Hank Williams Jr. is known for several things. His presence on the Monday Night Football, his history being the living outlaw, a party starter, and of course, being the son of Hank Williams. He has a musical career that spans a staggering 60 years, including 56 studio albums and 25 compilation albums.
Check out below how many Hank Williams Jr. songs you can sing.
1. Family Tradition
“Family Tradition” is one of Williams’ most famous song and the song that rejuvenated his career. The song peaked at No. 4 in 1979. But it’s more than just a song. It is Williams’ statement of rebellion, not only in his lifestyle but also in his musical identity and direction.
“Family Tradition” explains that Williams wants his own style, own music and will pave his own path in the way he wants. Even though his career began with him imitating his father, was even referred to as a Hank Williams impersonator, he eventually forged his own way. He took on a new image and a new sound.
The lyrics are crystal clear; Williams will keep on carrying the family tradition – as long as he gets to decide how to do it. He sings, “I am very proud of my daddy’s name / Although his kind of music and mine ain’t exactly the same / Stop and think it over / Put yourself in my position / If I get stoned and sing all night long it’s a family tradition.” So if you’re wondering who Hank Williams Jr. is, just listen to this song, and you’ll get something of a Williams family history lesson.
2. All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)
Hank Williams Jr. wrote the song by himself. He included references to Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash in the lyrics, citing all the different things that they were doing with their lives rather than partying with him.
The song is his way of mourning because his rowdy and famous friends are settling into a calmer lifestyle. Old George Jones is “finally getting straight.” Waylon Jennings “staying home and loving.” Johnny Cash, “don’t act like he did back.” Williams sings, “And nobody wants to get drunk and get loud.”
3. Ain’t Misbehavin
We all know about Hank Williams Jr.’s country side, but did you know he also has a rock side? If you’ve been into one of his concerts, you also know that he loves the blues too. And he can very much pull it off.
In 1985, many country fans were a little surprised to Williams cover this evergreen from Fats Waller, and the singer made it work. He gave an impressive performance of the song that earned him yet another No. 1 single in 1986.
4. There’s a Tear in My Beer
“There’s a Tear in My Beer” is an original song of Hank Williams Sr. The country legend recorded it in 1950, but it was never released.
In 1988, his son Hank Williams Jr. released the song with a twist. He recorded additional vocals, adding a full band on top of his father’s guitar. He used electronic merging technology in creating a music video in which he and his legendary father appeared to be playing the song together.
The result was a big success! He earned the CMA and ACM Music Video of the Year awards as well as Grammy trophy for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.
5. Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound
Every time Hank Williams Jr. sings the opening lyrics to his song “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” the crowd can’t help but go absolutely crazy. The song, which was released in September 1979, peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It even reached No. 1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.
Williams wrote the song while he was hanging with the Allman Brothers. Dickey Betts asked him how he writes country songs, to which he answered, “Well, I got a good woman at home…” And everything came together in just ten minutes.
6. All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night
Hank Williams Jr.’s “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” has been the staple on the Monday Night Football broadcast from 1989 until the singer’s “dumb comment” in 2011. ESPN pulled Williams from the show’s opening after he compared former President Barrack Obama to Adolf Hitler and said he and Vice President Joe Biden were “the enemy.”
But ESPN brought the song back six years later. “I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” Stephanie Druley, ESPN’s senior vice president of events and studio production, said. “It belongs to Monday Night Football. It really is about returning to what fans know. It’s a Monday night party, and that’s what we are all hoping to get back to.”
7. A Country Boy Can Survive
“A Country Boy Can Survive” is hopeless and, at the same time, a hopeful song. It acknowledged the fact that all sorts of disasters could happen, be it the Mississippi drying up, or the stock market crashing, or worse, the world ending. But still, a country boy is going to survive.
The song was a total hit! In 1999, he released a Y2K version of it with Chad Brock and George Jones. There’s also another version released after the September 11 terrorist attack called “America Will Survive.” He re-wrote and re-recorded the song with a patriotic theme.
8. Born to Boogie
If you feel like dancing, don’t worry! There’s a Hank Williams Jr. song for you. From the guitar solos to the piano solos to Hank Williams Jr. singing, “I was born to boogie!” it’s impossible not to love this song or dance to it.
“Born to Boogie” roars out of the gate with a guitar lick, honky-tonk piano, and four-on-the-floor drums. The 1987 No. 1 hit also references two of Williams Jr.’s favorite things: his “rowdy friends” and his nickname “Bocephus.”
9. The Conversation
Two country icons teamed up for “The Conversation”: Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings. The song exactly sounds like: “Hank, let’s talk about your daddy,” Jennings begins. The rest of the song is a back-and-forth between the two singers, with the agreement that they will not talk about the habits of the elder Williams, only “the music and the man.”
Though it only peaked at No. 15, the song is truly a memorable one for the honest ways Williams Jr. and Jennings confront the loss of their father and contemporary, respectively.
The two conclude the song in reverence, “Still the most wanted outlaw in the land.”
10. Man of Steel
The song, which was written by Hank Williams Jr., peaked No. Three on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. It’s actually the title track of the album of the same name and has appeared on the compilation album Hank Williams Jr.’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2