A lot of the detractors of Shelton Hank Williams III have never or will never give his music a chance simply because they can’t imagine him doing anything but riding off his family name. Furthermore there are some detractors that have figured out that Hank III’s first name is ‘Shelton,’ and with this little bit of knowledge find the power to be ill-informed and stupid by saying, “His name is not even Hank, it’s Shelton. He just changed it to be popular.”
Unfortunately Hank Williams Sr.’s first name isn’t Hank either, it is Hiram. And Hank Williams Jr.’s first name is Randall. ‘Hank’ is the middle name of the 3 generations of Hank Williams’s
Hank Williams Sr. = Hiram Hank Williams Sr.
Hank Williams Jr. = Randall Hank Williams Jr. (nickname Bocephus)
Hank Williams III = Shelton Hank Williams III (Shelton: meaning ‘farm boy’)
Even armed with this information, there are people that say, “Well still, Hank III would’ve never been able to sign a contract with a major label without his daddy’s name.” This might be completely true, but it also might be true that without Curb Records keeping their boot in Shelton’s craw, he might be twice the star he is today, with three or four more albums under his belt.
It’s a fine line Shelton has to walk: using his God-given attributes, including his name, to try to make a living. But also trying to break out of the shadows of his forebearers and forge his own legacy, all while trying to give respect and reverence for the family name.
Shelton’s name is his blessing, and his curse. I honestly believe that if Hank III’s music ever breaks out, it will not be because of his name, but despite it. And I say that also believing that if Hank III wanted to sell out, if he completely let Nashville pulls his strings by letting them write his songs and if he did everything their way, then he could make even Garth Brooks look like a parlor act.
Think about it. He’s got the looks, not only by looking like Hank Sr., but according to all the Hellbetties I speak to, they think he’s pretty easy on the eyes. And he’s got the voice, even the detractors have to admit that.
But unfortunately for you Mike Curb, he does not have the inclination. So you’ll have to find some other joker to be your fashion plate pop country pussified puppet show.