Hank Williams Quote
Fri Oct 24 03:47:24 EDT 2003
There was a movie about 16 maybe 20 yrs ago that portrayed Hank playing
the New yrs gig that he never made it to. The cat that played Hank was
a guy named "Sneezy Waters", or something like that. It even had an old
black guy portraying Rufus. It was shown on the CMT station. I think it
was called "The Show Hank Never Did". Dz anyone remember this movie?
I'd love to see it again. Oh yeah, the playing and singing were all
done live, no lip syncs. Very cool stuff!
From: Blues Music List [mailto:BLUES-L@LISTS.NETSPACE.ORG] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2003 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: Hank Williams Quote
Three years ago 6 made the following post. It was as true then as it is
The largest influence on the music of Hank Williams Sr. was Rufus Payne
African American street musician also known as Tee Tot. This is a
fact as stated by Hank repeatedly during his life time.
In the biography of Hank Williams written by Colin Escott - the author
writes at page 11:
"Lillie (Hank's mom) says she fed Payne in exchange for Hank's lessons,
almost everyone's memories of him are vague. Most say that he had a
and long simian arms that stretched almost to his knees; no one
any of the songs he used to play. Irene (Hank's sister) told the story
Payne once came to Lillie's house and told her that Hank was going to
both of them into trouble by following him around, which seems to imply
Hank was fairly insistent in pursuing Payne.
"As unfashionable as it was at the time to acknowledge the influence of
black musicians, Hank later went out of his way to give Payne full
'All the music training I ever had was from him,' he told the Montgomery
Advertiser in 1951. Talking to Ralph J. Gleason in June the following
he said, "I learned to play the guit-tar from an old colored man ... He
played in a colored street band ... I was shinin' shoes, sellin'
and followin' this old Nigrah around to get him to teach me to play the
guitar. I'd give him fifteen cents, or whatever I could get a hold of
the lesson." A few months later, Hank acknowledged Payne again in
and searched for him there, but Payne had probably died by then. Records
indicated he died in a charity hospital in Montgomery on March 17,
In my opinion, Hank Williams Sr. debt to blues man Tee Tot was largely
ignored at the time because of the pervasive racism of the period. We as
blues fans today, need to do what we can to correct the historical
with the documented facts which were conveniently ignored during Hank's
Greg Freerksen, host "Blues Edition" Public Radio from College of DuPage
90.9 FM WDCB, Glen Ellyn, Illinois 7-9 pm Saturdays
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