Hank Williams was well-known for his “heartbreak” songs, but this one’s just a bit different.

You’re on the Sound Beat.

“Kaw-Liga”  was originally written as a…more-serious song about two Native American lovers. But collaborating songwriter Fred Rose convinced Williams to re-write, telling instead the story of two wooden cigar store “Indians”.

Some claim it was a nod to a Native American settlement, others claim it was a more blatant nod to an actual wooden statue. What we know is this: In August 1952, Hank stayed at a cabin at Lake Martin in Alabama, where he wrote this song and Your Cheatin’ Heart. Both were released by MGM in early 1953 and spent a combined 20 weeks on top of the Country charts.

This episode was written by Emily Procopio, part of the Sound Beat Class Partnership.



Photo: Courtesy of Papahazama, via Flickr, used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.