Hiram King "Hank" Williams died on January 1, 1953. Williams was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most significant country music artists of all time. Williams was born with a mild undiagnosed case of spina bifida occulta, a disorder of the spinal column, which gave him lifelong pain—a factor in his later abuse of alcohol and drugs. In 1951, Williams fell during a hunting trip in Tennessee, reactivating his old back pains and causing him to be dependent on alcohol and prescription drugs. This addiction eventually led to his divorce from Audrey Williams and his dismissal from the Grand Ole Opry.
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