williams. To the best of our knowledge, neither of Hank Williams' parents were Cajuns, so neither was Hank.


A great picture of Hank Williams Sr.  Without a doubt, Hank Williams was one of the greatest country music singers ever.


But if Hank Williams was not a Cajun, why do so many people think that he was? That's a good question. One reason is that Hank Williams Sr performed all over Louisiana for years, and was broadcast on the "Louisiana Hay Ride". The primary reason that so many people believe this is because of a few of his songs. The main song of his that would lead you to believe this is his most famous one- "Jambalaya". This has become one of my favorite "Cajun" songs as well. If nothing else, it is a song that everyone in Louisiana can relate to. Here are the lyrics to Jambalaya (On The Bayou):


Goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, well have good fun on the bayou.

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a file gumbo
Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, well have big fun on the bayou.

Thibodeaux, Fontenot, the place is buzzin
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style, go hog wild, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou.

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a file gumbo
Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou.

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a fillet gumbo
Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere a mio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou.
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou.
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou!



"Hank Williams Career"


The career of Hank Williams Sr was very short, but the impact he had on country music was huge. In just a few years, Hank Williams had ten number one hits, and many more top ten hits. Very few singers have approached this achievement in a career that lasts forty years, much less the six years that Hank Williams was recording.


He was originally named Hiram Williams, but he changed his name to Hank Williams when he was only 14 years old because he thought that it sounded more like a country singer's name. After school was over every day, and on the weekends, young Hank would play his guitar in front of the local radio station in Montgomery, Alabama. The owners of the station liked his music, so they eventually asked Hank Williams to come into the station and perform a few songs on the air. So manu listeners loved the music and called the station to ask for more, so the station ended up giving Hank Williams Sr his own radio show. This radio show became so popular that Hank ended up dropping out of school when he was only 16 to perform all over Alabama with his new band. the Drifting Cowboys. Hank Williams career in country music would rise rapidly soon thereafter.


Standing and singing in the mike.  Hank Williams Sr is a true legend.


When Hank Williams was twenty years old he married Audrey Shepard. Audrey became his manager as the band toured states along the south. Just three years after marrying Audrey, Hank Williams Sr recorded his first two hits- "Never Again" & "Honky Tonkin". When he was just 25, Hank joined the Louisiana Hayride that was broadcast from Shreveport, Louisiana. When he was only 26 he performed "Lovesick Blues" at the Grand Ole Opry, and he was rewarded with a record setting six encores. During this same year, Audrey gave birth to their son Hank Williams Jr.


Hank Williams career was a wild and turbulent ride. As a result of chronic back pain, he became addicted to alcohol, morphine, and other pain killers. When he was just 29 the Grand Ole Opry fired Hank Williams, and told him to not return until he sobered up. He returned to performing for the Louisiana Hayride, and divorced Audrey and married Billie Jean Jones Eshlimar. This wedding was a huge event that was held at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium. More than 14,000 people bought tickets to attend it.


On January 1, 1953 Hank Williams career came to an end. Only 29 years old, he injected himself with morphine and B12. One of the greatest country music careers ended tragically on that day, but the legacy of Hank Williams lives on.




"Hank Williams Songs"


Hank Williams recorded so many great songs over his short career. His music dominated country radio, and even crossed over to mainstream music. Virtually everyone knows at least a few lines from at least one song of his. The following is a partial list of Hank Williams songs:


  • 1947- "Never Again (Will I Knock on Your Door)", "Calling You", "Wealth Won't Save Your Soul", "When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels", "My Love for You (Has Turned to Hate)", "I Don't Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes)", "Pan American", "Honky Tonkin", "Move It On Over", "I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep", "On the Banks of the Old Pontchartrain", "Fly Trouble"


  • 1948- "My Sweet Love Ain't Around", "Rootie Tootie", "Honky Tonkin'", "I'll Be a Bachelor 'Til I Die", "I'm a Long Gone Daddy", "The Blues Come Around", "I Saw The Light", "Six More Miles (To the Graveyard)", "A Mansion on the Hill", "I Can't Get You Off of My Mind"


  • 1949- "Lovesick Blues", "Never Again (Will I Knock on Your Door)", "Wedding Bells", "I've Just Told Mama Goodbye", "Mind Your Own Business", "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight", "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)", "Lost Highway", "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It", "I'm So Lonesome I could Cry"


  • 1950- "I Just Don't Like This Kind of Living", "May You Never Be Alone", "Long Gone Lonesome Blues", "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy", "Why Don't You Love Me", "A House Without Love", "A House Without Love", "Why Should We Try Anymore?", "They'll Never Take Her Love from Me", "Moanin' the Blues", "Nobody's Lonesome for Me"


  • 1951- "Cold, Cold Heart", "Dear John", "Howlin' at the Moon", "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)", "Hey Good Lookin", "My Heart Would Know", "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle", "Crazy Heart", "Baby, We're Really in Love", "I'd Still Want You"


  • 1952- "Honky Tonk Blues", "I'm Sorry for You, My Friend", "Half As Much", "Let's Turn Back the Years", "Jambalaya (On The Bayou)", "Window Shopping", "Settin' the Woods on Fire", "You Win Again", "I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive", "I Could Never Be Ashamed of You"


  • 1953- "Kaw-Liga", "Your Cheatin' Heart", "Take These Chains from My Heart", "Ramblin' Man", "I Won't Be Home No More", "My Love for You", "Weary Blues from Waitin'", "I Can't Escape from You"


  • 1955- "Please Don't Let Me Love You", "Faded Love and Winter Roses"


  • 1966- "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (re-released), "You Win Again"


  • 1976- "Why Don't You Love Me" (re-release), "Ramblin' Man"


  • 1989- "There's a Tear in My Beer"


In closing, here are the lyrics to my favorite Hank Williams Sr song, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry":


Hear the lonesome whiperwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I'm so lonesome I could cry

I've never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind a cloud
To hide its face and cry

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves begin to die
That means he's lost the will to live
I'm so lonesome I could cry

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry





The information contained on this page is unofficial. In no way is endorsed, supported, or affiliated with the estate of Hank Williams Sr, or the owners of any materials contained herein. We are just huge fans of his music! These lyrics and pictures belong to their respective copyright owners. If you would like to visit the official Hank Williams Sr web site, please go to: Hank Williams Sr Official Site.


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