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It was the middle of America’s Great Economic Depression. Hank Williams was just seven when his father left. The stress from World War I still burned in his father’s brain, and he committed himself into Veteran’s hospital.

Hank’s mother worked. She played organ at church, and Hank sang in the choir. At age 14, he won a singing contest and was called the Singing Kid. He was on the radio and toured Alabama with his band and mother as agent and driver.

By 1944, Hank W...

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