Is There a Hank Williams IV ?
The requirement is simple though. For someone to be a true Hank Williams, they would need to be a son of Hank Williams III, and that son would need to be named Hank, at least in some way. However, Hank Sr.’s real name was Hiram King, which he changed to Hank, thinking it would be better for country music. The ‘Hank’ in Hank Jr. and Hank3’s name comes from their given middle name, not their first name: Randall Hank Williams and Shelton Hank Williams respectively.
We do know that Hank3 has at least one son, who he’s spoken about many times in reference to a paternal suit he was hit with when his son was 5, which resulted in him signing his music contract with Curb Records and getting professionally involved in country music. However at this point, that son, who is now somewhere around 20-years-old, is not involved in music, and was not named Hank or Williams, rather taking the name of his mother. At some point if he wanted to get involved in music, he could decide to take the Hank Williams stage name, and that would create a new set of debate points, but at this point, he is not Hank IV.
To further muddy the waters, there is a punk band out of San Francisco, CA called ‘Hank IV’, and it is not just some basement project, but an active band, putting out albums, garnering press, that has been around for years. I remember years ago rolling up to Hank IV’s MySpace site, and almost mocking to the situation, it said they wanted to take the name just in case Hank3 had a son that wanted to get into music. In November 2010, Hank IV released their third album entitled ‘III’, very similar to the moniker ‘III’ or three bars Hank3 used before changing recently to ‘Hank3’ to denote the new era of his career post-Curb Records. In fairness to Hank IV, the first thing on their MySpace site now is the disclaimer: “HANK IV is a San Francisco rock band still with no relation whatsoever to the Hank Williams clan.” So without question, San Fran’s ‘Hank IV’ is not the Hank IV we are looking for.
That leads us to a 13-year-old country music prodigy from Montgomery, AL named Ricky Fitzgerald. Ricky is an excellent young performer, who with haunting proficiency, can belt out the best of Hank Williams, as can be seen in this video taken in 2009 from the Wagon House Opry in Haddock, GA that proclaims him the “real Hank IV” in the title:
If you go to the URL for this video and read the comments (at the posting of this article), there is a comment that states:
He came to my venue, and I spoke with his family. He is a bastard child of Hank III, which is the story I got, Taken name is Ricky Fitzgerald, however he in fact is related and is Hank IV.
Furthermore, on this web page, it asserts that there is a Parham Henry Williams IV who is “…Hank III’s son out of wedlock, who is also following in Hank Williams’ footsteps.” But when you click on the Parham name, it takes you back to the above video for Ricky Fitzgerald. Ricky has performed at many of the small Opry houses throughout the deep south, as well as the Nashville Palace in Nashville, TN, and the Hank Williams Museum and Hank Williams Festival in Georgiana, AL. He also apparently makes an appearance in the currently-dormant documentary about the Reinstate Hank movement, where he is presented as Hank IV.
But when you go to Ricky Fitzgerald’s website, there is no mention of ‘Hank IV’. Numerous attempts from Saving Country Music to reach representatives of Ricky Fitzgerald have gone unanswered, and his website has not been updated in about a year. If at some point Ricky or his representatives were using the name ‘Hank IV’, they apparently are no longer. Nowhere is there any evidence that Ricky Fitzgerald or anyone else is the real ‘Hank IV’. From my understanding, Ricky does have some distant blood relation to Hank Williams, possibly from Hank Sr.’s uncle, but he is not Hank3’s bastard son. When I interviewed Hank3 recently, I asked him about Ricky Fitzgerald, and the possibility of any Hank IV’s:
Download or listen with media player.
No, absolutely not. The only Hank IV I’ve ever heard about was Howard Stern’s old midget drunk. I know for a fact there’s no other unclaimed children out there. Anybody that was a bastard son, you know they’d be coming after me for money.
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So in closing, the answer is … no. Unless Hank3 has a son in the future and decides to name it ‘Hank’, the Hank Williams name will end with Hank3.
September 19, 2011 @ 10:19 am
As a father myself, I want to give my kids every advantage in life I can. There is no denying the advantage that comes with the name and bloodline of Hank Williams, and I can’t imagine denying my son that advantage if it was mine to offer.
