Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Hank Williams Jr. Takes the Stage at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Hank Williams Jr. Takes the Stage at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater

Article excerpt

Country music star Hank Williams Jr. will be back in town this weekend bringing his "Taking Back the Country Tour" to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Saturday.

This will be far different from the visit he made to the city last April, following the April 27 tornadoes, when he gained a firsthand view of the destruction and realized he wanted to help in the recovery process.

"We went from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa to Cullman and I've never seen destruction like that in my life, never," Williams said, in an interview last year with Smashing Interviews Magazine. "A lot of my friends in that area said, 'When you see it, you're going to wonder why it didn't kill thousands. That's what you're going to say.' And they were exactly right."

Tommy Wilcox, a close friend of Williams, said that after seeing so much devastation in Tuscaloosa, Williams wanted to help in any way he could. The son of legendary country singer-songwriter Hank Williams helped raise thousands of dollars for those affected by the storms through the thing he knows best: Music.

"People don't realize, but when he left Tuscaloosa that day he went back to Nashville and talked to CMT and put together a benefit on television for the tornado victims of this state," Wilcox said. "He wanted to do something to help people out and he did all that on his own."

Wilcox, who met with Williams the day he toured the area, said he could tell his friend was shocked.

"He couldn't believe it," Wilcox said. "I mean, he could not believe what it did to Tuscaloosa and the Holt area."

He said that the city of Tuscaloosa has always held a special place in Williams' heart.

"He just loves Tuscaloosa," he said. "He's a huge Alabama fan, too."

Williams, who has a long list of hits including "Family Tradition," "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound," "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down," and "A Country Boy Can Survive," signed a three- year licensing agreement with Blaster Entertainment this week; Blaster will release Williams' newest record, due out in June.

In 2009, Williams received the Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award and was the first country performer to win an Emmy for his song "Are You Ready for Some Football" that aired on ESPN Monday Night Football from 1989 until last fall, when he compared President Barack Obama to Hitler on a "Fox and Friends" appearance. …

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