38 Years Later, Hank Williams Jr. & All His “Rowdy Friends” May Still Have The Greatest Country Music Video Of All Time

A person holding a baby

A little throwback to 1984 featuring Hank Williams Jr.?

Don’t mind if we do…

On August 1st, 38 years ago today, Bocephus was hard at work on the filming of his music video for “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which stands the test of time as one of the greatest videos ever produced.

Directed by John Goodhue the video features the likes of Jr.’s “rowdy friends” including Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Little Jimmy Dickens, Porter Wagoner, Cheech & Chong and more, the video reenacts the lyric’s wild party theme at Jr.’s “party pad out in the woods.”

The video plays into some of the group’s inside jokes, including the notorious George Jones’ lawnmower ride to the liquor store after having his keys taken away, which recently earned him a Nashville mural.

This video basically has it all—it even featured a cameo appearance from Miss Mississippi alongside the song’s lyric, “an old Miss Mississippi just walked through the door,” proving that no detail was left forgotten on this masterpiece.

The good-natured, like-hearted video wrapped up with a surprise visit from the late Hank Williams Sr., played by an actor, who drives a Cadillac filled with women through the sky as the song closes.

It also was the first video to win a CMA Awards for Music Video of the Year.

Not hard to see why…

Of course, the song was also reworked for the Monday Night Football theme from 1989 to 2011.

Ol’ Bocephus fell out of favor with the NFL after some comments about President Barack Obama playing golf with Republican House Speaker John Boehner teamed against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

The song was reinstated in 2017 featuring Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo and let’s be honest, they probably should’ve just left it alone…

Hank Williams Jr. Details The Pressures To Live Up To His Father’s Reputation

I can’t imagine the pressure that comes with being a famous person’s child.

Especially when the famous person passed away at a young age, and the child is expected to fill the parent’s shoes and continue the legacy, just like Hank Williams Jr. had to do.

As most know, Hank Williams passed away when he was only 29-years-old due to a long battle with alcohol and drug abuse, when Hank Jr. was only three-years-old.

As soon as Hank Jr. turned five, he was pressured by his mother, Audrey Williams, and the rest of the country music world to become exactly like his father, and become the next Hank Williams.

In an ABC 20/20 segment with Barbara Walters back in 1987, Hank Jr. detailed the struggles he faced while always being compared to his father growing up.

“It was always ‘Your daddy went through this stuff, and you’ll have to go through it. We have to go through these things (booze and drugs)’ ya know… depression, that’s a big sport to a lot of these people I think. It was just drilled into me a lot.”

He discussed how he was already playing shows and covering his father’s songs at an incredibly young age:

“I was on the road when I was eight. When they came to see an eight to 10 year old it wasn’t for his wonderful voice, it was because he was the son of Hank Williams.

They were trying to give me a drink when I was 10 or 12, you know saying ‘Hey give ol’ Hank a little drink here,’ the old steel player and everything.”

He was then asked if anybody ever told him he wasn’t supposed to drink and take pills, and he responded:

“No, the road wasn’t ever like that. I grew up quick… I was in the hospital several times, all the way out. The pills, you know, the whiskey, and the whole thing. I was really rolling in it.

I thought I was gonna die a couple times and it scared the heck out of me.”

He also weighed in on the pressure he felt from fans to be like his father, and if it didn’t sound exactly like his father sounded, he would take heat for it:

“They’d be like ‘Sing Hey Good Lookin’,’ and I’d just be like, ‘well I just sang it, you were just so drunk you didn’t hear it or I’m just gonna do this other one.'”

“Oh you little sore, your daddy would have…”

“So that didn’t go over too good… I punched one of ’em, in Salt Lake City and boy that felt good. It was driving me crazy.

I had a psychiatrist tell me he said, ‘Hey you’ve been living, talk like, act like, be like, sing like your daddy, your lifestyles exactly like his, and you’re gonna be gone too.’

I said ‘To hell with this, I’m not putting up with this crap.'”

That’s when he decided at the age of 26 to go a completely different direction with his country music career, and become his own person, transforming into the Hank Jr. we all know and love, taking his influence from the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles.

He began to pursue a different sound that mixed together southern rock, the blues, and country music all into one.

Nevertheless, it truly is hard to fathom the amount of pressure he felt on the daily growing up to become a spitting image of his father… but despite that pressure, he emerged a legend in his own right.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock