JACKSON, Wyo. — Hank Williams Jr. plays “where he wants, when he wants and for who he wants” he told an audience in Lake Tahoe last summer. Known to many as Bocephus—the nickname that his pioneering father gave him as a child named after the Grand Ole Opry’s ventriloquist dummy—made the choice to perform at the Million Dollar Cowboy. It will be an intimate, sit-down show for all his rowdy friends and a livestream opportunity for virtual fans. This will mark his second appearance at the iconic venue, his first being April Fools Day, 1980. Though the upcoming “Once in a Lifetime: An Evening with Hank Williams, Jr.” on November 20 sold out in just minutes, the livestream will be available in more than two hundred countries.
This will be Hank Jr.’s first performance since being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in September, which fans and some critics say took much too long. He accepted the award with a statement, “Bocephus has been eyeing this one for awhile. It’s a bright spot during a difficult year. I have been making Top 10 records for 56 years. I fell off a mountain and tried to reinvent myself as a truly individual artist and one who stepped out of the shadows of a very famous man…one of the greatest. I’ve got to thank all those rowdy friends who, year after year, still show up for me. It’s an honor to carry on this family tradition. It is much appreciated.”
The offspring of famous people often have a tough road carving out their own niche, but Bocephus did just that. He was especially prolific the decade following that first trip to Jackson Hole in 1980, often releasing two albums a year including Family Tradition, Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound, Habits Old and New, Rowdy, The Pressure is On, Strong Stuff, and Montana Cafe. It was during this time that he also developed a reputation for hard-rocking country, jingoistic ballads, and hell-raising anthems like “Family Tradition” and “Old Habits.” He became a superstar.
In 1987 and 1988, he won several awards including back-to-back Country Music Association’s (CMA) Entertainer of the Year. He was the most decorated of the yet-to-be-inducted Country Hall of Fame candidates. Those accolades also include thirteen number one albums, ten number one singles, seventy million records sold (six went platinum and twenty went gold), and five total wins for Entertainer of the Year from the CMA and The Academy of Country Music. Despite declining record sales in the 1990’s, Hank Jr. maintained a devoted following through the latter half of decade and remained active in the studio until the early 2000’s. His latest release is 2016’s It’s About Time.
At seventy-one years old, Hank Jr. is still not bashful about speaking his mind. He has been politically active with the Republican Party and it’s not uncommon for his opinions to be shared from stage. In 2011, ESPN pulled his re-written-for-Monday-Night-Football anthem “All My Rowdy Friends are Here on Monday Night,” for his comments comparing President Obama to Hitler on Fox & Friends, and then later called him a Muslim from stage. The song won him four Emmys and had run 1989-2011 before returning to ESPN in 2017.
Presented by streaming platform Sessions Live, which was co-founded by Pandora founder Tim Westergren and serial virtual game entrepreneur Gordon Su, this will be Hank Jr.’s debut livestream and technically, his biggest show to date. It’s also coupled with a virtual Q&A session. The livestream is $20/advance, $25/day-of-show, or $70 for the livestream plus admission to the Q&A virtual hang.
The show is marketed as “an unplugged journey through his storied career,” a scaled-down performance featuring many of his iconic hits.
To purchase livestream tickets visit https://sessionslive.com/hankjr/tickets.