Hank Williams Jr. Recalls Near Death Experience, Talks New Music
Hank Williams, Jr. has lived a story-filled life. The son of the late Hank Williams, Hank Jr. shares the tales of his early performances with his father and a fall that nearly cost the singer his life to Rolling Stone Country.
"When Mother put me out on stage at eight years old, everyone wanted me to be just like Daddy," he recalls. "So I would go out there and sing 'Your Cheatin' Heart,' and 'Hey, Good Lookin',' and the people would go crazy. As I got older and started to realize that I needed to create my own sound and identity, it took people back. They really didn't want me to do anything but Hank Williams [Sr.] music."
As the singer was gearing up to release his own material in 1975, Hank Williams, Jr. and Friends, he faced a major hurdle. In August of 1975, he fell nearly 500 feet when climbing Ajax Mountain in Montana. He suffered multiple skull and facial fractures from the fall, and didn't think he'd ever sing again. When he awoke in his hospital room he saw June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash.
"Many people don't realize that June Carter Cash was my godmother. She and Mother were very tight. When I fell, there were only two people I saw when I woke up in the hospital bed, and that was Johnny and June," Williams recalls. "June put a cross on me and told me it was all going to be OK. I never knew if I would sing again or not, talk again or not, let alone think about what I was going to look like. It was a scary time, but having people like Waylon [Jennings], Johnny and June around really helped me."
Since 1975, Hank Jr. has made a name for himself in the music world. He continues to tour and release new music. Most recently he signed a deal with Nash Icon Records, with an album due out in 2016.
"We have made an album that is pure magic," Williams says of the album. "The songs — some I wrote and others I got from great songwriters — are typical Hank Jr. songs and I think will connect with anyone who hears them."
"Remember this one: 'Dress Like an Icon,'" he asserts. "That's all I'm gonna tell you!"
Hank Williams, Jr. will join Eric Church at the CMA Awards on Nov. 4 for the world premiere of Williams’ new Nash Icon release, "Are You Ready For the Country."
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