Alan Jackson’s ‘Midnight in Montgomery’ Evokes Hank Williams’ Ghost
In Alan Jackson's classic tune "Midnight in Montgomery" he is riding his Silver Eagle tour bus through Alabama heading for an upcoming concert in Mobile when he decides to stop in Montgomery and visit the grave of Hank Williams.
When Hank died on Jan 1, 1953, en route to a New Years day show in Ohio, his body was returned to his mother's house in Montgomery to lie in state on Jan.3. Thousands viewed the body including Joe DiMaggio and his wife Marilyn Monroe who happened to be passing through Montgomery and stopped to pay their respects. Hank's funeral was held the next day with many country music stars of that time attending. 25,000 people crowded around the Montgomery City Auditorium but less than 3000 could get inside with the rest listening on a PA system outside.
Ernest Tubb started the ceremony by singing "Beyond the Sunset." Red Foley and Hank had made a promise that whichever died first, the other would sing "Peace in the Valley" at the funeral and Red did but was overcome with emotion and had difficulty finishing. After the ceremony Hank was buried in Montgomery's Oak Hill cemetery. That's where Alan Jackson picks up in the 1990 tune.
As you can see Hank is buried next to his wife Audrey with whom he shared a troubled relationship.