Remembering Hank: Conversations with Darwin Lee Hill


Remembering Hank: Conversations with Darwin Lee Hill


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 - January 1, 1953), the Southern Music Research Center presents a collection of Hank-themed interviews conducted by Darwin Lee Hill, host of Darwin Lee's Real Hillbilly Music Show. Interviewees include original members of Williams's band, the Drifting Cowboys; friends and collaborators; and Williams's daughter Jett. Each interview includes a full transcript, followed by the original audio conversation. 

From 1995 to 2015, Darwin Lee's Real Hillbilly Music Show aired weekly on Poughkeepsie, New York's WHVW, 950 AM. Twice a year — on the anniversaries of Hank Williams's birth and death — Hill hosted three-hour tribute shows in Hank's honor, often incorporating his own interviews with artists who knew and worked with Hank. 

The Southern Music Research Center is currently working in collaboration with Hill to digitize and make accessible through this archive dozens of additional interviews with country music pioneers, along with full episodes of Hill's radio show and other artifacts from Hill's extensive personal collection. Please be on the lookout for the launch of the extensive Darwin Lee Hill Collection, coming late 2023. In the meantime, we invite you to celebrate this year's Hank Williams centennial by digging into these exclusive and eye-opening conversations.

Collection Items

Big Bill Lister Interview
Interview with Big Bill Lister (1923-2009), recorded by Darwin Lee Hill, July 15, 2001. Texas-born Big Bill Lister was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, Capitol recording artist, and close associate of Hank Williams, with whom he toured and…

Braxton Schuffert Interview
Interview with Braxton Schuffert (1916–2013), recorded by Darwin Lee Hill, September 1, 2001.Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Braxton Gordon Schuffert – best known as one of Hank Williams’s earliest friends, mentors, and bandmates – was an…

Don Helms Interview
Interview with Don Helms (1927-2008), recorded by Darwin Lee Hill, March 2, 2002. In 1943, at the age of seveneteen, steel guitarist Don Helms joined the band of an up-and-coming Hank Williams, performing dates across south Alabama as a member of…

Felton Pruett Interview
Interview with Felton Pruett (1928-1918), recorded by Darwin Lee Hill, August 29, 2003. Born in Many, Louisiana, steel guitarist Felton Pruett (1928-2018) played the Louisiana Hayride from 1948 to 1960, the entire run of the influential country…

Jett Williams Interview
Interview with Jett Williams (b. 1953), recorded by Darwin Lee Hill, July 27, 2002. Born Antha Belle Jett on January 6, 1953 — just five days after the death of her father — Jett Williams is the daughter of Hank Williams and Bobbie Jett. She was…

Lum York Interview
Interview with Lum York (1918-2004), recorded by Darwin Lee Hill, December 5, 2003.Born in Elmore, Alabama, just north of Montgomery, William Herbert “Lum” York worked off and on, from 1944 to 1949, as “bass fiddler” and comedian in Hank Williams’s…

Darwin Lee Hill (Photo)
Darwin Lee Hill, host of Darwin Lee's Real Hillbilly Music Show. Photo by Chas Gibson, 2009. From the collection of Darwin Lee Hill.Browse all available Darwin Lee Hill interviews here, and be on the lookout for many more to come on this site.
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