Hank Williams Honored by Columbia University
Hank WIlliams pioneered the country-music confessional with songs like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Your Cheating Heart,” creating a lasting impact on American popular music. Now, he’s joining the likes of American music icons Bob Dylan and John Coltrane in receiving a Pulitzer Prize from the journalism school at Columbia University, ABC News reports.
Williams’ legend began with his first hit, “Move It On Over,” in 1947. He went on to produce 11 No. 1 hits in his short career until his untimely death at the age of 29. Columbia notes his “pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life” as the impetus for honoring the late singer/songwriter.
Williams also left a legacy in the form of his progeny; son Hank Williams Jr. and granddaughter Holly Williams both carry on the (albeit, slightly altered) musical tradition Hank Sr. started long ago. Holly Williams wrote to the Associated Press shortly after finishing a tour of Europe, “Who else has been covered by everyone from Bob Dylan to Tony Bennett to Coldplay to Buddy Guy? He deserves this honor on every level and the family is really happy about this.”
Dylan has done more than simply cover Williams’ songs. A few years ago, he was joined by Jack White in completing some of the songs Williams left unfinished when he passed. “This project started when Dylan acquired the ‘lost’ Hank Williams songs,” a collaborator told Paste. “Essentially, the lyric sheets Hank died with in his briefcase."
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