As the last weekend of 1952 drew close, a young Alabama student was approached by country music superstar Hank Williams with a request to drive him from Montgomery north to Louisville and Canton Ohio for package tour shows. The 17-year-old agreed and they set out in the star’s 1952 blue Cadillac convertible.
The student, Charles Carr died recently at the age of 79. He was remembered as a man who never tried to exploit his short-lived relationship with Hank Williams. For on that trip the 29-year-old star died under what are still thought to be mysterious circumstances.
When these events happened, Carr was so young and so inexperienced that the few days must have seemed like a confusing incoherent rush of disconnected events.
Through the years, he tried to answer questions as honestly as he could,I think. But the things that happened on that trip were so chaotic, he was never able to offer answers which could satisfy the many questioners and conspiracy theorists.
I believe Charles Carr acted in truthfulness and honor.
In my mind the central question in the death of Hank Williams is why he had to travel through all those winter miles and roads with only an almost child as companion and protector.
Hank was a superstar making millions for a record company, a publisher, promoters, Opry style package shows and various hangers-on.
Why did Hank embark on this final ride to a death in the back seat of his Cadillac alone and friendless? Why was it allowed to happen?
Sure times were different then. But I refuse to believe Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Eddie Arnold, and Roy Acuff jumped in the back of their Cadillac for a thousand mile drive with only a naive 17-year-old as companion and driver.
Rest in peace Charles Carr. I think you did your best.