The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

2002: Hank Williams

Honky Tonk Blues:

The Music, Life and Legacy of Hank Williams


Modern music legend Hank Williams was the honoree for the 7th annual  American Music Masters series.  In a career that barely lasted a decade, Hank Williams [inducted 1987] charted 36 Top 10 country hits, including such classics as “Lovesick Blues,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin” and “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).”  Unfortunately, Williams’ career came to a tragic end, when he died of a heart attack on January 1, 1953, at the age of 29. He scored three posthumous Number One hits in 1953 – “Kaw-Liga,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Take These Chains from My Heart” – and he has continued to inspire subsequent generations of rock and rollers and country musicians.


Tribute Concert at the Rock Hall

  • Billy Bob Thornton (narrator)
  • Bonnie Bramlett
  • Joe Grushecky
  • Tommy Shaw of Styx
  • Jack Scott
  • Brett James
  • Marty Stuart
  • Jett Williams


Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams

The Cleveland Playhouse presented the acclaimed play, Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams, directed by Randal Myler, from September 24 until October 20.

Conference at Case Western Reserve University

On Saturday, September 28, scholars, artists, and fans gathered to explore the life and legacy of Hank Williams.  Panelists included musicians Joe Grushecky (Iron City House Rockers), Don Helms (formerly of Hank Williams Drifting Cowboys), Tommy Shaw (Styx), Jett Williams (Hank's daughter) and Marty Stewart; scholars Peter Guralnick, Colin Escott, and Renée Sentilles; Hank Williams Museum founder Cecil Jackson and manager Beth Jackson Birtley ; Tony Ward nominee playwright Randal Myler and actor Jason Petty.

Selected Song List

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Additional Resources