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Williams' Family Tradition continues

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 – Notebooks filled with the handwritten musings, lyrics and notes of Hank Williams; an electric guitar crafted of bone and alligator hide; and a Pulitzer Prize are some of the new artifacts now on display in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's exhibition "Family Tradition: The Williams Family Legacy, Presented by SunTrust."

The exhibit, which was originally scheduled to close on Dec. 31, 2009, has been held over by popular demand through Dec. 31, 2011.

The museum also debuted "Family Tradition Encore," an exclusive online version of the exhibition that features video, photographs, awards, documents and other content not on display in the museum's galleries. "Family Tradition Encore" can be viewed at

"Family Tradition has been the most popular and critically acclaimed exhibition in this museum's history," said Museum Director Kyle Young, "because of the participation of the members of the Williams family, each of whom has generously loaned us heirlooms and artifacts, and helped us to tell the truest and most complete story about their family to date.

"Since our exhibit opened in March 2008, the Williams family has continued to make country music history. And they have continued to make available to us the artifacts and evidence of that history, most notably the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation awarded to Williams earlier this year.

"We are also grateful to Troy Tomlinson and Sony/ATV Music Publishing," Young continued, "which made available to us Hank Williams' recently discovered notebooks and other Williams items. We are pleased to add these and many other new items to the exhibit for our visitors to enjoy."

Hank Williams Jr., Hank Williams III, Hilary Williams, Holly Williams, Jett Williams and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC have all contributed new artifacts to Family Tradition.

Highlights include:

Two handwritten notebooks filled with Hank Williams' writings, including lyrics to many never-recorded songs and notes he made while researching Cajun cuisine for his hit Jambalaya < P>Williams' original, handwritten lyrics to his unpublished song I Thank My God for You, written on stationery from New York's King Edward Hotel, where Williams stayed during his 1951 appearance on the Perry Como Show

Pulitzer Prize Special Citation awarded to Hank Williams on May 24, 2010, at Columbia University.

Martin D-18 guitar belonging to Hank Williams Jr. The instrument, which Hank Jr. describes as his "therapy guitar," was played by Williams in 1975 while he underwent physical therapy after his life-threatening fall down Ajax Mountain.

One-of-a-kind electric guitar and strap, given to Hank Williams Jr. by a fan. The strap and guitar are crafted of alligator hide, and the pick guard and fretboard inlays are carved from bone.

Hank Williams III stage costume. The costume, designed to look like armor, was made for Williams by a fan.

Unedited, first-draft manuscript pages from "Sign of Life: The Hilary Williams Story," an autobiography written by Williams with M.B. Roberts and published this month by Da Capo Press

Promotional materials and reviews related to Holly Williams' new album, "Here with Me."

More news

CD reviews

It's About Time CD review - It's About Time
After 70 million records and 100 charting singles, does Hank Jr. have anything left to prove? Nope, but it is after all, a family tradition - so here he is, at age 66, with his first release on a new label exclusive to Hall of Famer types (Reba, Martina McBride), looking to strike gold one more time. The Bocephus blueprint hasn't changed much since the late '80s. We've come to expect guest stars, loads of songwriters and a dip into the great American music catalog. »»»
The Garden Spot Program 1950 CD review - The Garden Spot Program 1950
In a career that spanned a mere six years - a minuscule amount of time compared to those who are today celebrating anniversaries of 40, 50 or even 60 years of more - Hank Williams established himself as an abiding influence on all those who followed, a man whose music is as relevant and revered today as it was when it was originally recorded. Indeed, what Williams accomplished in that scant amount of time still resonates nearly 70 years later. There's been an abundance of compilations, »»»
The Highway CD review - The Highway
Let's get it out of the way right up front-yes, Holly Williams is the granddaughter of Hank Williams and the daughter of Hank Jr., but her last name is about the only thing she shares with them, given that her own music hews closer to a rootsy Americana vibe than any kind of country, classic or otherwise. Her latest album is her first independent effort after releases on Mercury and Universal South, and it's a more subdued, acoustic-based sound that dominates throughout, like Kim »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Cantrell continues to satisfy – Laura Cantrell may never be a country star. Not at this stage of her career when she's 50, touring here and there and releasing new music every few years or so. But five albums in, Cantrell continues as a warm, enjoyable and worthy purveyor of her brand of country. That would mean going towards a more traditional side, not rushing the songs... »»»
Concert Review: Not only is Turner traditional, he's popular – Every time Josh Turner reached for some of those wonderful subterranean low notes, which he often pulled out during his enjoyable night show, it was like a superhero applying a superpower. He didn't need this extra advantage to please his audience; he has so many quality songs stockpiled in his catalogue already doing the job.... »»»
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