As you know, I've been away from this site for some time. Many things have contributed to this, including to all of the work involved with completing my Master's Degree in Education. This took much of any spare time I had. Now that this is all behind me I plan on being more involved with this site.
I know I don't have to tell you, over the past year many things have happened in the world of "Hank Williams and Drifting Cowboys." Sadly, many of these seem to be passings. There is much to up-date. Over the upcoming weeks I will be attempting to bring this site up-to-date.
I want to thank those who wrote to me over my "time away." Your help, questions, and comments are/were greatly appreciated! Thanks, Nathan Parker (Manager - The Drifting Cowboys Website)
**Hank Honored with Pulitzer!!**
Breaking News: Hank Williams has been honored with a life-time achievement Pulitzer Prize for songwriting!! For more info:
"Hank Williams' songwriting earns special citation from Pulitzer Prize board" (The Montgomery Advisor; 4/13/10)
"Icon Hank Williams receives Pulitzer citation" (The Andalusia Star-News; 4/13/10)
** Another Cowboy Lost **
I was just informed by Beth Petty (Manager - The Hank Williams Museum) that R.D. "Sonny" Norred has passed away.
My best wishes go out to his family & friends...and God-Speed to you "Sonny." Below is from Beth:
Robert D. Norred
January 16, 1910-October 25, 2009
Robert D. Norred died Sunday October 25, 2009.
He was married to Margaret White Norred for 32 years.
R. D. died in a nursing home with his wife at his side as she had been everyday for the 3 months he was there.
Visitation is Monday Oct. 26 at Alabama Funeral Home in Dadeville, AL 6:30-9:00pm and funeral services will be held at the Memory Gardens (Next to the funeral home) 2:00 Tuesday Oct 27, 2009.
Prayers are with you Miss Margaret.
Mail your cards to:
189 Cardinal Road
Dadeville, AL 36853
Beth J. Petty, Manager
Hank Williams Museum
118 Commerce Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Steve wrote, "It has some of my Hank Williams-related stories in it, as well as some great articles/photos from the Hank events I have traveled to over the past few years. Among other things, the stories in the book are about people who knew Hank, went to school with him, were related to him, etc. The book is similar to a high school football program with glossy pages, but it is full color throughout. I am really proud of this book and feel certain it will become a collector's item."
You can order "Hankin' Around" for the low price of $15 (postpaid in US).
Also Available: "Hank Williams and his Drifting Cowboys"
It took five long years to complete, but author Steve Maze has
finally completed his long awaited book on Hank Williams Sr. and his
Drifting Cowboys band! This book is a unique glimpse into the life of
Hank Williams from those who shared the stage with him from 1938
until his untimely death in 1953.
I've had the pleasure to read this book, and I feel it is a must have for all Hank & Cowboys fans.
It is full of great photos and stories that you will only get in this book
$14.95 (plus $3.00 shipping/handling within the US)
$14.95 ($5.00 shipping/handling outside US)
When ordering multiple copies of this book, add $1.00 (S&H) for each additional book.
Also Available: June 2006 Issue of Yesterday's Memories
It has some interesting articles about Hank, including a really good one entitled, "Devoted Fan Now Owns Hank Williams' Old Shoeshine Stand!"
For more inforation or to order (check/money order please) these GREAT books or magazine, write to:
PO Box 856
Arab, AL 35016-0856.
For more inforation click on the link below.
New Site About Hank's Last Ride
I was surfing the net today and came across a GREAT new site dealing with "Hank's Last Ride". The site is full of new & vintage photos of some of Hank's stops on that winter night. Take a look!
Hank's Last Ride
10/27/06 Franks Passes
I just heard that muscian & manager, Tillman Franks has passed away yesterday.
Our prayers and best wishes go out to his friends & family.
Thank for the music Tillman!
For more info click HERE.
More on Hank's 83rd Birthday Celebration
Here is a short note from Drifting Cowboy Jimmy Porter on the recent Hank Williams 83rd birthday celebration held in Montgomery, AL.
