In 1943, Williams met Audrey Mae Sheppard. At the age of 20, she was separated from her first husband, and a single mother to Lycrecia. In a ceremony just ten days after her divorce became final (and before the expiration of a sixty-day waiting period required after a divorce), she and Hank were married before a justice of the peace at his gas station near Andalusia, Alabama in December 1944. With the help of his new bride, who took over his mother's motivating role, Audrey and Hank made a visit to with the intent of meeting songwriter and music publisher Fred Rose, one of the heads of Acuff-Rose Publishing.
Hank Williams and Audrey recorded several duets together. Country biographer Colin Escott wrote. "Her duets with Hank were like an extension of their married life in that she fought him for dominance on every note."
In early 1948, tension grew in the relationship between Hank and Audrey Williams as Hank began to abuse alcohol again. She left Hank, leaving him the choice of choosing alcohol or choosing her. Hank and Audrey would eventually be reunited, and on May 26, 1949, Audrey gave birth to Randall Williams. Hank would nickname him "Bocephus", after the name of a ventriloquist's dummy. Audrey would make an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry after the birth and officially rename him Hank Williams, Junior.
Audrey Williams never remarried (and to do so would have caused her to lose the 50 percent of Hank's royalties awarded her in the divorce) and died on November 4, 1975. Her last years were spent abusing alcohol and drugs.(source: Wikipedia)
|Audrey and Hank in 1944, the year of their marriage (left), and in their western-look Nudie-style for which they opened a shop in Montgomery in 1948.>>>|