Ten years after the passing of his father, a 14-year-old boy follows his father’s footsteps and takes the stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
This rare footage is a glimpse into Hank Williams Jr.‘s early beginnings and shows just how much talent he inherited from his legendary father. The early years for the singer were filled with performances of him singing his father’s hits and imitating the same style. It wasn’t until years later that the talented artist would come into his own style and voice.
A young Hank Williams Jr.
And He "Still loves guns"#2A @USCCA @NAGR @NRA @USArmy @USNavy @USAF @USMC @USCG #tcot pic.twitter.com/oO6VXcKHzi
— ☆ PJ_Steiner ☆ (@PJ_Steiner) June 26, 2015
During an Opry performance in 1963, Ed Sullivan introduced him by name and notated his relation to the late Hank Williams. “Let’s have a fine welcome for this youngster!” he shouted.
Not missing a beat, the teenager starts right in singing “Your Cheatin’ Heart” with incredible vocal precision and tone. He truly is a gifted singer and proves that in every way during this show.
Doing my #MVC I came across a Cowsills record that had artists on the sleeve– struck by this oldie of Hank Williams Jr. So young. https://t.co/hoLBiXWJYx pic.twitter.com/JJ1DbVJXuu
— MikeOliverAL (@MikeOliverAL) July 14, 2018
The song was recorded by Hank Williams in September 1952, but was not released until shortly after his untimely death in 1953. The year after Hank Jr. performed the hit song on the Opry stage, his recording was used in a biopic about his father’s life.
#Music #Gifts HANK WILLIAMS JR RARE 1968 PROFILE @ 19-YEARS-OLD YOUNG COUNTRY MUSIC STAR https://t.co/Ha9ygJiYUp #Memorbilia pic.twitter.com/GoJgVtucb5
— LOVE OF MUSIC (@LOVE_OF_MUSIC_) June 14, 2017
Although Hank Jr.’s career began covering his father’s songs, he made himself a legend with hits like “Country Boys Can Survive,” “Family Tradition,” “All My Rowdy Friends,” “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” and “Just Call Me Hank,” to name a few.
It’s always so awesome to see your favorite singers at the very beginning of their career and see just how far they’ve come. There’s one thing Hank Jr. still has from when he was 14 – talent!
Watch the video clip below for a glimpse into Hank Jr. and his early start as a country music star!