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New shrine to Hank Williams


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Oak Hill, W.Va. --- Hank Williams fans across the nation hope to gather at a museum dedicated to the late country singer's memory next fall.

The target date is Sept. 16, the day before what would have been Williams' 83rd birthday.

The museum is inside a gas station where the balladeer was discovered dead inside his baby blue Cadillac by his chauffeur on New Year's Day in 1953.

Oak Hill Mayor Barbara Hickman, a force behind the museum, said she has been assured by Alabama writer Ralph Moore --- who's been interested in Williams' life for almost four decades --- that a caravan of three to four chartered buses and upwards of 200 antique cars would pour into town for the opening.

Donations for the project have been pledged or sent from Williams fans as far away as New Jersey.

"It's an unknown number at this time what this is going to cost us," Hickman said. "It's going to be something we'll all be proud of. It's not going to be something junky, or hicky looking, but something we can be proud of."

In 2003, on the 50th anniversary of Williams' death, fans gathered at the gas station to pay tribute to the singer.

Williams' hit songs included "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin'" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Copyright 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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