Hank Williams Jr. performs “Family Tradition” Live on Grand Ole Opry 1981.

It reached number # 4 on the Hot Country Singles charts, and remained 15 weeks on the charts. In the Canadian RPM Country Tracks lists, reached the number # 16. In April 2016 I reached 909,000 digital copies, is one of his most popular songs.

YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel
YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

Family Tradition:

Lp cover Hank Jr. ( Elektra Curb 1979 )
Lp cover Hank Jr. ( Elektra Curb 1979 )

A song written and recorded by Hank Williams Jr. for the Elektra / Curb label, recorded in February 1979 in Hollywood, CA, with the production of Jimmy Bowen, was released on May 28, 1979. On August 11, 1979, it reached number # 4 on the Hot Country Singles charts, and remained 15 weeks on the charts. In the Canadian RPM Country Tracks lists, reached the number # 16. In April 2016 I reached 909,000 digital copies, is one of his most popular songs.

The song was included on the album of the same name, Family Tradition (Elektra / Curb 1979), the album was released on April 17, 1979, on October 6, 1979, on the US Top Country Albums charts, it reached number # 3. It was his second album to be certified Gold by the RIAA.

June 28, 1986-September 19, 1986 a live version was recorded (Family Tradition / Hey Good Lookin ‘”, medley), for the album, Hank Live (Warner 1987), The album reached # 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Lp cover Hank Jr. ( Warner Bros 1987 )
Lp cover Hank Jr. ( Warner Bros 1987 )

At this time, many people criticized the musical change that Hank Jr. had experienced, that moved away from the tradition of his father, but Hank Jr., wanted to change, and have his own style, perfectly merging the Honky Tonk music and the southern rock. The song is a declaration of rebellion by Williams, not only in his lifestyle and in living the lyrics of his songs, but also in his identity and musical direction.

Hank Jr. proclaims how proud and honored it is to be part of his father’s musical legacy, young Williams makes it clear that his musical style, southern rock fused with honky tonk, is very different from the popular blues-honky-tonk style.

Lp cover Obie Mclinton ( Sunbird 1982 )
Lp cover Obie Mclinton ( Sunbird 1982 )

 

Versions:

Double Gage 1979 (Cattle Baron Records) Live
O.B Mclinton 1982 (BRYLEN)
Ray Kernaghan & Lee Kernaghan 1985 (KCR)
Cracker 2003 (iMusic)
Jesse Moore 2011 (Threadhead Records)

Hank Williams Jr. – Family Tradition Lyrics

Country music singers have always been a real close family
But lately some of my kinfolks have disowned a few others and me
I guess it’s because I kind of changed my direction
Lord I guess I went and broke their family tradition

They get on me and want to know
Hank, why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
Over and over everybody makes my predictions
So if I get stoned, I’m just carrying on an old family tradition

I am very proud of my daddy’s name
All though his kind of music and mine ain’t exactly the same
Stop and think it over. Put yourself in my position
If I get stoned and sing all night long it’s a family tradition

So don’t ask me, Hank why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
If I’m down in a honky-tonk some ole slick’s trying to give me friction
I said leave me alone I’m singing all night long it’s a family tradition

Lord I have loved some ladies and I have loved Jim Beam
And they both tried to kill me in 1973
When that doctor asked me, Son how did you get in this condition?
I said, hey sawbones, I’m just carrying on an ole family tradition

So don’t ask me, Hank, why do you drink? Hank, why do you roll smoke?
Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
Stop and think it over, try and put yourself in my unique position
If I get stoned and sing all night long, it’s a family tradition!

Single Hank Jr. ( Elektra Curb 1979
Single Hank Jr. ( Elektra Curb 1979

Miquel Batlle
djmiquel@whenthecowboysings.org