Hiram King "Hank" Williams (September 17, 1923 - January 1, 1953) is an American singer, guitarist and composer who became an icon of country music, and an influential XX > century. An influential follower of the honky tonk style, he recorded many hit records, and his stage charisma and concise compositions fueled his celebrity. His musical catalog is one of the pillars of country music. His songs have been taken over by pop, gospel and rock artists. His legend has only grown since his untimely death at the age of 29.
His son Hank Williams, Jr., his daughter Jett Williams, and his grandchildren Hank Williams III and Holly Williams are also professional musicians.
Williams was born in 1923, in the small town (not even official city status) of Mount Olive, about 8 miles from Georgiana, Alabama. His name comes from Hiram I of Tire, but he misspells Hiriam on his birth certificate. He is diagnosed with a case of spina bifida occulta, a spinal problem that will accompany him all his life with chronic back pain. His parents are Alonzo Huble Williams, known as Lon, locomotive driver for a regional forest company and veteran of the First World War, and Jessie Lillybelle Williams, known as Lillie. He has a big sister named Irene.
During his early childhood, the Williams family moved frequently to southern Alabama, following the necessities of his father's work. At the age of six, Hank made his debut in music by joining a church choir, and in 1930, when Williams was only seven, his mother bought him his very first guitar. That same year, his father began to suffer from facial paralysis. In a veterans clinic at the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Pensacola, Florida, doctors diagnose a cerebral aneurysm, so they send Lon Williams to the US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. He remains hospitalized for eight years and is therefore absent during most of his son's childhood.