Do You Know Hank Williams Jr’s Secret Talent?


Getty / Paul Natkin


If you’ve been a Hank Williams Jr. fan for a long time, you may know about this. But if you’re in your 20s, you may be surprised. Hank used to play a mean bluegrass banjo. He hasn’t played the banjo on stage for years now, but when he did, wow. He could really pick.

Here’s a rare video of him as a clean-shaven young man in a green jacket playing Foggy Mountain Breakdown. This was right after his movie “A Time to Sing” came out in 1968:


Hank Jr. learned from the best. His banjo teacher was none other than Earl Scruggs, the Father of Bluegrass Banjo. Here are Earl and some friends in 2001:

Have you ever wondered about the way Hank Jr. wears his guitar strap? He wears it like a banjo player, and that’s no coincidence. It’s a trick he learned playing banjo that makes it easy to switch instruments to give his neck and shoulders a break during long concerts.

Hank Jr. loves bluegrass, and bluegrass loves him back. Bluegrass favorites the Grascals toured with Hank Jr., and they played on each other’s albums. Here’s some footage of them performing together live, with the crowd singing along:

Banjo picking and guitar shredding are only the tips of the iceberg of Bosephus’ awesome talent with instruments. He’s amazing on the piano, keyboards, sax, harmonica, fiddle, drums, upright bass, guitar, bass guitar, and dobro. Is there anything the man cannot do?


Blue Grass Today