Hank Hung the Moon

Hank Hung the Moon : And Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts

3.65 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Nationally syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson's Hank Hung the Moon is more of a musical memoir than a biography: the author's evocative and personal stories of 1950s and '60s musical staples--elementary school rhythm bands, British Invasion rock concerts and tear-jerker movie musicals. It was a simpler time when Hank roamed the Earth; the book celebrates a world of 78 rpm records and 5-cent Cokes, with Hank providing the soundtrack and wisdom. A Cajun girl learns to understand English by listening to Hank on the radio. A Hank impersonator works by day at a prison but, by night, makes good use of his college degree in country music. Hank's lost daughter, Jett, devotes her life to embracing the father she never knew. Finally, stories you haven't heard a thousand times before about people who love Hank, some famous, most not. This lively little book uses Hank as metaphor for life. You'll tap your toe and demand an encore.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 190 pages
  • 157.48 x 205.74 x 25.4mm | 385.55g
  • NewSouth Books
  • Montgomery, Albania
  • English
  • New.
  • 1588382842
  • 9781588382849

Review quote

"Rheta Grimsley Johnson spins a nostalgic web of memoir and biography, a tale of how her own life has been intertwined with that of the legendary Hank Williams. Hank Hung the Moon captures William's tortured life and tragic, puzzling death and gives a nod to all the great singers who have covered his songs. Johnson's writing is evocative of post-war America and the decades that followed, mixing humor and pathos in just proportion. . . . For [Hank] fans and casual readers alike, this brief plunge into the artist and the era is well worth the read. . . . A rich, hot jambalaya." --Margaret Renkl, Chapter 16 "I admire this book immensely and recommend it to readers who are held and haunted by the music of Hank Williams and also to those who might care to see how a first-rate creative journalist goes about her work. In weaving together her life and Hank's, and then by working into the pattern stories of pilgrims Chaucer might have chosen, Rheta Grimsley Johnson demonstrates a high and rare order of talent." --Jerry E. Brown, author of Alabama's Mitcham Wars "She gets him, she really does. Johnson's brief but extremely well-written take on history's greatest--it could just as easily have been titled Why Hank William Still Matters--is deeply personal, even when she's not writing about herself." --Christopher Manson, The Beachcomber "Johnson tells her stories in the same lyric style that has made her newspaper columns so popular. She has a feel for the poetry of people and place." --Greg Langley, The Advocate "Rheta is the best, a super scribe, a forever favorite. She marvels at music, music that grabs you, stabs you, soars you into the stratosphere and drags you into despair. In other words, she's got terrific taste in tunes. If you like good writing or good music, the three chords and the truth kind, go get Hank Hung the Moon. Savor it. Or, save it. Tuck it away for a literal or figurative rainy day, when you just might need it. Whatever you do, just read it." --Jake Mabe, Hall/Fountain City Shopper News "Rheta's written a handful of books, and folks like me hope she'll keep them coming. Each of her books, as I've read them, becomes my favorite. Hank Hung the Moon is now at the top of my list. That woman can write." --Leslie Criss, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal "Hank Hung the Moon is a touching memoir and is a definite joy to read." --Wilson Trivino, PurePolitics.com "Within these pages, the reader can almost hear Hank sing." --Teresa Davenport, Alabama Living "Rheta Grimsley Johnson writes lovingly about a country legend. If you're a Williams fan, or even if you just love country music, you'll find [Hank Hung the Moon] fun to read." --Don McKinney, Island Packet "Great Southern reading! Rheta tells Hank's story as well as it has ever been told. In two or three after-supper reads, you can rip through the 190 pages. And when you're done -- just like when the last mayhaw-jellied biscuit is gone -- you'll be wishing there were more." --Dink NeSmith, Athens Banner-Herald "A little volume that is special in its approach . . . [It] paints many vivid pictures of life in Alabama and other Southern states in the 1940s, and brings to life the time and the place through the prism of the poetry and storytelling of one of the South's authentic heroes." --Library Journal "In parts as mournful as a lonesome whippoorwill and in others as joyous as good fun on the bayou, Rheta Grimsley Johnson's Hank Hung the Moon is a fresh, deeply personal examination of how the music and life of Hank Williams continue to resonate in the soul of not just country music, and not just the South, but our American character." --Winston Groom, author of Shiloh, 1862 "Part whimsical memoir, part cultural anthology, Hank Hung the Moon is a celebration of the music, the man, the era, the lore, and the magic of the South's most beloved songster. If I were stranded on a desert island with only one book that captured everything I know and love about the South, this would be the one." --Sandra King, author of The Sunday Wife "As an old newspaper hand, Johnson is an experienced word stringer, and throughout Hank Hung the Moon she flashes some original homey metaphors that if a little corn-pone nonetheless provoke chuckles and work extremely well. It's all good stuff, and anybody who loves Hank or wants some insight into his enduring appeal will find much to laugh about and cry over in this appealing book." --John Sledge, Mobile Press-Register "Johnson and Williams fans will love it." --Don Noble, Tuscaloosa Newsshow more

Rating details

26 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 27% (7)
4 27% (7)
3 31% (8)
2 15% (4)
1 0% (0)
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