Friday, August 14, 2020

2020 Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductees - Part 2

 

I have few quibbles about Hank Williams, Jr. being inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, other than there are better and more successful artists who could have claimed that spot.

I am not a Hank Jr. fan, but then I'm not a fan of southern rock. I never "got" the Allman Brothers or any jam band, southern or not. Musical taste is so personal and inexplicable. Hank has rabid, rabid fans who have been praying for his induction for decades, so good for him and for them.

There was a time, prior to his transformation, when he was still singing country music, that I rather liked him. He has never had a strong singing voice, more of a shout, but he recorded some very decent country tracks. Once he abandoned traditional country music, he did score three or four number one hits, which are the ones most non-country fans know: All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight (or the Monday Night Football theme), Born To Boogie, possibly All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down). 

He did record a track I liked:

Don't get me wrong; I don't hate every Hank Jr. recording:

For those who are curious, Hank was an entirely different performer prior to his mountain climbing accident. Maybe that's why he always refers to himself in third person.

In his acceptance speech, Hank said, “Bocephus has been eyeing this one for awhile." It's like that Seinfeld episode in which Jimmy keeps calling himself Jimmy and all the characters think he's talking about a different guy. Elaine even agrees to go on a date with "Jimmy". I don't care for the affectation; maybe it's a way for Hank to keep himself at arms-length from his fans.

Maybe I'm wrong about Hank's success. My country music site of choice states he's had: 70 millions records sold, 5 total wins for Entertainer of the Year from the CMA and ACM Awards, 6 platinum records and 20 gold ones, 13 #1 albums, and 10 #1 singles. That's not what Wikipedia shows, but again I'm not going to quibble. 

I've attended many, many country concerts in my life. I've only walked out on one. It was the seventies and very few fans were aware that Hank, Jr. was now a "new" artist. None of his southern rock ditties were blasting out of the radio speakers yet. It was a shock -- the vast majority of the audience came to see the Hank we knew, and instead we were presented with a motley collection of Skynryd wanna-be's. Many of us left. In my defense, it was kind of false advertising. But I got used to the new Hank after a while. I may have even purchased the "Born To Boogie" single; can't remember.

So, congrats to Bocephus. I've got my fingers crossed for Gene Watson for future honors, but I'm not holding my breath. I'll settle for Tanya Tucker, though.



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