The Country Music Hall of Fame finally inducts Hank Williams Jr.
Dude, seriously. How was Bocephus not already in the Country Music Hall of Fame? The Country Music Association has finally righted that wrong, announcing this morning that Hank Williams Jr. is one of the hall’s 2020 inductees. Also inducted this year: virtuoso roots musician Marty Stuart and songwriter Dean Dillon, known for writing hits for George Strait and other stars.
Iconic Williams hits include “A Country Boy Can Survive”, “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound”, “Born to Boogie”, “Young Country” and “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight”. He is also known for his swaggering vocal style, fiery guitar playing, and raucous live performances. He released his most recent album, “It’s About Time”, his 53rd LP studio, in 2016. Williams’ father, country music pioneer Hank Williams, was one of the Hall’s first three, inducted in 1961 with yodeler Jimmie Rodgers and composer Fred Rose.
Only three new members are inducted into the Country Hall of Fame each year. One each from the categories “Modern Era” (for 2020, it’s Stuart) and “Veteran’s Era” (Williams this year), as well as another from a rotating trio of “Non-Performer”, “Recording Musician and / or Tour ”or“ Songwriter ”categories (in this case, Dillon).
Acts of the “modern era” are eligible 20 years after first achieving “national notoriety”. For “Veteran’s Era”, it is 45 years after “national notoriety”. According to the Country Hall of Fame website, “Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame is the sole prerogative of the CMA. New members, elected annually by an anonymous panel of industry leaders chosen by the CMA. CMA refers to the aforementioned Country Music Association.
The inducted artists before Hank Williams Jr. includes the duo Brooks & Dunn, television artist “Hee Haw” Grandpa Jones and singer Ray Stevens, known primarily for novelty songs like “The Streak” and “Gitarzan”.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is much more infamous for making deserving artists, especially heavy metal and hard rock bands, wait eons to be included, if not forever. For example, Black Sabbath and Van Halen, two of the most influential and successful heavy music groups, had to wait around 10 years each to enter Rock Hall. As a solo artist, Ozzy Osbourne is still not part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although significantly less influential artists like Laura Nyro and Paul Butterfield Blues Band are registered there.
Hank Williams Jr. was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1949. His father passed away in 1953. (Before the Patriarch passed away, he gave his son a nickname that will remain with him for life, Bocephus.) Make his mark in the community. same calling as his father – whose stack of timeless hits includes songs like “Your Cheatin ‘Heart”, “Move It On Over” and “Hey Good Lookin” – has not been easy. But Williams, who began her recording career around 1964, succeeded. Especially once he hit his bad boy pace in the late ’70s and’ 80s. Later, Williams repurposed “All My Rowdy Friends” for the popular NFL’s “Monday Night Football” shows, introducing him to new generations of traditional pop culture.
The singer’s personal bow is also noteworthy. In 1975, while rock climbing in Montana, Williams survived a fall of about 500 feet and a landing on a rock. Due to the significant injuries that resulted, he had to relearn how to speak and sing. His now iconic sunglasses, beard and hat look comes from covering up scars and more from the many reconstructive surgeries he had after his accident.
Williams resides in the Nashville area. In the past it was also called home in Alabama, and it is believed that he still has a hunting camp in Troy, or did so as recently as 2015, as reported in a Rolling Stone article on the rap-rocker Kid Rock, a friend / neighbor of Williams. . Williams’ father was born in Mount Olive and during his lifetime also called Montgomery home.
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