The Songs That Put Hank Jr. In the Hall of Fame
It's been a long time coming (some would say too long) but it was announced earlier this week that Hank Williams Jr. will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Hank's always done it his way. The son of country music royalty, he began his career by shadowing his famous father's. But in the '70s, Bocephus hit his stride and poured out some of the greatest country music of his generation. Here are the songs that put Hank Jr. in the Hall of Fame.
Pride's Not Hard To Swallow, 1972: A 23-year-old Hank was still finding his sound back when he released this song. He looks nothing like the Bocephus we're used to seeing these days, but that voice sure could carry a tune.
Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound, 1979: By the end of the '70s, Hank found that signature sound he'd been searching for. It doesn't get much better than this classic, and title track off the album that turned him into a country music superstar.
If Heaven Ain't A Lot Like Dixie, 1982: A fan favorite and the song that closes out the autobiographical movie about his life, Living Proof: The Hank Williams Jr. Story.
Family Tradition, 1979: This is, without a doubt, the signature song of Hank Jr. And a song that country music fans from far and wide still sing at the top of their lungs whenever it comes on the radio. This is Hank at his best.
All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight, 1984: A fun tune that peaked at number ten on the country charts in 1984. Five years later, Hank re-worked the lyrics and gave it to ABC, who used it as the theme song for Monday Night Football until 2011.
A Country Boy Can Survive, 1982: A powerful song that Hank wrote about his own personal experiences. After 9/11, he re-worked the song into the equally powerful America Will Survive.
Born To Boogie, 1987: Ever the showman, Hank has a lot of fun on this track, which was the title track off his highly successful album that spawned multiple hit singles.
Women I've Never Had, 1979: Yet another hit off of his Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound album. Hank gets right to the point with this one, and audiences loved it.
Don't Give Us A Reason, 1990: Recorded and released right before the Gulf War with Iraq. In this patriotic, yet humorous song, Hank pokes a little fun at Saddam Hussein, while giving listeners a lesson in history.
O.D.'d In Denver, 1979: You aren't likely to hear this one on many radio stations, but this is one of the most sobering and powerful songs in Hank's catalog. In it, he talks about his cocaine addiction in the '70s, which ultimately led to him losing out on, what could have been, the love of his life.
Young Country, 1987: One of the anthems for country musicians in the '80s. In this tune, Hank talks about how it's ok to love Rock n' Roll, but still, have your roots in country.
There's A Tear In My Beer, 1989: Originally a hit for his dad, Hank re-recorded it as a duet in the late '80s. It's a fitting tribute to the father he never knew.
This list is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the essential songs of Hank Williams Jr. But, it also shows why he is a well-deserved member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.