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Celebrate Country Music Month

BY MOLLIE S. WATERS

The Greenville Standard

 

It seems like every day and every month has its own special observance, and of course, October is no different.

Most people know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (“Wear Pink!”), but it is also Country Music Month.

According to the website NationalToday.com, President Richard Nixon gave October this distinction.

“Country Music Month was initially observed in 1964,” the aforementioned website states, “but it was not until President Richard Nixon made his proclamation in 1970 to celebrate October as Country Music Month that it became a celebration.”

The website explains that, after classical music, country music was the most popular music genre of the time when it became nationally recognized.

“It developed as a fusion of church music, folk music, and African-American blues in the southeastern states of America,” the websites says. “The instruments used to play country music were the mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, banjo, and autoharp.”

While the website mentions several well-known country musicians of the 1920s and later, it fails to recognize one of the most important: Butler County’s own Hank Williams, Sr.

Williams was born in Butler County on Sept. 17, 1923, and he passed away on Jan. 1, 1953.

Although he only lived to be 29 years old, he produced many number one hits, including “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Lovesick Blues,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and “Hey, Good Lookin’.”

Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961.

Each year, Butler County celebrates Williams’s life and legacy in June during the Hank Williams Festival in Georgiana.

 

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