"...wanted to let you know how things went in Montgomery that past weekend at the Museum and at the Amphitheater. The crowds were great at both places and the shows at the Museum and at the Amphitheater were outstanding. The music started at the Museum on Saturday, 16 Sep at 12 Noon and lasted until around 8:00PM. Not many people left until that time. Garrett (Miles) and I opened the show with a couple of pickup musicians and it went well. I actually played better than I thought I would after such a long layoff. After Garrett, I performed with Ricky Fitzgerald who did a fine job with Hank songs; after Ricky, I performed with Dan Barnett from LaGrange, GA and he did a good job. After these three, I was finished for the day. I just stood around, sold some things, and listened to the musicians and singers. There were a lot of good Hank singers but one after another, all songs were Hank songs. Don Helms played with Chris Malpass at the Museum and at the Amphitheater and they did a good job also. David Church did a great show and my friend, Mike Johnson (from Montgomery) now a studio session player in Nashville, was at the Museum and David asked Mike to play his show with him, even though he had his own steel player with him. Mike is one of the top steel players in the country and I called him about three weeks ago and asked him to come down to the Museum and he gladly said he would love to. I played with Mike in his Dad's band back in the late 60's and early 70's. He took a liking to steel and wanted to learn to play. His dad bought him a double neck pedal steel (he was 13 at the time) and I got him started. He caught on to the steel faster than anyone I have ever seen. In four years he graduated from Lee High School in Montgomery and left for Nashville and got his first job with Mel Street. He then went with Bill Anderson after Mel's death and stayed with Bill as his band leader for quite a while and was the band manager for "Play It Again Nashville" (he also wrote the theme song for the show) and was band manager for the Talent Search Program on WSM. He left Bill after several years and went to work regularly as a session steel player and is doing that now, playing with some great new singers (Including Brad Paisley).
- Jimmy Porter"
"(Nashville) - Texas country singer, Larry Butler and his long time friend, Willie Nelson, have collaborated on a unique collection of Hank Williams songs. The project is an 11-track CD: "Heavy Hank." Ten of the duets are Hank, Sr. classics. In contrast, the title song, written by Cheryl Durham-Owens, captures the heartrending mood Hank's music personified while still offering that true traditional country sound. You'll immediately get the feeling when you hear them sing ... "I feel some heavy Hank comin' on."
Larry's lifelong dream of paying tribute to Hank Williams has been accomplished with Willie stepping in to help make it happen.
Putting together the magical songs of Hank Williams, Sr. with the world-wide legendary performer Willie Nelson sharing the vocal duties, Larry makes this CD a "must have" and an instant "collectible. "
The play list on the disc is: "Heavy Hank," "Take These Chains From My Heart," "May You Never Be Alone Like Me," "Jambalaya," "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy," "Why Should We Try Anymore," "Hey, Good Lookin'," "I Can't Help It," "Weddings Bells," "Mind Your Own Business" and "I Told A Lie to My Heart."
Not yet available in stores.
The album (NLT-CD-2006) is only available here:
211 College St.
Burns, TN 37029
Web Site: http://www.nlt- records.com/ heavyhank. html
E-mail: musicman@nlt- records.com Phone: 615-446-0835
BTW: Bob Timmers designed this CD's packaging"
Hank & The Cowboys In The News
There has been some interesting Hank News recently. Below are a few links to the different stories.
"Hank Williams' grave a popular spot for tourists, with a twist" By KATE BRUMBACK (DalilyComet.com - 8/10/06)
"Hank Williams mentor buried in obscure grave" ASSOCIATED PRESS (Worcester Telegram & Gazette - 8/10/06)
"New trail to blaze the life of Hank Williams" By Angie Long (Greenville Advocate - 8/8/06)
The Hank Williams Trail (Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel)
Cowboy To Perform
Our friend and Drifting Cowboy, Jimmy Porter will be playing his steel guitar at this year's celebration of Hank Williams' Birthday & Collectors' Fest at the Hank Williams Museum (Montgomery, AL) on Sat, September 16th. Jimmy will be backing some of the acts during the musical portion of the day, including Garrett Miles and Lewis Fitzgerald.
