Hank Williams’ Canton show poster sells for $150,000


By Tim Botos - The Repository, Canton, Ohio



One of three original Hank Williams Canton concert posters known to exist was auctioned Saturday for $150,000. Williams died on the way to the concert in Canton. He was 29 years old.

One of three original Hank Williams Canton concert posters known to exist was auctioned Saturday for $150,000. Williams died on the way to the concert in Canton. He was 29 years old.


An original poster promoting a 1953 Hank Williams concert in Canton sold for a record $150,000 at an auction Saturday.

The piece is one of the most coveted among collectors because Williams never made it to the pair of New Year’s Day shows at Canton Memorial Auditorium — he died of a heart attack while en route. Only three posters for the Canton performance are known to exist.

The one sold in Saturday’s online Heritage Auctions event originally was discovered in a Canton area barn, decades after Williams’ death, but had traded hands since. The cardboard poster was restored and reinforced, but still maintains traces of a crease in the middle from when it was folded.

The winning bid is the highest price ever paid for a concert poster, said Eric Bradley, a Heritage spokesman. The seller, Andrew Hawley, of San Francisco, knows a few things about posters and record prices.

“It’s an amazing piece … a real artifact,” he said.

Hawley, a collector, is the same guy who sold a concert poster in 2019 for a then-record $125,000. That relic, auctioned by Heritage, was a January 1959 “Winter Dance Party” poster for a concert in Mankato, Minn.

The stars of that event were Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. All three died in a plane crash following their final performance eight days later in Iowa.

Hawley said he bought both pieces as investments.

“We’re all just temporary custodians,” he said.

Pete Howard, consignment director in Heritage Auction’s entertainment & music memorabilia category, had described the Hank Williams piece as “the top of Mount Everest.”

Williams and an 18-year-old driver were headed to Canton from Knoxville, Tenn., in bad weather in a 1952 Cadillac. Autopsy results later would reveal the country music star died of heart failure while riding in the back seat before he arrived at a hospital in Oakhill, W.Va.

He was 29 years old.

One of three original Hank Williams Canton concert posters known to exist was auctioned Saturday for $150,000. Williams died on the way to the concert in Canton. He was 29 years old.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/05/web1_20210501-AMX-US-NEWS-HANK-WILLIAMS-CANTON-SHOW-POSTER-REP.jpgOne of three original Hank Williams Canton concert posters known to exist was auctioned Saturday for $150,000. Williams died on the way to the concert in Canton. He was 29 years old.

By Tim Botos

The Repository, Canton, Ohio

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