There are a few greats in country music that influenced Bocephus’ music besides his dad. While his dad is a legend to many of those in country music, including those who influenced Hank Jr. they still have their own individual styles, and Hank Jr learned quite a bit from them.
Johnny Cash has many songs that are evident of his deeply held religious beliefs, and they are all sang with Cash’s deep, rich, and booming voice. Johnny Cash’s wife June was Hank Jr’s godmother and a very close friend of Audrey Williams. While the two ladies would socialize, Hank would go out with Johnny and search for war artifacts and other memorabilia, sometimes in shops at antique places, and other times with a metal detector. Talking about life in general and learning how to play the way Johnny Cash did in addition to how his dad had played opened different styles to Bocephus. This familiarity with different styles continued throughout his career
While he was growing up, there were many times that Fats Domino and others that sang country and the blues and other styles of music would visit their home. He learned how to dance from Fats, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard. Performing for a crowd isn’t just about singing and playing music – you have to get the audience involved, too.
Elvis Presley also influenced Hank Jr’s music a lot, with his more-explicit musical lyrics reflecting what many teens at the time were secretly thinking, and sometimes doing behind closed doors. This gave him the encouragement to be more outspoken with his music, although he never got as graphic as Elvis did.
Willie Nelson is another true red-blooded American country great, and paved the way for Hank Jr to show off his patriotism in ways that make being an American cool again. He, like Willie, is also involved in patriotic activities outside of concerts. He is a very active supporter of our nation’s fine women in uniform. He also supports the men, too, but he chooses to actively support the women because they are often overlooked. His mother’s caring heart for others is most likely what influenced him in this.
Hank Jr’s career and musical talents are from not just his father, but also his mother. Without Audrey’s influence, Hank Jr would not be the country great he is today. Audrey was a country singer herself, and understood that exposure to the country music world needed to happen at an early age. She would spend hours taking Hank Jr to different locations where he had been scheduled to perform for crowds, and praise him on his wonderful performances. Country music lovers, especially Hank Jr fans, owe this lady a great deal of gratitude. Without her, we would never have known the talents of her son.
Audrey Williams might not be as famous as the two men of her life, but without her, neither of them would have been as successful as they have been. We would never have heard Hank Jr singing his dad’s hits again, or making his own, either.