Hiram (misspelled on birth certificate as Hiriam) Williams, 17 September 1923, Georgiana, Alabama, USA, d. 1 January 1953, on the road between Montgomery, Alabama and Oak Hill, West Virginia, USA. Misspelling notwithstanding, Williams disliked the name and took to calling himself Hank. He was born with a spine defect that troubled him throughout his life, and which was further aggravated after being thrown from a horse when he was 17 years old. Initially, his parents, Lon and Lilly, ran a general store, but Lon later entered a veterans hospital following a delayed reaction to the horrors he had experienced during World War I. The young Williams was raised by his imposing, resourceful mother, who gave him a cheap guitar when he was seven. He learned chords from an elderly black musician, Teetot (Rufe Payne). Williams later said, All the musical training I ever had came from him. It also explains the strong blues thread that runs through his work....
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