September 19, 2011 @ 11:33 am
Hank JR could have another son named Hank. Also, Hank3’s half brother(s) could have a son named hank, who would also be a williams and hve the same blood. Granted that would be a very fucked up situation.
September 19, 2011 @ 12:06 pm
If Hank Jr. had another son and named him Hank, wouldn’t that have to be another Hank III, or maybe Hank III (2), since it would be of the same generation? Hank Jr. does have another son, Samuel. He could have a son, but since he is not named Hank, would that be a true continuation of the line?
George Foreman has five sons: George Jr., George III, George IV, George V, and George VI, so I guess anything is possible.
September 19, 2011 @ 4:35 pm
No, that wouldn’t be a true continuation of the same line, but the kid would still have Sr and Jr’s blood in him, giving him the potential for an excellent voice and musical ability.
George Foreman must be a very conceded person.
September 19, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
I think Howard Stern’s “Hank IV” is actually Hank (the angry drunk) DWARF. that is all.
September 19, 2011 @ 5:39 pm
What if Holly Williams were to have a son and name him Hank?
September 20, 2011 @ 9:47 am
What if Kid Rock and Natalie Cole dug up Ernest Tubb live on CMT? Maybe Triggerman would, shit I don’t know, WRITE ABOUT COUNTRY MUSICIANS!
September 20, 2011 @ 10:17 am
You’re making crazy talk man.
September 20, 2011 @ 10:33 pm
He’s bein’ kinda honest here, bro.
September 21, 2011 @ 7:14 am
One can be crazy and honest at the same time.
September 19, 2011 @ 7:50 pm
Or what if there was another hank but music rows already killed him like they killed sr?
September 20, 2011 @ 8:25 am
Wow. Been reading this site for a few months and was enthusiastic. But goddamn what a piece of garbage this article is!!! Really?! NOTHING better to write about?
September 20, 2011 @ 10:27 am
I see how it is. So you’re going to navigate to every single article on the home page that doesn’t directly have to do with music and leave a snarky comment, but you’re going to ignore the album review of the Dirt Daubers, the album review of The Pistol Annies, the album review of Lucky Tubb, all of which are solid country, not counting the review of the Muddy Roots Festival, two Hank3 reviews, and an album review of Olds Sleeper, and then turn around and bitch that I don’t talk about the music? Fucking please.
How about navigating to the radio page, where I have 25 hour-long radio shows you can listen to. Is there any music there?
I’d like to call this a rare occurance, but honestly, it happens every day, where people latch on to a few small articles, ignore the rest and say I do all of one thing, when in reality, I do many different things all the time.
I’m sorry if I veered slightly off the music page for a second to set the record straight about a young performer who was being called a “bastard child”, and a performer who was being unfairly accused of having a child out of wedlock. If that doesn’t fit your standards, navigate to CMT and see what kind of spoon-fed bullshit Allison Bonagruo is serving up.
September 20, 2011 @ 3:49 pm
Triggerman, you dominated that guy. Glad to see you calling bullshit when you see it.
September 20, 2011 @ 10:42 pm
Fuckin’ please, aye, right. Savin’ country music as much as XXX. The same BS thats been killin’ the music so many of us love. Gospel Haunted review?? Really?? You know your stuff, man, I’ll give you that. Talk more country. Not southern rock, not shit 3 got us into. I’m not talkin’ ’bout this article in particular, and I’m not TRYING to be an asshole(though it comes off that way) but all this scenester BS is gonna kill this fast. How bout them Can Kickers? How bout the Handsome Family? How bout people keepin’ it real? What about the new Mickey Newbury Reissues? Love the thought, hate the execution. Do this right, man, please.
September 21, 2011 @ 5:20 am
Check out the Mission statement at the bottom of this page. Maybe this site isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.
September 21, 2011 @ 9:54 am
Why cite the Gospel Haunted review I did a year ago, when there are multiple reviews I’ve done in the last couple of weeks? I’ll give you whatever Hank3 angst you have, but are you going to tell me The Dirt Daubers and Lucky Tubb aren’t “real”?
