The ‘Hanks’ Of Country Unite

Tennessee Walt

There are plenty of iconic names in the history of country music — Carter, Rodgers, Williams and Lynn, for instance — but there is one that towers above all the others: Hank.

And, when put together, their impact has been remarkable.

On Saturday, April 14, Tennessee Walt will celebrate all of country music’s greatest Hanks with the show, “Hanks a Lot!” at 1 p.m. the East Hampton Library, located at 159 Main Street in East Hampton.

“Obviously it was the iconic status of Hank Williams that made so many country singers go by Hank,” Gayden Wren, the musical-theater veteran who performs as Tennessee Walt, said in a press release. “That’s ironic, because Williams himself wasn’t named Hank or Henry—his birth name was Hiram. The songs in this show span the period from 1948 to the present day, and about half of them are by Williams, both classics like ‘Your Cold, Cold Heart’ and ‘Jambalaya,’ but also some little-known gems, including one or two that Williams never recorded, that survived only in his demos.”

The one-man concert will feature plenty of songs by Hank Williams, but also classics and underappreciated rarities by the likes of Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Hank Locklin, Hank Garland, Hank Cochran, Hank Penny and even Hank Williams Jr. and Hank Williams III, arranged by Tennessee Walt for voice and piano.

“This isn’t what people may think of when they hear the words `country music,’” Wren said. “It’s voice and piano, not fiddles and steel guitars, and I won’t be yodeling. And this isn’t the country of Toby Keith or Carrie Underwood—it’s the older, purer country music that inspired them and everybody from Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley to Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr.  Anyone who comes to this show will learn some things they never knew about 20th-century American music, not to mention hearing some of the funniest, most moving and most musically engaging songs ever written.”

Admission is free. For more information, please call (631) 324-0222 or visit