Sam Williams Covers Grandfather Hank Williams’ 1949 Hit “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

Sam Williams is commemorating what would have been his grandfather Hank Williams‘ 100th birthday on Sunday (September 17) with a moving rendition of his 1949 classic “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

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Setting himself up around soothing acoustics, Williams sings Hear that lonesome whippoorwill / He sounds too blue to fly / The midnight train is whining low / I’m so lonesome, I could cry.

“This song is special to me in many ways,” said Williams, in a statement. “I have always been hesitant to touch recording my grandfather’s songs, as there’s a sacredness to them. I wouldn’t want to do them injustice. ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ has always been one of my favorites of his catalog. The release coinciding with his centennial birthday is a bittersweet happy birthday gift to the man I never knew that everyone seems to know.”

[RELATED: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know Hank Williams Wrote for Other Artists]

Williams continued, “It is a reclamation of my name, my destiny in my family’s legacy, and a statement to country music. History and homage, respect and reinvention, tattered and stolen coattails. I am a most honorable mention.”

After studying business in college, Williams dropped out at 19 and pursued music, and connected with songwriters, including Lori McKenna, Jim Lauderdale, and Mary Gauthier for his 2021 debut album, Glasshouse Children, a genre-bending mash of rock, hip-hop, pop, and country.

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” cover art (Courtesy of Universal Music Group)

“To be honest, I shied away from making music for a long time,” said Williams in a previous statement. “It was never pushed on me, which made it easier, but as a kid, more than anything, I just wanted to be normal, so I was really hesitant to go down that road. I discovered that writing songs with other people really brought out something new in me. It wasn’t always easy, but there’s just something so powerful about laying all your cards on the table with somebody else and turning that into art.”

He added, “There’s a lot of pain burned into my DNA. But pain can be a beautiful thing if you know how to deal with it.”

[RELATED: New Hank Williams Album, Hall of Fame Celebrate 100th Birthday of Late Country Legend]

The 26-year-old singer and songwriter is working on his sophomore release, due out in 2024, and will return to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday (September 16), along with NEEDTOBREATH, Gary Mule Deer, Logan Ledger, and more.

Williams is also set to perform at the upcoming special Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum concert, Hank’s 100th: A Concert in Celebration of Hank Williams,” on Thursday (September 21). Held at the CMA Theater in the museum, the show will feature interpretations of Williams’ classics by Rodney Crowell, Laura Cantrell, Wendy Moten, Suzy Bogguss, Della Mae, S.G. Goodman, Brennen Leigh, Delbert McClinton, and Chuck Mead, along with Williams’ other grandchildren Hilary and Holly Williams, and Country Music Hall of Fame members Connie Smith and Charlie McCoy.

Photo: Thomas Crabtree / Courtesy of 2b Entertainment

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