The third Hank - Hank Williams III to perform in Martinsburg

January 08, 1998


Staff Writer

Country singer Hank Williams III slips back to his family's farm in Jane, Mo., whenever he can.

He helps his grandfather, T.A. Yeargain, with the mules he raises, and sometimes they go raccoon hunting.

"I used to spend my summers there," said Williams, who was back home in Lebanon, Tenn., Tuesday after spending three days at the farm.

He said his grandfather is getting older, and he wants to be with him as much as possible.

It's Williams' other grandfather, the one he never knew, that captured the world's attention.

Williams, 25, is the grandson of the late Hank Williams Sr. and the son of Hank Williams Jr., country singers beloved by generations of fans.


Hank Williams III said he has his own way of doing things.

"I'm my own man, no doubt about that," he said.

He said he's on his own again - about two weeks ago he notified his manager that he was ready to move on.

Williams has recorded an album, but he's waiting for his record company to release it.

"It's too real for them to handle," Williams said, adding that he sings about subjects such as drinking, fighting and troubles with women.

One of his songs is "If the Devil's Got a Daughter, I've Got Her in My Arms."

"It's too bold right now; I haven't got a slick enough sound," he said. "They say radio won't support it."

Williams also is a songwriter, and he plays guitar, bass and drums.

He and his five-member band will give two concerts Saturday, Jan. 10, at Apollo Civic Theatre in Martinsburg, W.Va. He also will perform Wednesday, June 24, at Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Company Carnival.

His performances include his own songs, as well as those made famous by his grandfather and father. Those attending his shows often are fans of the eldest Williams, whose songs included "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Your Cheatin' Heart."

Many were introduced to Hank Williams III's music in 1996 with the release of "Three Hanks: Men With Broken Hearts," an album that combined the voices of all three generations.

"I was paying my respects; I was thrilled to sing with my dad and granddad," he said.

He said Hank Williams Sr. was trying to bring a little light into the world, and he opened himself up like a book.

"He was a storyteller, a common man who could write this kind of pure emotion," he said of his grandfather, who died in 1953.

For 10 years Williams played rock and roll and punk music, but he said it didn't pay the bills.

"When I grew up, I decided to do country music," he said.

His mother, Gwen Yeargain Williams, was Hank Williams Jr.'s second wife. They divorced in the mid-'70s. Hank Williams III was 3 when his father disappeared from his life, and he didn't see him for years.

"I knew I had a famous dad. I saw him on TV once in a while," he said.

He first played a few songs onstage with his dad when he was 10.

Williams said the two are a little closer now, but they don't have a buddy-buddy relationship.

"Dad has not done anything to help me in my career," he said.

He said his mother, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., has supported him in whatever variety of music he decided to play.

As a child of divorce, he said he's not anxious to rush into marriage. His girlfriend of six years, Katie Dalton, works at a publishing firm.

When he's not performing, he likes to play racing games on the Internet.

"I'm an insomniac, and I'm on the the computer all the time," he said.

He still wants to do rock, and someday he hopes to record an album on an independent label.

For now, his goal is to keep working and to do as many shows as he can.

"If we're around for 20 more years, we'll know we're doing something right," he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles