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September 6

Hank Williams’ Divorce Turned Into a Song, “You Win Again”

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Released in September 1952, “You Win Again” is a blues ballad in style, a single conceived by Hank Williams Sr. This single was recorded by Williams earlier in July at the Castle Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Music publishing executive Fred Rose produced the song for MGM Records.

You Win Again” is all about the feeling of despair of the singer with his partner. Similarly, it deals with Williams’ misery and divorce with his wife, Audrey.

Furthermore, the song went big in the 1950s as it has been popularly covered by numerous artists. This includes the versions by Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. In addition, “You Win Again” reached no. 10 on the Most Played in C&W Juke Boxes chart, staying there for a week.

From “I Lose Again” to “You Win Again”

Hank Williams' Divorce Turned Into a Song, "You Win Again" 1
Hank Williams and Audrey Williams | Photo screen grabbed on Youtube

On July 10, 1952, Hank Williams and ex-wife, Audrey, finalized and settled their divorce. The following day, July 11, Williams recorded “You Win Again,” which was all about the tumultuous relationship he had with his ex-wife.

Just like Williams’ earlier single, “Cold, Cold Heart,” the song was inspired by his personal romantic experience. As noted by biographer Colin Escott, he says:

“It might have been no more than coincidence, but, in the absence of hard evidence to the contrary, the songs cut that day after Hank’s divorce seems like pages torn from his diary…Its theme of betrayal had grown old years before Hank tackled it, but, drawing from his bottomless well of resentment, he gave it a freshness bordering on topicality.”

Originally, Williams gave the song the title “I Lose Again.” However, it was reversed because of producer Fred Rose’s insistence.

You Win Again” has become popular with its opening line,

“The news is out all over town.”

This line marks the beginning of a narration of the singer openly accepting that he is defeated in love as his partner is having another affair.

Listen to Hank Williams’ “You Win Again” below:

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audrey williams, fred rose, Hank Williams Sr., you win again


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