Also attending will be Mega-Hank-Collector/Expert Ed Guy.
The Celebration of Hank Williams' 83rd Birthday
These two great country music legends both said "We all owe Hank" and are proud to be helping the Hank Williams Museum.
With special guest Don Helms!! The Drifting Cowboy who played steel guitar on Hank's records. Appearing with Don is Chris Malpass.
Also, a special performance by Andy Norman, Montgomery's own local celebrity and rising star.
Sunday September 17, 2006 - 4:00pm (Gates open at 3:00)
The Riverwalk Amphitheater Downtown Montgomery
VIP Section $50.00
General Admission $15.00
At the gate:
VIP Section $60.00
General Admission $25.00
Ticket information: The box office at the Riverfront Facilities office at Riverwalk Stadium (200 Coosa Street, Montgomery, AL 36104, PH: 334-241-2100) or order tickets on the website www.etix.com.
Please do not contact the museum for tickets.
For concert on Sunday Bring lawn chairs - No coolers
Other activities include the Graveside Service at Oakwood Cemetery on Saturday, September 16 10:00am. Following the service the public is invited to the museum located at 118 Commerce Street, downtown Montgomery for our annual Collector's Fair and live music throughout the day.
Happy 83rd Birthday Hank!
Beth J. Birtley
Hank Williams Museum
118 Commerce Street
Montgomery, Al 36104
February 26, 2006, Sunday
Don't miss the biggest steel guitar show ever in Montgomery, AL. by the Alabama Steel Guitar Association
Special guests: Drifting Cowboy Don Helms & Jimmy Porter.
Contact information: Beth Birtley, 334-262-3600
Hank Williams Museum
118 Commerce Street, Montgomery, Al 36104
For additional information see the article below
Calling all country music fans to the Steel Guitar Super Jam By Darryn Simmons (Montgomery Advertiser - 2/23/06)
The 2006 Hank Williams Calendar
The Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery, AL has released their new 2006 Hank Williams Calendar.
From what I hear they did a GREAT job on it.
To order send $15.00 (or $25.00 for two) and $4.00 for shipping/handling to
The Hank Williams Museum, 118 Commerce St, Montgomery, AL 36104.
For more information contact Beth at (334) 262-3600 or visit
Don Helms New Book Released!!!
Former Drifting Cowboy Don Helms has released his long awaited autobiography, entitled "Settin' the Woods on Fire (Confessions of Hank's Steel Guitar Player)". Ir is full of a lot of GREAT photos and stories. This is a must have for all Hank and Drifting Cowboys fans!!!
U.S. & Canada: 1 book $24 total (including s&h); $21 each additional book
Europe: 1 book $30 total; $23 each additional book
Japan: 1 book $31 total; $24 each additional book
For more information visit The Audrey's Dream website.
To order send cashier's check or money order to:
Audrey's Dream Inc
206 Ocala Dr.
Nashville TN 37211
Please note be sure to include your name, address, & contact phone # or email address when ordering.
Cowboy With New CD!!
Our Friend & Drifting Cowboy Joe Penny has a new musical tribute to Hank Williams, entitled "Hank Williams 50th Anniversary Tribute".
Take a look at the link below for more information on this release and some other GREAT Joe Penny items. You can't go wrong!
