Singing legend Hank Williams remembered on stage

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

Kenny Maines said in researching and preparing for his role as country music legend Hank Williams he learned a great deal about Williams’ impact on country music.
Maines is star of a two-hour musical filled with humor and darkness that portrays Williams through his rise from his early days to performances at the Grand Ole Opry.

The musical is being performed Friday and Saturday and Feb. 2-3 at the Cactus Theater in Lubbock.

Williams died on New Year’s Eve 1953 when he was 29.

“It’s incredible to know his recording career lasted no more than five years,” said Maines, a Lubbock native who grew up listening to the music of Williams.

Throughout the majority of his life, Williams dealt with drug and alcohol problems. Maines also said many people don’t know that Williams was born with spina bifida, which caused him chronic pain.

“He definitely had some demons in his short career,” said Maines.
Maines said he will be perform some of Williams’ classics, including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Move It On Over.”

“The play itself, it’s an amazing project,” said Maines.

His costume includes Williams’ trademark Stetson hat, which was worn to disguise the fact he was going bald, the musician said.

“It’s the most challenging and rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in. It opened my eyes to the impact he (Williams) had on country music,” said Maines.

Maines has recorded a tribute album of Williams’ songs. The album contains songs performed in the traditional style and others with a little spice and West Texas flair, said Maines.

At a glance

• What: Hank Williams: Lost Highway — The Music and Legend of Hank Williams

• When: 7 p.m. (MST) Friday and Saturday, and Feb. 2 and 3

• Where: Cactus Theater, Lubbock

• Admission: Tickets: $25 per person

• Information: (806) 762-3233 and
www.cactustheater.com