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Hank Williams tribute concert set for Charleston Jan. 9

Famed country singer has sad tie to Mountain State

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Fans of Hank Williams’ music will want to reserve tickets for the 14th Annual Hank Williams Tribute Concert set for the Clay Center for the Arts Sciences’ Maier Performance Hall on Jan. 9.

Hank Williams
Hank Williams
“Known as the “Hillbilly Shakespeare,” Williams had been a star of the Grand Ole Opry and a best-selling songwriter, known for composing such hit songs as “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Jambalaya” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” He was among the first artists to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville,” concert organizers said. “His music remains popular today, especially in West Virginia, where he passed away on New Year’s Day 1952 in Oak Hill.”A special guest at this year’s concert will be Nashville steel guitarist Billy Robinson, who appeared with Williams and other country music legends during the late 1940s and 1950s. Robinson accompanied Williams on his Grand Ole Opry debut in 1949, when the singing star was called back to the stage for an unprecedented seven encores.

Also appearing at the Clay Center show will be Charleston singer John Lilly and Ashland, Ky, vocalist Rob McNurlin. Other band members will include Buddy Griffin on fiddle and Ritchie Collins and Robert Shafer on guitars.

Concert remembering the music of Hank Williams
Singers Rob McNurlin and John Lilly perform at previous Hank Williams tribute concert. Photograph by Amos Perrine.

The Jan. 9 performance — the show begins at 7:30 p.m.  and tickets are $25 — will include many songs made famous by Williams, as well as several lesser-known songs, some of which Williams released under his pseudonym “Luke the Drifter.”

The two-hour concert is cosponsored by the Woody Hawley Concert Series and by the Kanawha Valley Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance (FOOTMAD). The Clay Center is located at One Clay Square, Charleston, W.Va. Tickets are available in advance by phone at (304)561-3570 or online at

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