Considered by many music scholars and fans alike to be the greatest country music songwriter in history, Hiram King Williams Sr. has remained somewhat of an enigma. Although "Hank"–as he's simply known to his millions of admirers–has been the subject of numerous biographies, films and interviews, including Q&As with his son and namesake Hank Williams Jr., none of the previously released films have done much at the box office and are frequently lampooned and dismissed by the Williams family, this one being no exception (particularly for the casting of British actor Tom Middleston as the legendary Alabaman).
Williams was the author of 35 country singles spanning the years 1946-1953, 11 of which reached number one on the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart. His characteristic high and lonesome whinny, along with his band The Drifting Cowboys' distinct guitar, upright bass, steel guitar and fiddle sound, helped propel him to being the most popular and celebrated country music artist of his time.
Williams was born in 1923 with spina bifida occulta, resulting in excruciating back pain which he suffered from and self-medicated all of his life. The disorder fueled his dependence upon alcohol and prescription pills, which would eventually take his life on New Year's Day 1953. Williams was 29 years old.
Despite his premature death, Hank Williams Sr. is celebrated throughout the world even by folks with no affinity for country music. It's his dynamic wordplay, ear for melody, distinct voice and heartbreaking lyrics that have made him a classic American icon and fueled his continuous presence in mainstream pop culture.
Below is the first released trailer for the Williams biopic I Saw The Light, which is set for release March 25, 2016.