His recording career lasted only six years, his spell at the top of his profession barely four, and he was only twenty-nine when a life of excess caught up with him. But in that brief span, Hank Williams created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. Songs like "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Hey Good Lookin'" and "Jambalaya" sold ...Read MoreHis recording career lasted only six years, his spell at the top of his profession barely four, and he was only twenty-nine when a life of excess caught up with him. But in that brief span, Hank Williams created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. Songs like "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Hey Good Lookin'" and "Jambalaya" sold millions, crossed over from the country to the pop charts, and became the model for all country music that followed. But by the time of his death, Hank had drunk and drugged and philandered his way through two messy marriages and out of his headline spot on the Grand Ole Opry. Even though he was country's top seller, toward the end he was so famously unreliable that he was lucky to get a booking in a beer hall. Drawing on years of impeccable research and powerful first-person accounts to create the most full-blooded portrait of Williams ever, Hank Williams: The Biography is a masterful account of Hank Williams's stunning rise and spectacular decline. It discards the myths to reveal a driven, disorderly life, one that swung between unimaginable success and unutterable miseries. He was raised by a woman who alternately lavished affection on him and made unreasonable demands. His impoverished childhood sent him onto the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, to earn money first by selling peanuts, later by singing. He left behind a stormy home life for an even stormier marriage to a would-be singer who grew increasingly embittered by Hank's success - and by his drinking and endless touring. That marriage ended in a nasty divorce, and the next began in a media circus, a public wedding in an auditorium with spectators paying to watch. Just weeks after his secondmarriage, his life spiraled out of control, finally leaving Hank dead in the backseat of his Cadillac on New Year's Day 1953. This biography unfolds Williams's life and times in telling detail, with extraordinary attention to the music that is his legacy. It also reveals much thRead Less
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