This item is circa 1954-55 and was printed in tribute after the death of the legendary Hank Williams Sr. on Jan. 1, 1953.
Audrey Mae Sheppard Williams (1923-75), was not only Hank Williams’ wife but was an American musician, mother of Hank Williams, Jr. and grandmother of Hank Williams III and Holly Williams.
Audrey and Hank were married from December 15, 1944 until July 10, 1952 when their divorce was finalized.
Hank Williams met Audrey Mae Sheppard in 1943. At the age of 20, she was separated from her first husband and a single mother to their daughter, Lycretia. In
Audrey soon began to push for her own spot in the limelight. Since the start of their relationship, Hank had sometimes allowed her to join with his backing band; as well as singing, Audrey played the upright bass. Country biographer Colin Escott wrote. "Her duets with Hank were like an extension of their married life in that she fought him for dominance on every note." They recorded several duets together and Audrey featured on the following recordings: "Lost On The River", "I Heard My Mother Praying For Me", "Dear Brother", "Jesus Remembered Me", "The Pale Horse And His Rider", "Jesus Died For Me", "Help Me Understand", Something Got A Hold Of Me", "I Want To Live And Love", and "Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies."
It has been suggested that Audrey wrote the "Mansion On The Hill" because Hank had writers block after meeting with Fred Rose.
In early 1948, tensions grew in their relationship as Hank began to abuse alcohol again. Audrey left, having given Hank the choice of alcohol or her. They would eventually reunite and on May 26, 1949, Audrey gave birth to Randall Williams. Hank nicknamed him "Bocephus.” Audrey would make an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry after the birth and officially rename the child Hank Williams, Junior. Meanwhile, Audrey refused to let Hank adopt Lycrecia because she was afraid he would take her if they divorced.
On December 31, 1951, after allegations of mutual infidelities and the resumption of Hank's problems with alcohol and pills, Audrey called him from a hotel and told him to be out of their Tennessee house by the time she returned. Hank allegedly replied with the prophetic, "Audrey I won't live another year without you." However, in June 1952, Audrey and Hank divorced for the second time. She was awarded the house and their child, as well as half of his future royalties (on the condition she never remarried). Months after Hank's death, towards the end of 1953, she paid his second wife Billie Jean Jones $30,000 to relinquish the title and description of "Hank Williams' Widow": both had been using the description professionally. Lilly was in rare agreement with her on this issue.
Items in the Worthopedia are obtained exclusively from licensors and partners solely for our members’ research needs.