Joe Penny's Store
Hank & Cowboys in the News
While surfing the net I came across some recent Hank and Drifting Cowboys articles. Here are a few:
"Legendary Hank Williams steel guitarist gets in a few licks at Newton Grove studio" (11/7/2005, By Doug Clark. The Sampson Independent)
"Arizona Is First Stop for 'Hank Williams: Lost Highway' Staging That Includes Kansas City and Dallas" (11/7/05, By Kenneth Jones. Playbill On-Line)
"Despite time, we love Hank like we used to do" (9/11/05, By Allen Barra, Chicago Sun-Times)
"W.Va. Wants to Name Road for Hank Williams" (9/12/05, ??. Yahoo! News)
New York Art Show (9/12/05, AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
"Remembering Hank - Williams fan has moved from New Jersey to be part of creating museum in Oak Hill"
(9/6/05, By Susan Williams, Charleston Gazette)
**Nice article with Pictures**
News From The Hank Museum
Hankin' in the New Year 2006
Schedule of Events for Hank Williams' 53rd Memorial
Saturday, December 31
Hank Williams Music Hall
Karaoke with Hank
New Year's Eve Party
Good Singin' and Good Eatin' with Good Friends
It's Midnight In Montgomery
At the Hank Williams Oakwood Cemetery Annex
Bring your lawn chair and blankets
If the weather doesn't permit this, we'll bring in the New Year at the museum
Sunday, January 1, 2006 10:00am
Memorial Service at Oakwood Cemetery Annex
Join us at the Hank Williams Museum Music Hall for
More great music from our friends!
Enjoy the traditional black-eyed peas and cornbread
Members of the museum are free
$5.00 charge for all others
If you want to sing or play, please contact me in
advance for scheduling
Contact information: Beth Birtley, 334-262-3600
Hank Williams Museum
118 Commerce Street, Montgomery, Al 36104
** Hank Sign Missing **
We have contacted the State Highway Dept. and can only hope that they have removed it for reasons unknown, but it's doubtful.
A police report will be filed as soon as we hear back from the Hwy. Dept. stating they don't have it.
Please let us hear from you the fans, with a bit of encouragement about missing sign.
The vase from Hank's grave has never been recovered, but we have not forgotten!!
Beth Birtley, Museum Manager
Cecil Jackson, President HWMFM"
More On The New Hank Williams Museum
I was surfing the internet and came across some more details on the purposed Hank Museum in Oak Hill, WV. Please take a look.
Hank Williams Museum Planned for West Virginia by Edward Morris (CMT.com - July 27.2005)
New Hank Books
On Sept. 8, 2005 author Paul Hemphill released his newest book entitled, "Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams" (Viking Press). It looks like it will be interesting. Published in time to honor what would have been Hank's 82nd Birthday.
More Info & Order:
Also, former Drifting Cowboy Don Helms will be releasing his long awaited autobiography
entitled "Settin' The Woods on Fire".
I don't know much about this book, but will pass the information as I receive it.
(I make no profit from the sale of these books)
HANK WILLIAMS 82nd Birthday and 2nd Annual Collectors' Fair
Join us as we celebrate the 82nd birthday of the first superstar in country music, Hank Williams.
September 16-17, 2005
Friday, September 16 - 3-9pm
Saturday, September 17 - 10:00am-9:00pm
Saturday 10:00am Memorial Service-Oakwood Cemetery
For more information contact:
Hank Williams Museum
118 Commerce Street, Montgomery, Alabama
Friday $5.00 Saturday $10.00 Members free
Includes tour of the museum
2nd Annual Collectors' Fair
Scour the attic! Search your old photos! Dig into that closet!
You may have a rare artifact or photo that nobody has seen.
A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO DISPLAY YOUR
HANK COLLECTION AS WELL AS TO
BUY/SELL/TRADE HANK WILLIAMS ARTIFACTS
COLLECTORS CALL TO RESERVE YOUR BOOTH SPACE
1 DAY: $40.00 2 DAYS: $50.00 CALL TO RESERVE YOUR PROGRAM SPOT
MANY EXCITING ACTIVITIES/GUESTS
DEDICATION OF NEW SHOWROOM-AUDREY'S DREAM
SEE RARE ARTIFACTS / MEMORABILIA FROM COLLECTORS
MEET HANK'S DRIFTING COWBOYS
MEET MEMBERS OF HANK'S FAMILY
DON HELMS SPECIAL BOOK SIGNING-HIS LONG AWAITED BOOK ON HANK AND HIS OWN CAREER,
"SETTIN' THE WOODS ON FIRE"
SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS & ENTERTAINERS
NEW T-SHIRTS AVAILABLE
2006 HANK WILLIAMS CALENDAR AVAILABLE
AUCTION OF PAINTINGS / DRAWINGS
WIN TICKETS TO GO BACKSTAGE WITH HANK JR.
