Hank Williams, Jr.
Nicknamed “Bocephus” by his legendary dad, Hank Williams, Jr. pioneered the hard-edged outlaw sound, a mix of traditional country with blues and Southern rock that brought new energy to the blow-dried, rhinestone-encrusted country scene.
Williams started his career emulating his father’s sound, but a 1975 fall off a Montana mountain left him broken but not beaten, determined to carve his own musical path. In 1977, Jimmy Bowen – the renowned producer and head of Elektra’s country division – struck a distribution deal with Curb Records that brought Williams, Curb’s biggest name, to Elektra. Bowen personally supervised the series of gold-and-platinum-certified albums that followed, including 1979’s Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound, 1980’s Rowdy, and 1981’s The Pressure Is On. The two latter albums were among Williams’s biggest and best, spawning a streak of #1 country hits like “Texas Woman,” “Dixie On My Mind,” and “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” a genre-defining classic in which Hank Jr. bemoans the aging of fellow outlaws like George Jones, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. Williams would refer back to the song in 1984 with “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” his Emmy Award-winning theme for Monday Night Football.
In 1982, Elektra released the first volume of Hank Williams, Jr.’s Greatest Hits. An essential collection of modern country, the album would prove Williams’s biggest seller to date, earning five-times RIAA platinum certification. Williams left Elektra in 1983, forever established as a major figure in American music, a true blue original whose redneck anthems and outlaw persona helped revivify the country music genre. Hank Jr. is still raising hell today, standing proud as one of country’s most iconic and influential superstars.
Hank Williams, Jr.