I started this website because I am trying to help. Instead of bitching, why don’t you figure out how to help me? I’ve requested the Mickey Newberry reissues for review. I’ve never heard of the Handsome Family, but I’ve got 60+ CD’s sitting here on my desk waiting for review, from people who took the initiative to send them to me, and of which YOU have probably never heard of. If you think the Handsome Family needs to be covered here, send me a CD. Get in touch with the band, and tell them to send me a CD. Be proactive. Help me. I never claimed to be perfect, and to be perfectly honest, I’m pissed off I can’t cover more bands also. I do the best I can. I am sorry if that is not good enough for you.
And I’ve said this 100 times, and I’ll say it again. Album reviews, news stories on recently released albums or upcoming albums, interviews with artists, they all get about 10% of the traffic articles like this one do. So as much as people come here and incessantly kick me in the nuts for not supporting or talking about music, in the face of numerous articles that do, when I do write articles directly supporting music, nobody reads them. That is a fact. Yet I still write those articles, because I believe in their importance.
I have devoted 3 1/2 years of my life to this website and the dramatic expense of personal wealth, family, friends, and my own music. If you think you can do better, by all means, step up to the plate. An good fucking luck, because you’re going to need it.
September 21, 2011 @ 10:38 am
Of course you talk about the music! And of course, there will be those who don’t like what you’re saying. That’s about as real as life gets sometimes huh? If you are doing something from your heart then you are staying to true to yourself. You aren’t wanting pats on the back, you’re doing what you love to do. There’s a difference to those two things. Keep on keepin’ on.
September 21, 2011 @ 11:02 am
The way I see it,it’s your site,you can blog about anything you want Triggerman.I think it’s fun reading to through something different in now and again.
September 21, 2011 @ 11:08 am
Make that *Throw*
September 21, 2011 @ 6:34 am
The Pistol Annie’s ain’t country in my book.
September 21, 2011 @ 11:05 am
Just for the heck of it Denise,I just checked Miranda’s twitter page and here is her latest tweet –
“We run through the show we have been rehearsing tonight for a few folks. Starting fall tour tomorrow in MS. awesome new set! Rock n Roll!”
See there? She even admits she’s not country and damn proud of it!
September 21, 2011 @ 1:49 pm
She’s POP country more than anything. She ain’t even close to rock n roll. But Music Row saw fit to use her as the ringleader to their female outlaw gig and there you go. Hey, at the end of the day, I’m still knowing the difference between pop and real so I’m glad about that. Thanks for the update RWP since I don’t TWITTER and don’t plan on it! By the way, is Ashley (or is it Jessica) Monroe related to Bill Monroe? How about the other gal? Elvis’s long lost niece? Just wondering. That would be sensational huh?
September 26, 2011 @ 10:14 pm
Triggerman, change your domain name, because people are pissed off about it. if you want to cover music you like, thats fine, but youre not saving anything. I am not the handsome family, so I wont pirate their music for you. If you wanna save music you like, cool, but it’s not saving country…. ask me if ive heard those bands… i probably have.. is this really a pissing contest now that ive called you out?? youre more country than me? fuck you dude.. i wasn’t trying to be an asshole, but i will be if youre going to be… if you dont want people to complain then dont CLAIM TO BE SAVING COUNTRY!!!!
September 26, 2011 @ 10:34 pm
I’m not changing the name. No matter what I do, people will be pissed off at me, so all I can do is the best I can. I didn’t ask you to pirate anyone’s music, nor did I call you an asshole. Nor did I claim to be more country than you. What I did is I conceded that I wish I could cover more bands, and owned up to my faults and shortcomings, which you pointed out, and I thank you for that. I am not pissed off at you, and if you called me out, I guess I didn’t notice. I see comments like yours every day, and chalk it up as spirited debate and constructive criticism. If you want to insult me, you have a long way to go. Or you could use your energy to reach out to The Handsome Family. Either way, I’m not stopping.
All the best!
January 29, 2012 @ 5:33 pm
Here is a tidbit of info on this guy……. He has went on countless you tube postings and sites and bashed Hank III in every way that he can think too. This leads me to the assumption that he has made it his personal crusade to tell everyone how much he hates Hank III in some desparate hopes that they may follow him in his little bitter angst. He probably (at one point or another) was a Hank III fan, went to one of his shows to profess his undying love, and Hank told him how much of a dork he is…… Sad really…..