Hotel Recommendations in the Downtown area
The Guest House & Suites (334) 264-2231 120 Madison Avenue
Red Bluff Cottage (Bed & Breakfast) 1-888-551-2529 www.redbluffcottage.com
Capitol Inn 1-866-471-9028 Goldthwaite Street
Embassy Suites (334) 269-5055
BRING AN ORNAMENT FOR THE MUSEUM CHRISTMAS TREE
I'M GONNA SING, SING, SING IS IN MEMORY OF:
JO ANN WILKINSON
Thanks to Beth B. at the Hank Williams Museum for the information.
Hank Museum News
Beth B down at the Hank Williams Museum (Montgomery, AL) sent along the following info. It sounds like some GREAT things are happening!! Take a look.
CMT Visits Montgomery
Country Music Television travels to Montgomery, AL. and the Hank Williams Museum on Sat., June 25, 2005 (5PM) for their
"20 Greatest City Songs".
This is a city song Sing-Along featuring "Midnight In Montgomery".
It will air in August (date TBA).
Downtown Country At The Museum
Featuring local singer from Montgomery 6-9PM in The Music Hall
IN MEMORY OF JO ANN WILKINSON
Thanks to Beth B. at the Hank Museum for the info
Review of Hank Fest
Here is a link to a review of this year's Hank Williams Festival in Georgiana, AL. It sounds like all had a good time!! Thanks to Mary Wallace and the volunteers that put on the activities each year!! Thanks!!
Georgiana regroups after Hank Williams Festival By Angie Long
(Greenville Advocate: Tuesday, June 7, 2005 11:06 PM CDT).
New President For Hank Fan Club (6/06/05 12:08PM)
News has come out of Georgiana, AL that Mary Wallace, long time President of the Hank Williams Fan Club, has resigned from her position.
She will be missed.
Shirley Dubose-Taft is the new President and Cecil Basden, from Goldsboro, NC, is the Vice President.
Our best wishes go out to them in their new positions!!
Thanks to Drifting Cowboy Jimmy Porter for this information.
New Hank Tribute Song
I was listening to Sirius Radio last night and heard a great Hank & Audrey "tribute" song by Geezinslaws Brothers and Kelly Willis entitled "Thank You Miss Audrey (For Breaking Hank's Heart). I thought it was a good one.
Check out The Geezinslaws Brothers' website for more info and to hear part of the song.
Cowboys In Print
Steve Maze, publisher of Yesterday's Memories, has done it again! In the June issue of YesMem. he has printed THREE Hank related articles!! When you order your copy you'll get stories about Cowboys Braxton Schuffert and Carolyn Parker and one on Merle Kilgore.
You can preview these articles on the Yesterday's Memories website.
You can order a copy or obtain more info by writing Steve at: Yesterday's Memories, PO Box 856, Arab, AL 35016 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While surfing the net I found an interesting article that interviews former Drifting Cowboy Clent Holmes. Take a look.
Salute to Hank 5/26/05 By Gerald Hodges (The Clarke County Democrat)
More Sad News (5/22/05)
"Please remember Charles Carr and his family in your prayers. His son Scott died Thursday at home in Montgomery. He was 39. Charles Carr was the driver for Hank Williams when he died on the way to Canton, Ohio. He has been a huge supporter for us at the Hank Williams Museum
in Montgomery since the opening in 1999."
Beth Birtley - Hank Williams Museum Montgomery, AL.
