In 1975, the son of the legend Hank Williams Sr. and also an iconic country artist, Hank Williams Jr., nearly had a fatal accident that changed his life and his career. He was climbing on Ajax peak in Beaverhead Country, Montana the 8th of August. The country icon fell over 440 feet as the snow beneath him collapsed. He fractured his head in multiple places and he wasn’t expected to live. For him to recover, it took multiple surgeries for over two years. He was heartened by family friends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
“Many people don’t realize that June Carter Cash was my godmother. She and Mother were very tight. When I fell, there were only two people I saw when I woke up in the hospital bed, and that was Johnny and June,” Hank Williams Jr. recalls to Rolling Stone Country. “June put a cross on me and told me it was all going to be OK. I never knew if I would sing again or not, talk again or not, let alone think about what I was going to look like. It was a scary time, but having people like Waylon [Jennings], Johnny and June around really helped me.”
Although they have met a week before his fall, Becky White, Williams’ girlfriend at that time and his future second wife, also stood by him. “Twenty-four hours after admitting we loved each other, I became a monster on a mountainside with most of my face gone,” Williams told the People magazine.
Williams came out stronger not only surviving the accident. His 1975 album Hank Williams Jr. and Friends has introduced fans to a new sound coming from him. Coupled with the full beard and sunglasses to hide his scars, it proved a winning combination. This lead him to be one of the biggest names in country music over the next decade.
Truly, our loved ones are the ones helping us not only grow and mature, they are also the ones helping us heal and lift our spirits up, just like the case of Hank Williams Jr.
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