There’s a superfan and then there’s a superfan who will pluck out grass from their favorite singer’s grave as a keepsake. Hank Williams, in his brief but memorable country music career, managed to accumulate a number of the latter.
In fact, the natural grass at his gravesite in Montgomery, Alabama, had to be replaced with Astroturf when it became impossible for grass to grow there because of the overzealous plucking. Today, the bright green of the artificial turf around the graves of Williams and his wife, Audrey, makes them stand out at Oakwood Cemetery where the couple is interred.
The musician affectionately known as the King of Country Music was born Hiram King in 1923, and got his first guitar at the age of eight. Influenced by blues musicians, he began entering talent contests in his teens and later delivered his first big hit song “Move It On Over” in 1947. He became a member of the iconic country concert stage, the Grand Ole Opry, but his later problems with substance abuse led to his dismissal from it. His final years were shadowed by personal and health issues, but he continued to produce hits like “Hey, Good Lookin” and “I’m So Lonesome I could Cry.”
Williams died of heart failure in 1953, while on his way to a New Year’s Day show. He was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery Annex, and his gravesite contains a marble replica of his signature cowboy hat, along with two white marble monuments rising from the bright green turf.
Know Before You Go
A large sign at the entrance points the way to the gravesite. While visiting Montgomery, you can also see the Hank Williams Museum on Commerce Street, and the life-size bronze Hank Williams statue (previously placed near his funeral site, it now resides near the river a few blocks from the museum).