Just some thoughts:
OFTEN HE RIDES WITH ME
You may be pretty particular who you let ride with you. My folks always told me be careful who you let in your car. A line I now repeat many times to our twenty-one year old granddaughter. I also tell her, “First thing you do when you get in your car.” “Yes, yes I know, lock my doors,” she will answer.
Well over the years I have let him ride with me many times. Often when I travel alone on one of my journeys he will ride with me for six or seven hours. I never get tired of him nor he of me. Just having him ride along can often put me in a mood, ranging from happy to depressed. Hank Williams often rides with me.
Williams lived a difficult life. It is hard for me to think he lived less time than our oldest grandchild. Williams died at age twenty-nine in the back seat of a car going to do a show in Canton, Ohio.
When I first came to Nashville I had the good fortune to sit and visit with Hank’s old steel guitar player, Don Helms. Most Sunday afternoons Helms would play at this one place and the place would be packed. During breaks for after his playing I would sit with he and his wife. I loved to hear stories he would tell of his days as one of William’s Drifting Cowboys.
Williams certainly had his issues but one thing Helms would say of Williams, he took his work seriously.
“Not once in the twenty-five recording sessions of his career could anyone remember Williams showing up drunk at the studio–which perhaps accounts for the consistently high quality of his discs.”
The Life and Times of Hank Williams–
Arnold Rogers & Bruce Gidoll
Some have said the last recording session he did which was in September of 1952 was his best. At that session he recorded, “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “I Could Never Be Ashamed of You,” the old cigar Indian song, “Kaw-Liga,” (poor old wooden head) and “Take These Chains From My Heart.” “Cheatin’ Heart” would be the first song released after his death in January of 1952. Tony Bennett would have a super hit on “Take These Chains From My Heart.”
So yes we all should be careful about who rides with us but I can certainly recommend Hank Williams as a companion.
“Mr.Hank, don’t trouble trouble ’till trouble troubles you.” This was once said to Hank by a hospital attendant.
A line that supposedly Williams would often say to his band was:
“Don’t worry about nothin’ cause nothin’ ain’t
gonna be all right anyhow.”
July 21, 2019