• Hank

  • The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams
  • By: Mark Ribowsky
  • Narrated by: Tom Perkins
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Hank  By  cover art

Hank

By: Mark Ribowsky
Narrated by: Tom Perkins
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Publisher's Summary

After he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of 29, Hank Williams - a frail, flawed man who had become country music's first real star - instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights with simple songs of despair, depression, and tainted love, he would, with that outlaw swagger, become in death a template for the rock generation to follow.

Six decades later, Mark Ribowsky now weaves together the first fully realized biography of Hank Williams in a generation. Examining his music while also re-creating days and nights choked in booze and desperation, Ribowsky traces the miraculous rise of this music legend - from the dirt roads of rural Alabama to the now-immortal stage of the Grand Ole Opry and finally to a sad, lonely end on New Year's Day 1953. The result is an original work that promises to uncover the real Hank beneath the myths that have long enshrouded his legacy.

©2017 Mark Ribowsky (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Hank

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The REAL story behind a true legend

Great history of Hank Williams, without the bullsh... Hollywood polish, for a change, and refreshingly so. Narrator Tom Perkins does an honorable job, though I had imagined someone more "country" for the narration. Well written and well worth one's time and attention.

6 people found this helpful

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A Remarkable Tale of Woe

A cautionary tale for any would-be celebrity, a foolish man destroyed by alcohol and the greed of others. Had Elvis read this book, perhaps he would have lived differently. Deep research and excellent writing, topped off by a perfect narration, make this book a fascinating, heartbreaking listen. Especially if you have access to the songs as they are described.

3 people found this helpful

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interesting history of a country legend

great narration but the story was a slow depressing descent. I wonder how this man managed to fillander and drug so much at such a young age but chronic pain, a greedy medical imposter, and spinal cord damage won out in the end. Hank's talent continues to live on in his music.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Detailed book; awful narration.

The book goes into considerable detail;too much detail in fact. The book is as much about the songs of Hank Williams, as it is about the life of Hank. Just too much minutiae. As with all books on this subject, the story of Hank Williams is truly sad, amazing, and disturbing. It’s the prime example of greed, disloyalty, distrust, and an early demise.

The book did have certain details that I had never heard before. So, it’s worth the listen for that. But overall, the book was just too long, and focused on minor details. Finally, THE NARRATOR WAS TERRIBLE. He speaks like a robot and puts no emotion into the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Well it is dark as night but fairly accurate

Hit all the spots good and bad. I would like an audio book with just the songs recordings instruments etc instead of the drinking the songs and performances were his strength this would sell light and positive

1 person found this helpful

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trash - simply terrible

full of mistakes and arrogant attitude by the writer and poorly performed. I never made it past the 5th chapter when it became clear it wasn't going to get any better. skip this one.

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The best Hank Williams bio

Well written and entertaining. The book moves quickly does not drag. The reader is excellent I want to find more titles read by him.

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    1 out of 5 stars

Awful.

I couldn't finish it. this author had no business writing about Hank. He evaluated how politically correct he was and quoted from current pop country singers. I fried to push through to the end, as there were parts I found interesting. However, I finally hit a point I started looking for a way to delete this title from my library.

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Hank or F*ck the south

The narration is painfully monotonous and I can't tell if it's actually a biography or a big f*ck you to the south, to country music and to Hank himself. I can't believe I actually spent money on this. I hope I can find a better Hank Biography elsewhere.

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The Legend of a Alcoholic: Hank Williams Jr.

Hank Williams Jr loved to stand on a stage and sing his sad songs playing his guitar, but there was something more he loved even more: Alcohol. I will continue to listen to the legacy of Hank's music, however, it's very unlikely I will pick up this very sad, very redundant at times book again.

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  • Dk Chambers
  • 03-21-20

Hank music is wonderful

Great voice & story about a suffering human. Encouraging to know that humans have evolved in so many areas of life. Thanks for all the music Hank & Audrey & Fred. The beats live on & on... I highly recommend this book it is a wonderful biography.

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  • Stephen
  • 10-21-18

Very Worthwhile

An excellent and thorough account of a man who was tortured emotionally and brilliant in equal measure - brilliantly narrated.