Synopsis by Mark Deming
Hank Williams was one of the first great stars of country music to "cross over" to mainstream popularity; an emotionally affecting singer, Williams was also a gifted songwriter who had a knack for documenting life's trials in a manner that was artful, literate, and down-to-earth all at once. But the pain that came across in Hank Williams' songs was largely inspired by the difficulties of his own life; he had a turbulent relationship with his mother, a blighted childhood, suffered from an agonizingly painful back condition, developed serious problems with alcohol and drugs, and endured two stormy marriages before he died while traveling to a show in Ohio at the age of 29. Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues is a documentary which paints a vivid portrait of this singular artist and features rare performance footage and interviews with a number of Williams' friends, family members, and bandmates, including Hank Williams Jr., Hank Williams III (Williams' grandson), Billie Jean Horton (his second wife), George Jones, Ray Price, and many more. Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues was produced in collaboration by British and American television outlets, and received its United States premiere as part of the PBS series American Masters.
archival-footage, career-retrospective, country-music, life-story, musician, music-star