|Join us FRIDAY, JUNE 22 for a Q&A with Film Maker HARRY THOMASON, Producer/Composer BENJY GAITHER and Singer/Songwriter JETT WILLIAMS following the 7:10 show.
He called himself "Luke the Drifter". He pioneered, and pretty much invented what we know today as country music. At the peak of his career, he was acknowledged to be the greatest singer-songwriter in American history. But after a meteoric rise to record and radio super-stardom in the late 1940's, the man had made a train wreck of his life. Drugs, alcohol, and a hair-trigger temper had ended two marriages, ruined a host of friendships and made the tortured genius a virtual untouchable in the music business.
At the end of 1952, Hank Williams gathered what was left of his physical strength to make things right, and begin the long road back. He booked New Years' shows in West Virginia and Ohio, and hired a local kid who didn't even own a radio, much less know who this legend was, to drive him there from Montgomery, Alabama. No one else wanted the job.
He never got there. Somewhere on that last highway, the country music legend passed away on New Years Day, 1953, in the back of his powder blue Cadillac, carrying only his guitar and notebook full of unfinished songs. He was 29.
Inspired by the mysterious final days of Hank Williams' mercurial life, THE LAST RIDE is the story of that final drive through the bleak Appalachian countryside of 1950's America. A lonely two-man odyssey; a boy coming of age, and a man leaving this world way before his time, a victim of his own abuses.
Sparse and contemplative as a cold December drive through coal mining country, the story takes us inside the heart of a man who knows he's dying, and a dreamless boy whose fate seems already determined. And yet, the all too human connection of two souls needing just one friend, and a beautiful young woman herself looking for something to believe in or ultimately, redemption on one man's last ride into eternity.