Country music legend Hank Williams, Sr. (1923-1953) was born Hiram Williams in Mount Olive, Alabama. With a passion for music, he learned how to play the guitar at age seven and formed his own group, the Drifting Cowboys, by age 16.
"I don't know what you mean by country music. I just make music the way I know how," he once explained.
On his first trip to the Grand Ole Opry in 1949, Williams had an an unheard-of six encores after singing Lovesick Blues. They called the performance "the night of the blue smoke" because the enthusiastic applause kicked up clouds of dust.
"When tears come down, like fallin' rain. You'll toss around, and call my name" he wrote in his famous hit, Your Cheatin' Heart. "A song ain't nuthin' in the world but a story just wrote with music to it," he said.
The legendary singer/songwriter inspired generations of musicians. With such chart-toppers as Hey Good Lookin', Jambalaya, and Move It On Over. Williams brought country and western music to the world.
"A good song is a good song," he once said. "And if I'm lucky enough to write it, well....! I get more kick out of writing than I do singing. I reckon I've written a thousand songs and had over 300 published."
Williams was the first artist elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. His plaque reads: "The simple beautiful melodies and straightforward plaintive stories in his lyrics of life as he knew it will never die."
"Everybody who ever sang a country song since Hank Williams came along has been influenced," praised singer Sharon White Skaggs.
Even bad experiences translate to goodness.