Hank Williams Country Music Collectibles
Country music fans and collectors still dig the legendary Hank Williams. Hank’s autographed photos, records, signed documents and other collectibles bring top dollar.
Image courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
The great Hank Williams (1923-1953) still reigns as one of country music’s most influential artists. Signed photos of Hank can fetch over $2,000, with other memorabilia ”cookin’” up a range of impressive selling prices as well.
Hank Williams Country Music Hall of Fame
Hiram King “Hank” Williams was born in Mount Olive, Alabama, on September 17, 1923. Rising through the grizzled ranks of country music, Williams eventually became both a storied singer and songwriter. The fabled “Hillbilly Shakespeare” scored eleven number one hits during his abbreviated career, including such gems as “Lovesick Blues” (1949), “Why Don’t You Love Me?” (1950), “Cold, Cold Heart” (1951) and “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” (1952).
Suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction, 29-year-old Hank Williams died in the backseat of a Cadillac on January 1, 1953. Williams was later inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame (1961) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).
Hank Williams on Sterling Records
Hank Williams’ recording career was short, spanning only six years. His first 78 rpm single was “Never Again”/”Calling You” (Sterling 201), released in January 1947. Williams scored three other singles in 1947 for the New York-based Sterling label: “Wealth Won’t Save Your Soul,” “I Don’t Care” and “Honky Tonkin’.”
The Hank Williams Sterling 78 rpm releases are rare, with records in outstanding condition valued at $200-450 each.
Hank Williams on MGM Records
Hank Williams’ first 78 rpm single on the MGM label was “Move It On Over” (MGM 10033), released on June 6, 1947. That was followed by a slew of other MGM singles spanning the years 1947-78. Among the issues: “Honky Tonkin’” (1948), “Lovesick Blues” (1949), “Hey Good Lookin’” (1951) and “Kaw-Liga” (1953).
Williams also recorded under the name “Luke the Drifter” beginning in 1950.
The most valuable Hank Williams MGM 78 and 45 rpm records come from the formative years 1947-55. When found in near mint condition, they generally sell in the $5-30 range.
Hank Williams Collectible EPs, LP Albums
Hank Williams EPs (extended play) records can be found on the MGM label. They’re popular with collectors, mainly because of their handsome picture sleeves, with the older EPs from 1952-54 selling in the $25-50 range.
Hank Williams’ first LP album was titled Hank Williams Sings (MGM E-107), released in 1951. Because of Williams’ early demise, most of his LP albums were subsequently released after his death using previously recorded or “lost” material.
Other Hank Williams early LPs include Moanin’ the Blues (MGM E-168, 1952), Memorial Album (MGM E-202, 1953) and Luke the Drifter (MGM E-203, 1953). The early MGM LPs carry a value of $50-100 in top condition.
Hank Williams Autographs
Along with Patsy Cline (1932-1963), Hank Williams is one of the most coveted autographs in country music. One of Hank’s signed 8×10 publicity stills recently sold at auction for $2,076.
Other autographed material can be equally expensive, with a Williams-signed 1949 Acuff-Rose royalty agreement bringing $2,629 at auction.
Hank Williams Memorabilia
Check out these auction prices for miscellaneous Hank Williams memorabilia:
- Hank Williams C.F. Martin guitar played on The Farmer Jim Show in 1950 ($23,900)
- Hank Williams autographed 1948 songbook ($2,031.50)
- Hank Williams 1950s acetate audiodisc ($478)
- Hank Williams 1950 Hemmelreich’s Grove concert poster ($1,912)
- Audrey “Mrs. Hank” Williams 1953 Hilltop Park concert poster ($448.13)
- Your Cheatin’ Heart 1964 six sheet movie poster starring George Hamilton as Hank Williams ($40)
Note: The 821 Entertainment Group in partnership with the Hank Williams Estate is planning a new Hank Williams biopic for the big screen.