Hank Williams Jr. Supports the Reinstate Hank Movement

September 15, 2011 - By Trigger  //  Causes  //  17 Comments

Or at least it would appear that way from a video recently brought to the attention of Saving Country Music.

The movement to reinstate Hank Williams into the Grand Ole Opry, or Reinstate Hank, was started by Hank Williams III shortly after preforming on the Grand Ole Opry for the 50th Anniversary of Hank Sr.’s passing in January of 2003. From the stage the youngest Hank said “So you’re going to be hearing a lot of Hank Williams songs tonight, but keep one thing in mind. After all this time, maybe it’s time we can get Hank Williams back, reinstated in the Grand Ole Opry. That would be a dream come true for a lot of people.”

Shortly afterward Hank3 talked to the President of the Opry, who Hank3 says told him, “We’ll never reinstate a dead guy.” In February of that year, an online petition was started to Reinstate Hank that now boasts over 50,900 signatures, including the signatures of Hank3, and Hank Jr’s daughters Hillary and Holly. But Hank Jr’s name remains conspicuously absent, and his public affiliation or support of the movement was thought to remain absent as well.

Reinstate Hank Merchandise Art

Hank3 and Hank Jr. have always had a strained relationship, and it became even more strained years later on a night when Hank3 was playing at The Bluegrass Inn on lower Broadway in Nashville, while Hank Jr. was down the road, performing at The Opry. Hank3 talked about the exchange of text messages that happened that night in the book Family Tradition: Three Generations of Hank Williams.

What I actually said was, “I hope you find somewhere else better to play than The Grand Ole Opry, until they show respects to your father.”  And Hank Jr’s reply was, “Well, I’m done with The Opry.”

Shortly thereafter, Hank Jr. and Holly were asked to perform at the Country Music Hall of Fame as part of their ongoing exhibit “Family Tradition: The Williams Family Legacy”. In the video below, Hank Jr., under his purple long sleeve shirt, is clearly sporting a Reinstate Hank shirt, like the ones sold at Hank3 shows.

Click To See Hank Jr. Video

Hank Jr.’s song “The Conversation”  carried the first public outcry for how the Grand Ole Opry had handled the late and great Hank Williams.

Back then they called him crazy, now a days they call him a saint
Most folks don’t know that they fired him from the Opry
And that caused his greatest pain

But for 5 years, for whatever reason, Hank Jr. remained silent about his son’s Reinstate Hank mission. He still might feel the need to veil his true feelings as a high-dollar, high-profile legacy country music celebrity franchise. But when you look deep down in Hank Jr.’s chest, you can tell where his heart is.

– – – –

Thanks to Adam Sheets of No Depression for alerting me to the video.

17 Comments to “Hank Williams Jr. Supports the Reinstate Hank Movement”

  • This Hoosier mama done already knows . . .Nashville has loyalty only to those who stay in line and even then they’ll turn on you.

    Reinstate Hank!


  • One would hope that this is a sign that III and Jr may be having better relations, though I still doubt we’ll ever hear them on an album together again or see them perform together.


  • Very surprising to see that shirt on ol’ Jr. Nice. According to my interview, the two still haven’t talked in a few years after 3’s buddy accidentally shot himself at Jr’s Ranch. Hopefully they can re-kindle soon.


  • Hank Jr got the REINSTATE HANK tshirt from me.
    It’s about damn time he supported SOMETHING that Hank 3 did…
    I love Hank 3 and wish him all the success in the world. He deserves it so much…


    • I agree Debi. Very much so.


    • I agree as well. Parents need to have their kids backs and kids need to have their parents backs in return. ‘Til now it seems that Jr. had failed on both ends.


  • Maybe if Shelton had been there Jr woulda come outta the closet and pulled off the Kid Rock shirt….jus thinkin…


  • […] Williams Jr. supports the Reinstate Hank movement (or at least wears the t-shirt), reports Saving Country […]


  • I think Dale Watson described Nashville best in “Nashville Rash”, when he sang the line. “You can’t grow if you rip your roots out of the ground”. Music in general has put art on the back burner in the wake if marketing and plastic imagery. I sympathize for future generations as there may be no inspiration left at the well…


  • That is great that Hank Jr. wears the Reinstate Hank shirt to show his support. Hope they will all join on one stage some day, Hank III, Hank Jr. Holly, Hillary, would be great when that would happen the day finally comes when Hank Sr. will be reinstated…


  • It’s a sad situation when fathers aren’t fathers to their sons (or daughters) and society has learned (or resolved) to just accept it. I would like to see a uniting of this family and for Hank Sr. to be reinstated as he should be.


  • Too little too late. Country music is dead. These people let it die. Thanks JR. If only you’d died at your daddys age and he lived as long as you.


  • So happy to hear this! I’m going to be doing a book signing at the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 14. What an honor that will be. If you haven’t already seen the Family Tradition exhibit, hurry because it’s closing at the end of this year!


  • Face it, Hank was a drunk plain and simple. Jr was a cocaine junkie until he to old, and “three” is a weed head and alkie as well.
    Someone we should reinstate and be proud to look up to? Someone I want my kids to look up to as “country legends? huumph!

    The fact is it’s Hanks own actions that got him fired, This movement is just more of the “blame somebody else” so popular in todays society.


    • WTF- You have some negatives/demons in their lives correct, but, in my opinion, the reinstate Hank is not about him being a role model, it is about places like the Opry using Hank’s image and likeness as if he is a member. How many members of the Opry reference Hank as an influence. How many posters and images of Hank are scattered around the Opry?

      If you’re going to judge musical artists on drinking and drugging, pal, you are going to be left with a really really short list to listen too.

      No one is blaming the Opry for firing a guy that didn’t show up for shows, or was to drunk to peform, we are blaming the Opry for using him up and spitting him out and then using his legend more egregiously.

      I don’t know who you consider role models for your kids, but how about using Hank as someone to look up to as a guy that had deep deep passion and love and put every ounce of his life (albeit stoned most of the time) but he put all he had into music.


    • well johnny cash a legend was an addict willie smoked weed

      waylon did drugs merle was in prison

      those right there some of the greatest in country music most remember them for their music everyone has skeletons in their closet that their not proud of doesn’t mean their bad people it just shows that they moved on from their past and are better for it , itd be differnt if most did it till they died but most stopped merle never went to prison after his time willie may smoke some but he supports the people against animal abuse so yeah he is a good guy all around …people change


  • My wife and I visited the Grand Ole Opry last night. I asked the tour guide if Hank Williams Sr. was fired from the Grand Ole Opry. The tour guide told me “Hank Williams was not fired from the Grand Ole Opry.” I asked if his plaque is on the two walls. The tour guide said “yes”. I did not see his plaque. Sounds like a serious coverup of history. Now I understand why the people of Montgomery, Alabama overwhelming love Hank Williams Sr to this day. You may be able to snub a great performer, but you cannot deny his talent. Thanks for telling the truth. God Bless Hank Williams Sr.


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