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About the book
  • Published: 1 November 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099469513
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $32.99

Lovesick Blues

The Life of Hank Williams

Formats & editions

A captivating biography of one of America's greatest songwriters who died alone in the back of a Cadillac, aged only twenty-nine.

Hank Williams is not just one of America's greatest songwriters but also one of the most enigmatic & shy – a raw poet from the rolling pine woods of south Alabama whose anguished lyrics were celebrated from the clamorous roadhouses of the Deep South all the way to Carnegie Hall. His tragic early death at the age of only twenty-nine, drunk and drugged, alone in the back seat of a Cadillac convertible on his way to a gig, ended a career that lasted only six years but went on to influence many of the greatest musicians in recent history.
Paul Hemphill has written a fascinating interpretative biography of Hank Williams, with the kind of soul and understanding that other books about him have lacked. Whence the pain and despair? Why the booze and pills? Where did his genius come from? How did he know everything he wrote about? These are the questions it seeks to answer.

  • Pub date: 1 November 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099469513
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Paul Hemphill

Paul Hemphill was born and raised in Alabama. He is a prolific journalist, sportswriter, and novelist. He is the author of fifteen books, including four novels. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Praise for Lovesick Blues

“This slim volume by Mr. Hemphill...is the only book I've read that is as exhilarating as the man's music”

Allen Barra, New York Sun

“'Hank Williams wrote the rock'n'roll rulebook. Moving...absorbing biography of "the hillbilly Shakespeare"' ”

Daily Express

“'A fabulous and tragic tale and Hemphill tells it well. Excellent'”


“'Moving and informative...Lovesick Blues is lean, distilled Hank' ”

Glasgow Herald

“ 'This biography does tough justice to a wrecked icon'”

The Times

“'Hemphill writes with real enthusiasm and provides a compelling take on one of the great tragedies of popular music'”

Record Collector

“[A] concise, startling biography...The connection between author and subject is what makes this book so rewarding”

Publishers Weekly

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