Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Music: Hank Williams, Jr.

Randall Hank Williams, known better as Hank Williams, Jr., is a Country Music artist. Obviously, he's the son of the legendary Hank Williams. Defying the common pattern for sons of famous musicians, Williams Jr. managed to establish a career at least as fruitful as his father's, in terms of chart and sales success, but did so on his own terms; whereas the elder Hank did so with pure honky tonk, Hank Jr. fused his father's music with Southern rock to create a sound and movement that few have equalled. His son Hank III and daughter Holly are country music artists in their own right.

Early in his career, Hank Jr. sang most of his dad's material, but he eventually grew tired of imitating his father and decided to forge a sound of his own, taking cues from Southern rock. Not surprisingly, the demons hit him pretty hard as well — pills and booze nearly drove him to suicide in 1974, but he soon regrouped. In 1975, he fell 442 feet off a Montana mountain and seriously damaged his skull and face, re-emerging in 1977 after re-learning how to sing and talk. He also grew his trademark thick beard and began wearing large dark sunglasses to hide the visible scars from his injuries and surgery.

Although it took him a while to get his career back on track, he broke through again 1979, following in the tradition of outlaw singers such as Waylon Jennings. For the rest of his career, he would balance his rock and country sound, managing to include chest-beating party anthems and sincere tributes to his father's sound in equal measure. Although he never had a Top 10 hit after 1990, he continued to release the occasional album.

Despite what you might have read on some websites, Hank Williams, Jr. is not the father of Kid Rock. This rumor was based on a misinterpretation of a lyric sung by Williams in his collaboration with the latter. Williams' real son, Hank III, addressed this rumor in his song "Not Everybody Likes Us". He also is not related to Paramore singer Hayley Williams

Tropes about Hank Jr. himself:

  • Badass Beard: He grew one not long after that fall off the mountain, mostly to cover up the substantial scars his injuries left. Those who have happened to see him clean-shaven claim that the scars aren't so bad nowadays, but he likes the look.
  • Sunglasses at Night: It's rare that you see Hank without sunglasses, regardless of what time it is.
  • Signature Style: He likes to write about the South, a lot. Usually in the form of thumping uptempos.

Tropes from/about Hank Jr.'s music:

  • Early Installment Weirdness: Just about anything before the late 70s he hadn't yet found his Southern rock and outlaw influences, so most of his earlier stuff is more mainstream countrypolitan and/or covers of his dad. Even though he had early #1 hits with "Eleven Roses" and "All for the Love of Sunshine," they are at total odds to his signature sound.
  • Hand Cannon: Addressed in the first verse of "I Got Rights":
    I said, "Gimme one of them Smith and Wesson magnum 44s"
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover:
  • Off on a Technicality: The murderer in "I Got Rights" gets away with the crime because of this.
  • Posthumous Collaboration:
    • "There's a Tear in My Beer", which incorporated a vocal track recorded by his father. The video digitally inserted Hank Jr. into a performance of Sr.'s.
    • The entire album Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts, using Hank Sr.'s vocal tracks, and newly recorded vocals by Hank Jr. and Hank III.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" was repurposed by ABC for Monday Night Football.
  • Rearrange the Song: "A Country Boy Can Survive", twice. He released a Y2K version in late 1999 (featuring Chad Brock and George Jones), a re-written patriotic version ("America Will Survive") after 9/11, and re-released the original recording in 2007.
  • Sequel Song: "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down" begat "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" and its repurposed version for Monday Night Football.
  • Singer Name Drop: He namedrops his nickname, "Bocephus", in many of his songs.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • 1981: "All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down)" is full of Shout Outs to what many of his contemporaries were doing at the time: George Jones is "getting straight", Waylon Jennings "is staying home and loving Jessi [Colter] more these days", and Johnny Cash "don't act like he did back in '68".
    • 1984's "Video Blues" describes the novelty of buying a VCR and being able to own home copies of movies.
    • 1985's "This Ain't Dallas," which makes several references to then popular primetime soap operas as Dallas and Dynasty and their characters.
    • The Y2K version of "A Country Boy Can Survive".

The WhoCreator/Warner Bros. RecordsSteven Wright
Hank WilliamsCountry MusicHank Williams III

alternative title(s): Hank Williams Jr
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy