August 22

Hank Williams’ Famous Hit “Lost Highway” was Written by a Blind Singer

The song became popular as Hank Williams grew into the country legend that he is. However, Williams was not the first to record the song. The singer is known to have written most of his songs but “Lost Highway” was written by another country artist.

His name is Leon Payne and he is a blind singer. The country legend heard Leon’s bullet version, and so, he decided to do his own rendition of it.

hank williams, leon payne
Leon Payne “The Blind Country Singer” via Screengrab from YouTube

Hank Williams and Leon Payne

Leon Payne made a mark when he started his career as a blind musician and a brilliant songwriter. He was able to make a great track for Hank Williams to sing. This was acknowledged by the Nashville songwriters Hall of Fame as they inducted him to be a member back in 1970.

His version of “Lost Highway” was not really a commercial hit, not until Hank did his version back in 1949. Williams was a rising country artist who had a significant influence in the country music scene so it helped the track gain some recognition.

hank williams, blind
via Screengrab from YouTube

About the Song

The track was made famous of two lines which are still heard almost everywhere. The Lost Highway and The Rolling Stone was part of the lyrics made by Leon. Lost highway represents a wandering spirit looking for his place but ends up in a dark place. This was often experienced by musicians who pursue their dreams but ends up being swallowed by the pressure and bad side of fame.

As for the Rolling Stone line, a lot of people claimed that it became a known term because of Hank Williams’ performance. Though half the credit goes to Leon, the origin of the term dates back in biblical times. No matter what the case may be, we are just glad that we get to hear Hank sing the song.

Listen to the song here:

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hank williams

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