Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

August 23, 2012

Hank Williams’ life, music focus of show

GOSHEN — The songs have been considered classics for decades. The man who made them famous never lived to see 30.

Tragedy and tunes factor heavily into the Hank Williams saga. It’s a musical story being told via “Hank Williams: Lost Highway” at the Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee.

“It’s definitely very much a biographical musical,” said “Lost Highway” director Jeremy Littlejohn. Hank (played by Timothy Leonard) stays in character during the show, with exposition offered now and by the other cast members.

Then there’s the music. Some of the Williams tunes performed in “Lost Highway” are snippets, Littlejohn said, but much of the score is made up of entire songs.

And Williams had nothing if not songs, 11 of which reached No. 1 in a five-year stretch. The hits include “Hey, Good Lookin’,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

Williams’ days enjoying his success were relatively few. He died on New Year’s Day, 1953, at age 29 from heart failure brought on by drug and alcohol abuse.

It was a sad and early end. Still, Williams’ influence has persisted.

The songs Williams wrote and recorded have been covered by musicians including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Social Distortion, The Grateful Dead, Neko Case, Norah Jones, George Thorogood, Ray Charles and The Melvins, among many others. Rolling Stone magazine picked Williams as one of the 100 greatest artists of all time, and Country Music Television ranked him second behind Johnny Cash as one of the 40 greatest men of country music. That’s not a shabby second place.

Music is Williams’ legacy, and count Littlejohn as a fan of the late artist’s songwriting gifts. The Round Barn director terms Williams’ lyrics “unbelievable.”

“(He’s) definitely one of the first artists to ever transcend genres,” Littlejohn added.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing