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Honky Tonk Blues: Wikis

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Honky Tonk Blues was a hit country and western song written and performed by Hank Williams. The original 1952 recording was a major hit, and it later became a hit for later-day superstar Charley Pride.


Song history

The song was about a young farmboy who leaves his father's farm for the enticements of the city, only to become worn down and disillusioned. Williams' version reached No. 2 on the Billboard magazine country best-sellers chart.


The title served as the name for a documentary about Williams broadcast by PBS as part of its American Masters series. [1] The documentary was also shown at the 48th London Film Festival in 2004.[2]


Since the release of Williams' hit version, the song has been covered by Doc Watson, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (with Watson for the album Will the Circle Be Unbroken), and Williams' son, Hank Williams, Jr.

Huey Lewis and the News covered the song on their 1983 album Sports.

The song was covered in 1990 by Pirates of the Mississippi. Their version was released as a single, and peaked at No. 26. In 2004, The Kentucky Headhunters also covered the song on their Big Boss Man album.

Charley Pride version

"Honky Tonk Blues"
Single by Charley Pride
from the album There's a Little Bit of Hank in Me
Released January 1980
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Genre country
Length 2:00
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) Hank Williams
Charley Pride singles chronology
"Missing You"
"Honky Tonk Blues"
"You Win Again"

The most successful cover version was by Charley Pride; his version reached the top of the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in April 1980.

Chart performance

Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"Sugar Daddy"
The Bellamy Brothers
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

April 12, 1980
Succeeded by
"It's Like We Never Said Goodbye"
by Crystal Gayle
Preceded by
"I'd Love to Lay You Down"
by Conway Twitty
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

April 26, 1980
Succeeded by
"Two Story House"
by George Jones and Tammy Wynette

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