Museum of American PoeticsExhibits

Hank Williams as Luke The Drifter


Images Courtesy of Joey Allcorn

King Hiram "Hank" Williams was born on September 17, 1923, in Mount Olive, Alabama. Early in his career, he developed the habit of singing preaching type songs under the name of "Luke the Drifter," a nom de plume for an idealized character who went across the country preaching the gospel, and doing good deeds while Hank Williams, the drunkard, cheated on women, and was cheated on by them in return.. Williams died in his cadillac in Oak Hill, West Virginia, at the age of 29, while on the way to a scheduled performance on New Years Day, 1953, in Canton, Ohio. That same year MGM released Luke The Drifter ( nrs. 30755 - 30758 )in a 78 RPM box set. The lyrics of these songs are a well-guarded secret among the great minimalist Country and Western troubadours. They are considered recitative morality fables incorporating a sort of "drawling blues" done on the spur of the moment.
Click on the labels below to hear recordings from rare '78s
MP3s & images courtesey of Robert McGill Palmer (Mac)
  Ramblin' Man  
  Pictures From Life's Other Side  
  Beyond The Sunset  
  The Funeral  

Luke the Drifter titles at
Hank Williams Lyrics:

Be Careful Of Stones That You Throw


Beyond the Sunset


Everything's Okay


Help Me Understand


Just Waitin'


Pictures From Life's Other Side
(A Picture From Life's Other Side)


Ramblin' Man


The Funeral