Hank3 Noticeably Absent on CMT Show Of Hank Williams Jr. Kids

If you know country music, you know the legacy of the Williams Family like the back of your hand. Hank Williams Sr. was country music’s first superstar of course, Hank Williams Jr. became a megastar himself, and if you’ve done your homework, you know about the performing sons and daughters of Hank Jr.—Hank Williams III, Hilary Williams, Holly Williams, and now Sam Williams.

Hank Williams III has put together an accomplished career by combining the influences of traditional country with punk and metal tendencies, and was signed with Curb Records contentiously for a decade, releasing a series of well-received albums including his magnum opus, Straight to Hell in 2006 before becoming a free agent. Holly Williams has also gained wide recognition as a songwriter and performer, regularly appearing on the Grand Ole Opry, releasing a well-regarded album called The Highway in 2013, and has a long-anticipated record produced by Dave Cobb still in the offing.

Hilary Williams released her official debut record in 2018 called My Lucky Scars, and Sam Williams has recently been coming up as well, combining classic and more contemporary country, and making appearances on the Grand Ole Opry too. Sam also has a sister Katie Williams. And then there’s the interesting case of Hank Williams IV.

Earlier in March, CMT launched a new series called “Another Round” that looks to capture performers in an intimate setting, and for their inaugural episode they featured the children of Hank Jr. in the round. Hilary, Holly, and Sam all sat on stools with acoustic accompaniment, singing their father’s “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound” to start, then Holly sang her well-regarded song “Drinkin’,” Hilary did her song “Crazy,” Sam sang “Can’t Fool Your Own Blood,” and then they all joined in for a rendition of “I Saw The Light.”

The inaugural episode of “Another Round” was really well done, and country fans have something to look forward to with future episodes. But noticeably absent from this assemblage of Hank Jr.’s progeny was Hank Williams III. Many of the comments on the video and on social media questioned why he wasn’t included in the presentation. Though it does feel like perhaps someone should have at least mentioned that there is another son of Hank that is a performer that wasn’t present in the round, we can’t take it for granted that Hank Williams III would have been present even if he was asked.

Hank3 has been absent from the public eye for nearly six years aside from a quick video appearance as part of a Outlaw country heavy metal tribute he was a part of in April of 2018. He released his last record in 2013, and played his last live performance the following year. In 2016, Hank3 explained that he had been forced to move from his infamous Haunted Ranch property in east Nashville, and that his dog Trooper had died, and that was the reason for the delay in either new music or touring dates. But that was the last major update we’ve had from him. He did say in both 2017 and 2018 that he would be seeing us again real soon.

Saving Country Music reached out to CMT to ask if Hank3 had been considered for participation in the presentation. They did not offer any public comment or clarification on the matter, but said they had a long-standing relationship with Holly Williams, and have been working closely with Hilary and Sam on their releases of new music over the past six months. That is how the idea for the collaboration came about.

Saving Country Music also reached out to the manager of Hank Williams III who said he was not contacted directly by anyone at CMT or anyone else with an invite, though he left open the possibility that someone may have reached out to Hank3 directly. Though Hank3’s manager could not offer any other update on Hank3’s current situation or any future plans, he did say, “Shelton is hanging in there like the rest of us during these crazy times.”

The loyal fans of Hank Williams III are fair to question why he wasn’t included or considered for the CMT presentation. But there is a very good chance that even if he was asked, he would have chosen not to participate. And even without Hank3, it’s still a cool opportunity to see three young members of the Williams family together.

There are plenty of theories about why Hank3 has been out of the public eye for an extended period, but it’s probably important to let him go through whatever process he’s going through, and re-emerge when he’s ready. As his fans proved in their reaction to the CMT show, they’ll be eagerly waiting for him when he does reappear.

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