My neighbor, Helen Ferebee, however, loved country music, loved old Hank. In the summer when the windows were open, music would float over into our yard. Once, when I was visiting, Helen played me some Hank Williams songs. I can't remember which ones, but I do remember the feel and sound of them. It crawled inside me and settled down, as real experience always does.
When I went home and asked my parents about Hank Williams, I was instructed that he and his music were not much.
The Board, chaired by Anders Gyllenhaal, executive editor of the Miami Herald, made the award after a confidential survey of experts in popular music.
“The citation, above all, recognizes the lasting impact of Williams as a creative force that influenced a wide range of other musicians and performers,” said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. “At the same time, the award highlights the Board’s desire to broaden its Music Prize and recognize the full range of musical excellence that might not have been considered in the past.
If that isn't distinguished work, worthy of a Pulitzer, I don't know what is.Though Williams was a star in his day who understood the power of image, at the core of his work was his ability to write and sing lines that resonated not only in the mind but deep in the heart of his listeners – which is why his songs so easily cross genres for other performers: His words speak of what we know to be true.
Hank Williams wrote and recorded about 150 songs in his 6 year career. Here's a link to their lyrics. If you've never listened to old Hank because you think you wouldn't like anything so "country," why not download a couple of his Pulitzer Prize winning songs and give them an objective try? With as open a mind as you'd approach Paul Harding's Pulitzer Prize winning novel.