The Hank Williams Museum is dedicated to the man that crowded a lot of living into just 29 years of life, and it is one of the City of Montgomery true jewels.
It is located at 118 Commerce Street in the State Capitol and is open 7 days a week for you and your family to visit.
It pays tribute to the life and accomplishments of the musician Hank Williams Sr., and it is difficult to understand this truly unique and talent man.
He possessed such natural talent and produced this natural abundance of musical wealth, that he basically forgot about himself.
He would not get the proper rest he needed, would very seldom relax from his work, would do nothing in moderation, and it took its toll, as he died at the very young age of 29.
The Hank Williams Museum is named after Hiram “Hank” Williams, an American singer, songwriter, and musician.
He was regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century.
He recorded 35 singles that reached the top 10 of the “Billboard Country and Western Best Sellers” chart, including 11 that reached the statues of number “One”.
He was born and raised in Alabama, and he was given guitar lessons by another famous musician, Rufus Payne.
Payne, along with Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb, had a major influence on his style, and he began his musical career in Montgomery.
This career really took off in 1937, when producers at a local radio station, WSFA, hired him to preform and host a 15-minute radio program.
Not only did his career take off as a result, so did the radio station, and became a landmark in the city of Montgomery because of this man and his incredible talent.
He then later formed the Drifting Cowboys backup band, which was managed by his mother, and he dropped out of school to devote full time to his career.
However, when most all of his band members were drafted during World War II, he had trouble getting replacements.
As a result of this, he unfortually turned to alcohol, and in a short period of time, WSFA terminated his contract because of this.
On New Year’s Day 1953, he suffered a heart attack and died suddenly, at the young age of 29.
However, despite his brief career, he is still one of the most celebrated as well as most influential musicians of the 20th century.
He is credited for influencing other rising artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Charley Pride, just to name a few.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
The Hank Williams Museum was founded in the year 1999, by his long-time fan and friend, Cecil Franklin Jackson.
He also led other efforts to commemorate this music icon, but this was his crowning achievement.
Mr. Jackson was an avid fan of Mr. Williams since his childhood, and he first met him when he just 8 years old.
He idolized this country music star, and he even took up the guitar and learned to play his songs, and later as an adult, he played a major role in a number of celebrations of his accomplishments.
He helped to erect the Hank Williams statue that still stands in the City of Montgomery, about one block north of the museum, and he founded an international fan club.
Mr. Jackson also led the efforts to establish the “Hank Williams Memorial Lost Highway”, which covers a 65-mile stretch along interstate 65.
If you live in Alabama or have ever visited this historic state, you have most likely traveled that stretch of highway.
However, Mr. Jackson’s crowning accomplishment was the Hank Williams Museum, which officially opened its doors to the public on February 8, 1999, in the Montgomery’s Union Station.
Then, a few years later, this historic Roadside Museum was moved to its current location, a 6,000-square-foot facility on Commerce Street.
The museum now houses items that range from Hank Williams memorabilia that Jackson collected as a child and adult, to items the museum acquired either by purchase or donations.
The Hank Williams Museum is the home to the most complete collection of this Country Star’s memorabilia.
A visit to this museum is a visit into the past, a past that continues to this day, and celebrates the brief life of this amazing Country Music Star.
Here is a partial list of some of the items you can see while visiting this historic museum.
There are also 4 Sterling Records, Albums, 78 RPM Records, 16 Inch Records and box sets, autographed records, Platinum records, as well as numerous awards and proclamations.
However, the center piece of the Hank Williams Museum is considered to be his 1952 baby-blue Cadillac, in which he died in at the age of 29, on the morning of January 1, 1953.
Hank was scheduled to play a concert in Canton Ohio, on January 1, 1953, and he was in this car with a young friend, 18-year-old Charles Carr, who was driving.
Just before sun-up on New Year’s morning in Oakhill West Virgina, Hank was taken to a hospital, where he was officially declared dead at 7:00 A.M.
Three days later on Sunday, January 4th, 1953, Hank was buried in Montgomery, with a record crowd in attendance.
More than 25,000 mourners came out to pay their respects, to the most famous “hillbilly” song/songwriter in the history of American Music.
His record “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” reached number one, immediately after his death.
This was quickly followed by a number of hit-records throughout 1953, including the number ones of “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Kaw-Liga”, and “Take These Chains from My Heart”.
The Hank Williams Museum sponsors events such as songwriting workshops for local musicians and holds an annual birthday celebration on September 17.
The nearby attractions include the Historic Train Shed and Union Station, the Legacy Museum, the Montgomery Riverwalk and Riverwalk Stadium, as well as the Montgomery Preforming Arts Center.
If you have never visited the Hank Williams Museum, you and your family are in for a pleasant surprise, especially if you are a country-music fan.
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