Its Hard To Say Goodbye – Today In Country Music History [VIDEO]
January 4th, 1953
Hank Williams' funeral draws close to 25,000 people in Montgomery, Alabama. A country choir led by Webb Pierce, Red Foley, Little Jimmy Dickens and Carl Smith perform "I Saw The Light" and Ernest Tubb offers "Beyond The Sunset."
Williams was returned to Montgomery January 3rd, where he laid in state at his mother's boarding house where thousands of mourners came to pay respects to the fallen star. His casket was adorned with guitar shaped arrangements made by local flower shops. Several days after the funeral Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were passing through Montgomery and stopped to give their condolences to the Williams family.
It was the largest crowd to gather in Montgomery in it's history, a record that still holds true to this day. The site of the Funeral was the City Auditorium. A site where Hank had performed many times through out his career. Only 2,750 were able to get inside. The rest listened as the funeral was broadcast on a PA system outside in the streets and in Lister Hill Park, where a life size statue of Hank would be erected 38 years later.
The casket was brought in at 1:00pm and opened fifteen minutes later. Hank was dressed in one of his white stage suits, in his hands there was a small white bible. Standing honor guard were The Drifting Cowboys.
Hank and Red Foley had made a promise to each other; whichever one died first, the other had to sing 'Peace In The Valley" at the others funeral, Red followed through on his end, his voice cracking by the time he finished holding back tears. Dr. Henry Lyon gave a finally lengthy eulogy and the procession proceeded into the street and to nearby Oak Hill Cemetery.
Fred Rose, his son Wesley and old friend Braxton Schuffert were among those that carried Hank's casket to it's grave. People crowded the cemetery to say goodbye the old driftin' cowboy for the last time.
The soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and individual cuts pick up five nominations in the Grammy awards.
The album Timeless: Hank Williams Tribute also collects five nominations.
The Dixie Chicks' Fly album is nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy, competing with Santana, Diana Krall, The Backstreet Boys and TLC.
The Chicks pick up a total of four nominations.
WBAP in Dallas becomes the first station west of the Mississippi River to broadcast country music, airing "The Radio Barn Dance"
2014 – Florida-Georgia Line – “Stay”
2003 – George Strait – “She’ll Leave You With A Smile”
1997 – LeAnn Rimes – “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)”
1992 – Collin Raye – “Love, Me”
1986 – The Judds – “Have Mercy”
1975 – George Jones – “The Door”
1969 – Johnny Cash – “Daddy Sang Bass”
1964 – Buck Owens – “Love’s Gonna Live Here”
1960 – Marty Robbins – “El Paso”
1947 – Merle Travis – “Divorce Me C.O.D.”
2014 – Garth Brooks – Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences
2003 – Shania Twain – Up!
1997 – LeAnn Rimes – Blue
1992 – Garth Brooks – Ropin’ The Wind
1986 – Kenny Rogers – The Heart Of The Matter
1975 – John Denver – Back Home Again
1969 – Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman
1964 – Johnny Cash – Ring Of Fire: The Best Of
Singer Patty Loveless is 58
Singer Deana Carter is 49