Today was the day in 1952 that Hank Williams, the King of Country music, was fired from the Grand Ole Opry for missing rehearsals due to his excessive use of alcohol. The Opry promised that they would Reinstate Hank Williams after he sobered up, but Hank Williams died New Year’s Day of 1953, and was never able to rejoin the institution that he loved so much, and that he was seminal in making a national treasure.
Today there is a movement to Reinstate Hank Williams back to the Grand Ole Opry, spearheaded by his grandson Hank Williams III, including an online petition. More info can be found at reinstatehank.org.
Coincidentally, yesterday it was announced that there is a new feature film in the works based on the life of Hank Williams. From variety.com:
“Nashville-based 821 Entertainment Group and Strike Entertainment have teamed to turn the life of country music icon Hank Williams into a feature film. The package includes cooperation with the Hank Williams estate that gives the production use of his most memorable recordings. Also, 821 has optioned the rights to “Hank Williams: The Biography,” a book by Colin Escott that is being used as a resource by Abraham. Escott will be associate producer.
“”It took us almost five years to execute this deal, and people told us we were crazy to try because the estate was so fractured,” Geadelmann said. On one side of the estate is singer Hank Williams Jr., and on the other is Jett Williams, the illegitimate daughter of the late singer, born days after he died. They haven’t seen eye to eye on much, but they did get together on the biopic.
“”He was the first real star who went down as the result of his lifestyle, succeeded by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain,” Abraham said. “He destroyed himself, but for six years leading to his death, Hank had six songs each year in the top 10.” Though it’s early, Abraham believes that original recordings will likely be used in the film. Williams’ story was previously told on the bigscreen in the 1964 George Hamilton starrer “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”
To read more, click here.
And last but not least, Hank Williams fans in and around Cincinnati are trying to raise money to put a Hank Williams plaque up at the Herzog Studios where Hank Williams recorded some of his most memorable songs. On Aug. 22nd there is going to be a benefit concert, and to see the poster with all the details for the event click here. And thanks to Neltner Creative is responsible for that poster, and for most of the art of the the Reinstate Hank movement.
It is great to see that so many years after the death of Hank Williams, his legacy is still alive in the hearts of his fans.