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September 17: Happy Birthday, Hank Williams

While one of the personages we salute today is an optimistic newsman, the other is Hank Williams, a crooner of songs of loneliness and despair, who died a tragic death.

However, Williams was born on this day in 1923 in Mount Olive, Alabama.

A mere fourteen years later, the young Williams (born Hiram but now going by Hank) was a host of a 15-minute radio program on Montgomery's radio station WSFA.

Williams would go on to be the leading figure in country music, to this day recognized as the genre's patriarch and leading practitioner.  He recorded such classics as "Hey, Good Lookin'," "Cold, Cold Heart," "Why Don't You Love Me?"  and "Your Cheatin' Heart."

Williams made many memorable performances on one of the nation's premier music showcases, "Grand Ole Oprey."  He also turned in white-hot musical performances on "Mother's Best Flour Show" and "Health and Happiness."  You left us too soon, Hank.


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