Hank: The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams (Paperback)
"A compassionate yet clear-eyed" (Washington Post) portrait of country music’s founding father and "Hillbilly King."
Mark Ribowsky’s Hank has been hailed as the "greatest biography yet" (Library Journal, starred review) of the beloved icon. Hank Williams, a frail, flawed man who had become country music’s first real star, instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr when he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of twenty-nine. Six decades later, Ribowsky traces the miraculous rise of this music legend?from the dirt roads of rural Alabama to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and, finally, to a lonely end on New Year’s Day in 1953. Examining Williams’s chart-topping hits while also re-creating days and nights choked in booze and desperation, Hank uncovers the real man beneath the myths, reintroducing us to an American original whose legacy, like a good night at the honkytonk, promises to carry on and on.
About the Author
Mark Ribowsky is a New York Times acclaimed, best-selling author of fifteen books, including biographies of Tom Landry, Al Davis, Hank Williams, and most recently, In the Name of the Father: Family, Football, and the Manning Dynasty. He lives in Florida.lorida.
A timely biography…Ribowsky has taken on a truly harrowing life.
— John Williams
A new biography that exhumes the strange case of the poet and the peckerwood…[Hank] offers a feast of juicy anecdotes and sharp analysis that should satisfy devotees and attract newcomers to the fold. It’s the most Hank you can get in a single helping?and the most you’d probably want. Williams is always good company, especially around last call.
— Eddie Dean
A compassionate yet clear-eyed study of the iconic country star…It’s to [Ribowsky’s] credit that he gets as close to Williams as any writer could…Hank Williams was a tortured poet who died before most Americans today were born, but he’ll outlive us all.
— David Kirby
With such a legendary figure, this book succeeds in painting a seemingly more realistic picture of [Williams’s] life…The greatest biography yet.
A sturdy biography of the unsteady icon of outlaw country avant la lettre…Ribowsky covers the details of Williams’ untidy personal life without undue sensationalism…[A] decidedly warts-and-all portrait of a man more revered than listened to these days. It’s not every 29-year-old who can pack enough into a life to warrant a 500-page biography?and a good one at that.
Entertaining…Ribowsky is an engaging storyteller, and he tells Williams’ story with such verve and humor…that Williams and his music come alive.