Bulger's Beat: Hank Williams impersonator has the look - WSMV News 4

Bulger's Beat: Hank Williams impersonator has the look

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Many of us have seen Elvis impersonators, but one Hank Williams impersonator may be the best around. Jason Petty has been performing nationwide, but for four days he's bringing the act to his Coffee County hometown.

Petty has honed his Hank show for more than 20 years, including time filling the summertime pews at the Ryman Auditorium and playing eight shows a week off-Broadway in New York City.

Petty said he used to wonder if the younger crowd would even listen to songs more than 60 years old, but not any more.

"The people who aren't familiar with the music - who come just out of curiosity - they get hooked, because Hank's music is timeless," Petty said.

He's been singing about beers and tears for two decades.

"I can believe Hank when he sings, or Ernest Tubb, guys like that who lived or died from what they wrote on the page," Petty said.

All of this is a passion passed down in his Coffee County home from his Hickman County grandparents, which led to an audition at Opryland years ago with one hiccup.

"I couldn't yodel. And I auditioned - they were doing Lovesick Blues - and I couldn't yodel. And they were like, 'Let's do, Cheatin' Heart instead.' And they were like, 'You go back home and learn how to yodel,'" Petty said.

He got the job and the yodel would follow.

Now, he's heading back for a hometown welcome with shows in Manchester destined for standing ovations and the feel of the 1940s.

Petty will perform five shows over four days at the Manchester Arts Center. The shows start on July 11 and run through July 14.

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