But did you know the “Country State of Mind” singer actually collects true blue, historical cannons?
I’m talking 1800s military collectibles – a whole slew of them that he’s managed to accumulate as mementos, and they’re definite conversation starters.
In rare footage of Hank from an Audience Network special, Bocephus walked the cameramen around his private collection and shared a few stories about his hobby:
He described a cannon he called a 10-pound-Parrott to the group:
“You could put this through somebody’s kitchen window 1,000 yards out here. The Civil War had ‘em real accurate, that’s why it was so awful…”
And for Hank the history behind the weapons is really what draws his interest, as he’s expanded his collection to include several pieces of unique war history:
“I have Robert Parrott’s appointment papers to West Point, signed by John C. Calhoun, the Secretary of War.
And Parrott was a really famous cannon inventor.”
And when it comes to his unique pastime, it turns out that some of his “rowdy friends” shared the same interests, including the one-and-only Johnny Cash:
“Ya know, Johnny Cash, you talk about someone that loved history. We would get out, and he loved metal detecting. He loved it.
When I was fifteen years old, he would come over to the house and I had a cannon in the front yard. And I mean a real cannon – a real U.S., three inch rifle, Civil War cannon. And I grew up around all these guys doing these reenactments and stuff…
So we put the charge in there… and we pack it really hard with this newspaper, so that when it goes off it’ll just jump in the air and roll back like crazy… you think it’s going to come apart, you know.
Man did he love that. So we would do that… And the neighbor would ring, ‘Mrs. Williams, hello, this is Mr. Akins next door, would you mind asking Randall if he could point that barrel in a different direction, ALL the books in my living room are on the floor. Thank you.’
Yeah we rattled Franklin Road, me and Johnny, let me tell you.”
Hank chuckled throughout the story and then got sentimental thinking about his kinship with Johnny Cash:
“He was one of the only guys that knows about this stuff like me. He was from the right time, the right era.”
Hank even gifted the “Ring of Fire” singer with his own cannon, a rare Nashville Confederate built cannon that Johnny kept for over twenty years.
After Johnny’s passing, Hank received a call from his son sharing that Johnny had specified for the cannon to be given back to Hank after his passing. Hank shared the story and his reaction to having the cannon regifted to his own collection: