Last night we went to the American Heartland Theatre, where we’ve had season tickets for a couple of years. We had debated about what to do this year–you can purchase either a 4- or 6-show option. But we thought 5 of the shows sounded interesting! We decided we could probably tolerate the 6th show, so we went ahead and bought a full season pass.
The show we weren’t sure about was this first one–Nobody Lonesome for Me. It takes place in a filling station on December 31, 1952–and is a one-man show…Hank Williams, Sr., on the night before he dies.
Neither one of us are particular country music fans, and we didn’t have any idea of what to expect. But rather than it being mostly a concert of his music (although there were a number of his songs…some of which we didn’t know he wrote), it ended up being much more his story–and we found ourselves getting caught up in the pain and hurt that so significantly impacted him and helped lead to his death of a heart attack at age 29.
It was Hank on stage–with a side-man playing incredible steel guitar or acoustic guitar on the songs…and an incredible fiddler playing as well. But the actor playing Hank was the show.
What a tragedy…both in Hank’s personal life and his relationships–and how those issues of alcoholism and drug addiction have impacted at least three generations of the family (his father, him, and his son).
“Nobody lonesome for me”…I can’t think of a sadder epitaph for anyone. Everybody needs someone to be lonesome for them…needs to be connected in a healthy way with someone else. When that doesn’t happen, there is a hole in the soul…a hole that one can try to fill with all kinds of other “stuff”…but the pain never leaves.