An awesome thing happened in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend. When Hank Williams Jr. finished up a show at the Florida State Fairgrounds, both he and a bunch of his fans unwittingly headed to the same Waffle House.
It was then, around 2 am on the morning of Saturday, May 20th when Williams walked into the same Waffle House that a bunch of his fans were at and the crowd of hungry fans saw him and started singing. Packed with fans from Hank Jr.’s concert, the Waffle House was, upon his entrance, filled with a beautiful singalong rendition of his famous, classic hit, “Family Tradition”.
In the video of the incident that was posted to Tik Tok, you can see people from all different age groups and walks of life enjoying a late-night meal of breakfast food and then seeing Williams and belting out the famous Hank Jr. song. Watch them here:
POV: its 2AM at the waffel house after a @hank.willams.jr concert #hankjr #manofsteel #allmyroudyfriendshavesettleddown #legend #tampaflorida #midfloridaamphitheatre
Hank Williams Jr.’s website, describing his big career break and how he moved out of his father’s shadow and into his own place in the sun, says:
For Hank, Jr., everything changed with that 1975 dive off Ajax Mountain. The music world caught on to those changes around 1979, the year he released his first million-selling album, Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound, along with his autobiography, Living Proof. In the early 1980s, he catapulted to full-on superstar status, with major hits including “Texas Women,” “Dixie On My Mind,” “All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down),” and in 1984, “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” a party anthem featuring a riotous video that starred Bocephus in conjunction with stars from inside (Merle Kilgore, Porter Wagoner, Kris Kristofferson, etc.) and outside (Cheech and Chong) country music.
In 1987, Hank, Jr. won his first of five country music entertainer of the year awards, and the two albums released that year – Hank Live and studio effort Born To Boogie – were platinum sellers. Born To Boogie was the CMA’s album of the year in 1988, the year he won the CMA and ACM’s top entertainer prize. Hank’s star rose far beyond the country world in 1989, when manager Merle Kilgore arranged a deal with ABC’s Monday Night Football to have Hank, Jr. rework “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” into a theme song to be played before each Monday’s game. Two years later, the Monday Night theme won the first of four straight Emmy Awards, and Hank, Jr. would be the singing voice of Monday Night Football for 22 years.
The Country Musci Hall of Fame noted Hank Jr’s later successes as well in its article on his career, writing:
With the success of his concert tours, Williams Jr. helped take country music into sports arenas, and he was named Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year twice, in 1987 and 1988, and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year three times, from 1987 to 1989. The awards, at first, were slow to come, considering the massive success Williams Jr. enjoyed in the early 1980s. When accepting a CMA award for Video of the Year, Williams Jr. quipped, “You know, I make a little audio, too.”
When named winner of the CMA Entertainer of the Year honor in 1987, his first CMA Entertainer award, Williams Jr. did not hide his exhilaration. “This is the one old Bocephus has been looking for,” he crowed. “I guarantee it. I got to looking so long, I thought I was going to run out of glasses there for a few years.”
Williams Jr. won four Emmys for composing the theme song for Monday Night Football, and he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007. By the 1990s and into the next century, his influence on a generation of country stars who drew on rock & roll had become quite apparent.
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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