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WHAT HANK WILLIAMS MEANT TO FRED ROSE


The following is a copy of a letter sent to Country Song Roundup
by Fred Rose, a few months after Hank's death on Jan 1, 1953
Courtesy of HWAS International member, Anthony Joshua,
of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Country Song Roundup
Charlton Building
Derby, Connecticut

Gentlemen:

It is written that "AS A MAN THINKETH, SO IS HE" so I would like to tell you what is in my heart regarding a very dear friend of mine, Hank Williams. I hope you will not think I am lost in a mass of superficial religion before you read all of what I have to say, as I think I am too practical to delve into the transcendental, beyond the realm of reason

I believe that Hank Williams is just as much alive today as he ever was, and if you will just listen to some of the great songs he has written and recorded, plus the GOOD deeds he has done (that are just now coming to the front) I'm sure you will agree with me, Hank's life was, and is, in his great love for Country Music and I intend to do all in my power to keep his songs alive eternally because I believe that is the way Hank wanted it to be.

I cannot spare any sympathy for death because I do not know if it is good or bad and I don't think anyone else does either. I feel that we will all have to wait until we go through the actual experience of what is called death before we do know what it is. Therefore, I refuse to believe that Hank has migrated to a locality called Heaven, or consigned to a state of oblivion, so I intend to see, hear and enjoy the living of Hank Williams in his music.

If you feel the same as I do about the life of Hank Williams, then you will not only be preserving Hank's great love for Country Music, but the loved ones who are depending on him for their livelihood. What Hank gave to the world will never die! It will live longer than you or me.

Excuse me for being so practical about my friend's welfare, and I am,

Sincerely,

Fred Rose

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~HWASInternational~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The following is an article from the Alabama Journal, Sept 24, 1954
Compliments of the Dept. of Archives & History, Montgomery, Alabama

Rose Applauds Famed Protege

Some say Fred Rose, the Nashville songmaster, is the man who 'made' Hank Williams. But Rose is the first to deny this.

"I got a lot of other boys on record," Rose said during a coffee-cup interview this morning. "Hank hit and the others didn't. Nobody made Hank but himself. He was quite a boy!"

The fact remains though, that Rose is the man who first took a liking to the boy who came up the hard way - ("just like myself" Rose said) - and put him on records and helped polish his song hits.


Just a Couple of Songs

It was several years ago when Hank went to Rose with a couple of songs in his jeans. Rose liked the songs and had Hank cut a couple of records with Sterling Recording Co. in New York.

The Nashville songmaster, who currently operates one of the nation's biggest music publishing businesses with Roy Acuff there, heard MGM artists were looking for a "country boy." He took the master recordings cut at Sterling and hustled them over to MGM. The MGM brass liked what they heard and promptly bought the masters from Sterling to be released by MGM.

From there it was an up-and-down struggle to the top of the hillbilly heap for Hank.


Loyalty Without End

"Whatever people say about Hank, he never hurt anybody but himself," Rose said. "He was his own worst enemy. You know and I know, he was sometimes good and sometimes bad.

"But one thing he had - and all his friends recognized it - was loyalty. I don't give a hang whether he drank or not, I appreciate the fact that he was loyal.

"I know that one time another firm tried to bribe him away from me for $50,000, but he stuck with Rose. He'd say, 'I started with Rose and I'll stay with Rose'. And he did.

"If you were his friend, he was the type of fellow who would stick up for you, no matter what. Why, you could be here and he could be out in California and somebody would come up to him and say, 'Aw, that Honicker, he's a no-good bum.' And he'd collar the guy and say, 'Now, wait a minute! You're talking about my friend.'


Two-up the Hard Way

"He was just like me - came up the hard way. I've been on my own since I was seven. Grew up in a small country town, just like Hank. Used to pass the hat around in saloons for my keep. He was like that.

"You can't take a country boy like that who suddenly finds himself making $100,000 or $200,000 a year and expect him not to act like a crazy kid!

"But as much as he drank and upset others, he never disappointed me. I'm not just saying that because he's dead. I knew him as well as anybody. It's just that he didn't have sense enough to salt away his dough. He was the type of boy who wanted to spend his money on all the things of fun he'd missed as a kid."


