Having watched this rare footage, we reckon you’ll agree with us. Hank Jr. showed his superb talent since the beginning.
Bocephus’ First: Singing His Father’s Song
In 1963, ten years after Hank Sr. died, 14-year-old Hank Jr. took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. He displayed an aura following his father’s footsteps right then. The host, Ed Sullivan, introduced him by name and noted his relation to the late Hank Williams,
“Let’s have a fine welcome for this youngster!”
This rare footage is a preview of Hank Williams Jr.’s early beginnings. He definitely showed just how much talent he inherited from his legendary father. The early years of his singing were filled with performances of him singing and duplicating his father’s hits and style. It was not until years later that he was able to develop his own style and voice. Having the stage to himself, the teenager starts right in singing “Your Cheatin’ Heart” with his best vocal nature. He truly is a talented singer and demonstrates that in every way during the show.
Until He Found His Own Style
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” is one of Hank Sr.’s last recording sessions on September 23, 1952. By the end of 1952, Williams started to suffer heart problems. Due to Hank Sr.’s untimely death in 1953, the song was not released.
But, a year after Hank Jr.’s performance on the Opry stage, his recording was used in a documentary about his father’s life.
At age 15, Williams had his first Top 5 hit on the country charts with a cover of his father’s song, “Long Gone Lonesome Blues.” He performed throughout his teens to sold-out crowds and on national television, booming on his father’s legacy through music. Although Hank Jr.’s career started covering his father’s songs, he made himself a legend with hits like “Country Boys Can Survive,” “Family Tradition,” “All My Rowdy Friends,” to name a few.
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