Hank Williams marker to be placed

Published 11:59 pm Friday, December 12, 2008

Beginning Dec. 15, travelers coming through Andalusia will learn that it is where country music legend Hank Williams married Audrey Sheppard some 64 years ago.

A historic marker will be unveiled Monday at 11 a.m., at the spot where Williams wed Sheppard in an automotive garage, now Pirate Graphics, east of the courthouse square on East Three Notch Street.

State tourism director Lee Sentell announced the monument this week. The step-daughter of Williams, Lycrecia Williams Hoover, will unveil the marker.

Hoover describes her mother as the driving force behind Williams’ career and notes their fights over his drinking inspired such Williams hits as “Cold, Cold Heart” and “You Win Again.”

Williams met Sheppard, who was estranged from her husband, in the summer of 1943 when he was singing in a medicine show in Banks near Troy. The 19-year-old singer was from Montgomery. The couple lived in a trailer in Andalusia in late 1944 while his Drifting Cowboys band performed at the Riverside Inn on the east bank of the Conecuh River near River Falls.

Ten days after Sheppard’s divorce became final, Justice of the Peace M.A. Boyett married the couple at John G. Wright Sr.’s garage at 120 E. Three Notch St. on Dec. 15, 1944, according to documents.

In May, Birmingham resident Scott Gibson and his bride, Sky Covington, traveled to Andalusia to exchange wedding vows at the same historic location.