New Hayride Video
Title: "Hank Williams Jr. - Louisiana Hayride" Release Date: June 28, 2005. Description:
"The Louisiana Hayride was a radio show that gave fresh talent a chance to perfect their distinct performance styles before a weekly live audience. During its heyday, between 1948-1958 "the hayride" rivaled even Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry in the number of country music careers that it spawned. Country music star Hank Williams, Jr. is the narrator of this fascinating country music documentary which explores the Shreveport, Louisiana musical roots of some of country music’s most venerable stars, including Hank Williams, Sr., Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Johnny Horton, George Jones and a host of others. This unique program uses old photographs, film clips and live transcriptions of old radio show recordings to tell its entertaining and informative story." - Amazon.com
For more information check out the Amazon page for this release by clicking HERE
I was informed by our Friend Dan Cooper, that the widow of Driftin Cowboy Jimmy Wilkinson,
JoAnn Wilkinson, passed away yesterday (May 14, 2005).
The Bluegrass Legend Jimmy Martin also passed away yesterday.
Over the last year he had been receiving treatment for bladder cancer. He passed away in a Hospice in Tenn. He was 77 years old.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of both Mrs. Wilkinson and Mr. Martin. They will be missed.
New Hank Museum
I just read that a new Hank Williams Museum is being created in Oak Hill, West Virgina.
Oak Hill to start Hank Williams museum at former Pure Oil station (May 11 - Associated Press- USAToday)
West Virginia town to start Hank Williams museum (May 11 - Associated Press-www.tuscaloosanews.com)
Another Legend Passes
It seems like I've been writing a bunch of these lately...I heard today that the Legendary Bass Player Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance died on Monday, April 11, 2005. He was 79 years old. He had been battling Alzheimer's Disease and cancer.
Over his long career he had backed many of the Big Names in Country Music, including Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Bill Monroe, Marty Robbins just to name a few.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and Family.
"Thanks" to MJB for passing along this information.
Steel Guitar Legend Passes On
I'm very sad to report that steel guitar legend Jerry Byrd passed away on April 11, 2005 in Hawaii. He was 85 years old.
For more info click HERE
Jerry Byrd, steel guitar pioneer by Wayne Harada (Honolulu Advertiser)
20 Greatest Bands
I'm not sure how many got the chance to see CMT's 20 GREATEST COUNTRY BANDS a few days ago. It was great to see Hank Williams and The Drifting Cowboys on the list (ranked #6, If memory serves me well). There was one minor error that I saw (talking about Sammy Pruitt and showing a photo of Cedric Rainwater), but still a good show.
As far as I can find out, it will not be re-aired in the near future.
For more info CLICK HERE (CMT.com).
Hank Williams Festival 2005
I just found this article about this year's Hank Williams Festival in Georgiana, AL.
Hank Festival line-up finalized By Angie Long (The Greenville Advocate - Apr 15)
Also check out Hank Williams Museum Website for more info.
Drifting Cowboy Honored
The legendary Cowboy & steel guitar player, Don Helms was honored with a "Don Helms Day" and a monument in his
hometown of New Brockton, AL on November 20, 2004.
For more info, check this article out: New Brockton Honors Legendary Guitar Player With Monument"
By Carole Brand
Audrey's Dream News
Lycrecia Williams Hoover & Dale Vinicur have some upcoming appearances scheduled to premote their book "Dear Mama Williams" and the mission of Audrey's Dream.
Cooking Show Filmed at Hank Estate
I'm not sure how many people have RFD-TV, but I found this intersting article about their show Campfire Café. It seems that they have filmed an episode at Jett Williams' "Hank Williams Estate" in rural Tennessee that will be aired in Fall 2005.
It should be a great show!!
For more info check out these sites:
"A Little History, Country Music and Campfire Cuisine" (Yahoo News)
Campfire Cafe Site (www.campfirecafe.com)
News From Audrey's Dream
Some great news is coming from Lycrecia Willaims Hoover's not-for-profit substance abuse information center, Audrey's Dream. The long awaited "Dear Mama Williams" book will be published this month (Dec. 2004). The book prints some of the many sympathy cards and letters sent to Hank Williams' family after his passing in 1953.
For information visit the Audrey's Dream website.
Searching For Sign
Lycrecia Williams Hoover and Audrey's Dream are attempting to locate the original sign that hung out-side of Hank And Audrey's Corral in Nashville, TN. If any of you Hank Fans out there have any info, please contact:
206 Ocala Drive
Nashville, TN 37211