"Move It On Over" Did It!

What's the song that started Hank on the road to immortality in the field of folk music?

"Move It On Over" was the first song Rose took from Hank that clicked.

But it was a song written by Jack Mills - "Lovesick Blues" - which really put Hank Williams on the stardust trail.

It was two years after "Move It On Over" before Hank clicked again, Rose said. After that, it was almost all hits and no errors, except the ones Hank made in his personal life.

"But don't get the idea that I made the guy or wrote his songs for him," Rose emphasized. "He made himself, don't forget that!"

And the songs Hank made himself with? "Cold Cold Heart"..."Your Cheatin' Heart", "Jambalaya", "I Can't Help It", "Kawliga"...and others.


To Hollywood Next Week

Hank's publisher said today that he is going to Hollywood next week to talk over with MGM the handling of MGM's forthcoming movie about Hank's life.

Rose said MGM presently plans the film as a $5,000,000 production. The music publisher said that he feels major changes must be made in the present motion-picture script before it has Acuff-Rose's approval.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~HWASInternational~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


CLICK HERE to view enlargement of Fred Rose's Grave @ FIND-A-GRAVE.COM
And post a brief Memorial Notice


Click HERE to listen to some great tunes by Freddie Rose from 1927 & 1928
long before he met Hank Williams in Nashville












Click HERE for UPDATES on Hank's 50th Anniversary events in Germany

Click HERE and view a Photo of above mentioned German 'Hank' Event

Click HERE and read: "MY FASCINATION FOR HANK WILLIAMS" written
by: MANFRED ALBERT REINHARDT
Click HERE to view a 2013 Photo of Mr. Reinhardt receiving a certificate
honouring his 50 year membership in the Social Democratic Party of Germany

Click HERE to view our collection of RARE HANK WILLIAMS POSTERS & HANDBILLS

Click HERE to hear this sound file in Real Audio

Note: We may order the Battle of Armageddon and many others,
by following the link offered below,
for the Complete Hank Willams CD Box Set


-THE COMPLETE HANK CD BOX SET -
Click HERE to hear some sound clips
Many tunes never heard before!


Click Here For CountySales.Com RECORD AUCTION






Interesting Links to Visit


Visit the State of Alabama - Dept. of Archives and History
For Clippings, Photos and Biographies about Hank Sr.

Oldtime Country Music Club of Canada
The Song Doctor - Fred Rose
Hank's Favorite Song and Rare Interview from 1952
Irene Williams Smith - Hank's sister
Return to HWAS International Homepage
Bocephus Country - Hank Jr.'s Official Site
Visit Site Dedicated to Gentleman Jim Reeves

Email Web Admin: wwwebmonitor@yahoo.com

Click HERE to order your free scroll
Please provide details such as:
1. How long you have been a Hank Fan
2. Where do live? i.e. Country, State etc.
3. Your Favorite Hank Song



Click HERE and read a Brief History of the
Hank Williams Appreciation Society International

Click HERE and read the nice letter to HWAS
from the Hank Williams Memorial Association in 1980

Click HERE to View HWAS Membership POSTER
containing the names of Lifetime members of HWAS International

Click HERE to View: HWAS Membership TEXT FILE
containing the names of Lifetime members of HWAS International

Click HERE and View a HWAS Membership TEXT FILE
containing members of HWAS International from the 70's & 80's

Click HERE to View the HWAS Membership Applications
from 1978 including covers of "Life to Legend" & "Sing a Sad Song"



Click HERE to View some Billboard Magazine articles
concerning the Hank Williams Memorial Day in Montgomery, Al.
Click HERE to View Sections of the Hank Williams Memorial Day Parade
including dignitaries, Country artists and other partcipating organizations.

Click HERE For information about the HANK FAN MAILING LIST &
Robert Ackerman's combined songwriting efforts
with Dustin Hunt and Jim Murphy.
Of Special Note: "Hank's Old Scratched Record"


Click HERE For HANK WILLIAMS 78 & 45 RPM
Single Records (U.S. Issues)



Follow this link to View Updated Photos of Missing Children






Christian Science Monitor - Internet Edition