(PRWEB) September 20, 2003
The kick off to the celebration began on Friday evening, September 13, 2003, as several of us strolled through the incredible Hank Williams Museum. The museum is filled with Hank Williams memorabilia including records, letters, suits and the 1952 Cadillac that Hank Williams left this world behind in while traveling to another show, just to name a few items. The collection is amazing, one could stroll for hours through the museum and still miss something. Any music fan would enjoy a stop at the museum, stroll back in time, when life was a little less hectic.
Friday evening we were entertained by "The Kandu Band" one of Montgomery's finest country bands. As we listened to the band we enjoyed refreshments, conversation and birthday cake this made for a great start to the birthday celebration.
Saturday Morning was just beautiful as several people gathered at the Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place of Hank Williams. The short Memorial Service headed by Cecil Jackson, founder of the museum, who gave a few words and thoughts as flowers were placed on the grave's of both Hank and Audrey. Then Mr. Jackson told the news of the association and how the museum and fan club were trying to get Montgomery more involved in the music of Hank. He stated that one would think this would be easy but there seem to be a lack of support. Mr. Jackson proudly introduced Lum York, Jimmy Porter, and Allen Dunkin, three of the Drifting Cowboys, that were on hand for the memorial service and celebration. The next introduction was Dustin Hunt to lead the crowd in 'I Saw The Light' as a conclusion to the morning memorial service.
The celebration was full of entertainment from around the country entertainers included:
Tyler Jones Killen, AL, Richard Barksdale Denham Springs, LA, Lela Brewer Montgomery, AL, Daniel Davidson Gastonia, NC, Amos Parker Summit, MS, Andy Norman Montgomery, AL, , Jim Singleton Arab, AL, Charlie Boling Mobile, AL, Pat Lynch Prattville, AL. as well as Garrett Miles of Phenix City, AL. , Floyd Cowger from Fairmont, WV., Dustin Hunt from Kansas City
Garrett Miles is a 14 year and blind since birth and a true Hank Williams Fan. Garrett claims to know everyone of the legends songs and you can tell his passion of Hank when you speak with him. He sang Saturday afternoon and does a good job for his age, keep up the good work!
Another notable act was Floyd Cowger from Fairmont, WV is an act anyone would enjoy. You could tell this wasn't his first time to take the stage and that he had been at it for a while. He was a welcome change to the program, a voice of rescue to the celebration. His CD 'Somewhere Between The Bars & Home' is a great piece of work and a must for any collection.
The most notable act of the celebration was Dustin Hunt from Kansas City (DH-Music.Com), what a great treat, even though he was last on the program all seemed not to mind the long wait. This young man really brings country home, regardless of what he is singing. He started off with 'Cold, Cold Heart' and you could tell in an instant he was a hit with the crowd. Dressed in a black jacket with notes all over it and white slacks that had a little Bass Clef note on the cuff, subtle but powerful, much like himself. Dustin made an announcement prior to performing that he was just Dustin not an impersonator and what he sang was his voice that what you got was Dustin. He made is point clear when he altered from the all day long signing of Hank tunes and sang 'Whisperin' Pines' a classic number that Johnny Horton recorded before Dustin's time. Next he wowed us all with "Right Where We Belong" one of his own songs from his latest CD, The Man, The Music, The Legend. "Right Where We Belong" is a great number that is done in the style of Hank Williams but with a definite Dustin flare. I bought the CD and you should too, it is a remarkable Tribute to Hank Williams.
Dustin was fortunate to meet a few of the Drifting Cowboys and to lead the crowd at the memorial service in 'I Saw The Light' at Oakwood Cemetery the resting place of the great music icon, Hank Williams. Dustin told me that he was delighted to perform for such an event and it was an honor to be a part of the celebration. I asked him what the he thought would be his most lasting memory of his trip down south, he shrugged his shoulders and said that he really enjoyed playing down in the foyer to a group of people, it was like being at home. I asked Dustin what he thought of the members and staff who are in charge of the museum. He simply replied with a shrug of his right shoulder, "Some were more friendly than others, like Beth Birtley the Manager of the Museum, she was busy but made a few moments to get to know each person. First impressions are lasting and as we all know, very hard to change. The important thing is that we had fun and the fans enjoyed the celebration, they are the ones that keep the memory of Hank alive and Hank would have been not only proud but honored at the events turn out."
It was great to see so many people from different walks of life and ages turn out for the event. Though Hank Williams' life was cut short his impact on the world of music is everlasting, regardless of oneÂs age.
The Museum located at 118 Commerce Street, Montgomery AL. is home to several items that made up a portion of Hank's life. Visit WWWW.HANK50.COM for more information on the museum.