September 20, 2011 @ 10:54 pm
January 29, 2012 @ 5:20 pm
Here is your review that you were whining about…. The Handsome Family are hands down….. Folk….. That is it…. Not Honky Tonk, and in no way are they a country act…. Just because they have a banjo in some songs it doesn’t make them country….. The singer is flat on most of his notes and their timing is melancholy at best. They seem to be lacking any real personality at all. I would liken them to the Big Bears Jamboree at the Disney resorts…. That is all….. Thank You and have a good un : )
September 20, 2011 @ 11:35 pm
You people just need to back off he’s one man. And does a purrty damn good job. If you think you can do better then go start your own blog instead of whining about shit some of us like to read.
September 21, 2011 @ 6:57 am
I was thinking that too, why don’t they start their own blog, or use the seldom used forum here? I like the offbeat articles, too. And the review of Gospel Haunted.
September 21, 2011 @ 7:17 am
What ifs and maybes are just speculation. Shelton said there is no Hank IV from him so that answers it for me. Technically, the family name is carried on from father to son, if Holly has a son out of wedlock and gives him the name of Hank IV then that is her business.
September 21, 2011 @ 1:10 pm
Been curious about this for a long time Triggerman. thanks for the info.
Kevin and Joni
September 21, 2011 @ 6:06 pm
Hank 3 and Rachel Brooke = Hank 4!
off topic, Fifth on the Floor is the shit.
September 26, 2011 @ 11:41 pm
Look at ya’ll! We’ll be up in yer neck of the woods Oct 19!
September 22, 2011 @ 9:36 am
Maybe you should call Maury Povich to do a show on this topic.
September 22, 2011 @ 10:00 am
I did. He said he was too busy banging Connie Chung.
November 26, 2011 @ 7:36 am
banging connie chung. good one. i wanted nothing more back in the day when she was a news anchor here in l.a. before she got famous and then infamous by latching onto old maury. it’s a semi free country, triggerman. write whatever you want.
January 29, 2012 @ 4:59 pm
I think there is always that one person that try’s to stir up an argument on any of these sites. Looks like you have yours as well ain’t ya? Ya see this is their (in their minds) epitaph. This is their legacy. They find something to bitch and complain about, because they have nothing better to do with their time. Instead of helping, they just whine and complain…….. Sad really…… Keep up the good work there Triggerman…. Oh and have you checked Scott Biram? That guy is as awesome as Joe Buck!!!!
March 14, 2014 @ 7:26 pm
I was born in the room your great grand daddy died in WV. I have heard talk that you were around. Good to see you. Aint got much else to say but be good at what you do.
December 7, 2014 @ 11:38 am
I’m friends with 3′ son… He looks just like his dad and sings similar.. a little smoother. He’s in school now paving his own road, but IF he decides to pursue music and IF he decides to take the name.. He will certainly exceed any expectations of a Hank IV…. he’s got it in him… for sure.
December 18, 2014 @ 9:01 pm
Hey to everyone especially the guy who wrote the article i am pretty much consided to be hank IV. Since i am Hank Sr.’s great grandson. Also you are correct i am not the bastard son of shelton. Lol even if i was i wouldn’t come to him for money. I dont use hank IV name hardly anymore because we are afraid that if i made it hank jr. would think we made it because of the hank williams name. I dont want to do that. But technically i am Hank IV.
Randall Hank Kirkley
September 24, 2015 @ 10:32 am
Say maybe Shelton has a twin
March 25, 2016 @ 6:43 pm
At the end of the day theres only one Hank . I mean JR, III They’re gonna have to stand up for their self. If Hank IV can moan the blues it will show !!!
June 29, 2016 @ 1:30 am
Has anyone heard that Hank Jr is actually Hank Jr. Jr. After all the Williams name is a stage name not Sr’s real name. So who ever claims to be Jr. Could just be an actor with a country voice under contract to to the franchise.
Just a crack smokin thought!!!!
August 20, 2019 @ 12:36 pm
April 12, 2020 @ 1:06 pm
Up in MA they have a Representative called Jospeh P. Kennedy III who obviously isn’t Joe Jr.’s son but apparently nobody in the Kennedy clan ever complained. So IMHO, theoretically anyone who can prove lineage to the original HW (albeit preferably a great grandson), even via a DNA test, could theoretically take the stage name Hank Williams IV with some legitimacy.