Friday, December 28, 2007

Lovesick Blues, by Paul Hemphill

This audiobook was obtained for free from through the Alachua County Public Library. It was 7 hours and 22 minutes long and was narrated by Jonathan Hogan.

This was an amazing story of Hank Williams, a sick, flawed man from nowhere who was probably the greatest country music singer and songwriter of all time. He was born with a form of Spinabifida that made his life miserable all of his days. It was probably a contributing factor to his early alcoholism.

As a teenager, he was the "Singing Kid" on a local radio station in rural Alabama. He had learned the art of being an entertainer from a black street musician named Rufus Payne. His rise to stardom had many fits and starts as he kept sabotaging his career by being so unreliable due to his alcoholism. This dogged him throughout his career, which ended ironically with his failure to get to a performance because he died in the car on the way there.

I knew next to nothing about Hank Williams when I downloaded this audiobook. But I was so fascinated that I am bent on buying some of his music. This is a wonderful and terrible story about a man with genius for creating hit songs and little else. His death is all the more tragic because it came at the age of 29. This is a 4 star car wreck you just can't stopping staring at.

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