He called himself Luke the Drifter. He pioneered, and pretty much invented what we know today as country music. At the peak of his career, he was acknowledged to be the greatest singer-songwriter in American history. But after a meteoric rise to record and radio super-stardom in the late 1940's, the man had made a train wreck of his life. Drugs, alcohol, and a hair-trigger temper had ended two marriages, ruined a host of friendships and made the tortured genius a virtual untouchable in the music business. So at the end of 1952, Hank Williams gathered what was left of his physical strength to make things right, and begin the long road back. He booked New Year's shows in West Virginia and Ohio, and hired a local kid who didn't even own a radio, much less know who this legend was, to drive him there from Montgomery, Alabama. No one else wanted the job. He never got there. Somewhere on that last highway, the country music legend passed away on New Year's Day, 1953, in the back of his powder blue Cadillac, carrying only his guitar and a notebook full of unfinished songs. He was 29.
- 1 hr 41 minPG13
- Oct 21, 2011