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The Lonesome Whippoorwill

Updated on June 14, 2009

Hear The Lonesome Whippoorwill

"Hear that lonesome whippoorwill, it sounds too blue to fly," starts off the lonesome sounding song written by Hank Williams in 1949.The song is titled "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and it was #111 on Rolling Stones top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Considering it is the second oldest song on the list and one of only two from the 1940's. It also made #29 on CMT's Top 100 Songs in 2003.

Dozens of musical artists have sang this song along with Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1976 and B.J. Thomas brought it to #8 in 1966 with his rendition of it.

Hank Williams wrote the song over his troubled relationship with his wife, Audrey Sheppard and was worried that that it was too artsy for his audience. The song was on the "B" side of his song "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It."

It didn't get much attention until after Hank's death when Willie Nelson and other artists started singing it and it came to symbolize Hank's whiskey drinking life.

He was born Hiram Williams, in Mount Olive, Alabama, in 1923 and learned gospel music from his mother, who played the organ at their Baptist church, and blues/pop from a black street musician. By the time he was 16, he'd formed the first version of his legendary band, the Drifting Cowboys, and was playing music on a local radio station.

Hank Williams, "the hillbilly Shakespeare," left this world 56 years ago, at the age of 29, yet he still has a hold on the American imagination as the most potent icon of country music.

Three of his recordings reached the top of the charts in the year following his death. By 1954, with his earthly voice silenced, the fragile young man from Alabama was only a legend. But in his last few turbulent years, he had changed country music forever and his musical legacy remains its cornerstone.


HANK WILLIAMS September 17, 1923 - January 1, 1953

Did You Know?

Hank and Audrey barely escaped serious injury from gun shots by crawling out the back window of a converted one-room schoolhouse turned roadhouse called the Almeria Club, outside Troy, Alabama in 1947.

(Roy S., Houston, Texas)

The Legend



TNN/Music City News: Vocal Collaboration of the Year



CMA: Vocal Event of the Year



Inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum


Top Ten Songs by Hank Williams, Sr
Some of his songs are well known, but the fact that he wrote them isn't. Others just aren't widely known. Anyway, these are his best!

#1 Singles

* Lovesick Blues

* Long Gone Lonesome Blues

* Why Don't You Love Me

* Moanin the Blues

* Cold, Cold Heart

* Hey, Good-Looking

* Jambalaya (on the Bayou)

* I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

* Your Cheatin' Heart

* Kaw-Liga

* Take These Chains From My Heart

Top-Five Singles

* Move It On Over

* I'm a Long Gone Daddy

* Wedding Bells

* Mind Your Own Business

* You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)

* My Bucket's Got a Hole In It

* I Just Don't Like This Kind Of Livin'

* They'll Never Take Her Love From Me

* Howlin' At the Moon

* I Can't Help It (I Am Still In Love With You)

* Crazy Heart

* Baby, We're Really In Love

* Honky Tonk Blues

* Half As Much

* Settin' the Woods On Fire

* I Won't Be Home No More

Top-Ten Singles

* Please Don't Let Me Love You

* My Son Calls Another Man Daddy

* Why Should We Try Anymore

* Nobody's Lonesome For Me

* Lonesome Whistle (I Heard That)

* You Win Again

* Dear John

* Never Again

* Weary Blues From Waitin'

My Rendition Of The Classic

This is me, your lensemaster, singing "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." It was my second time ever to be on stage performing along with the rest of my band. It was at Diboll VFW, in Diboll, Texas in 2007. The audio is homemade, but you can hear it!






Hank On You-Tube


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    • Not-Pop profile image

      Not-Pop 8 years ago

      ACK! I can't seem to rate your lens, but I wanted to thank you for adding it to the Great Songs Group. I'll come back and try again later. Nice job!

    • card lady 2 profile image

      Pat 8 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Love your version!

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 8 years ago

      Nice lens.You have been Approved at Classic Country Music Group.