Clent Holmes

Born: Chatom, AL

Country Guitar Drifting Cowboys

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Clent Holmes joined the band in 1948 and played with Hank until he left for the Grand Ole Opry in 1949. His wife, Mayme, was a close friend of Williams’ wife Audrey and often was a baby sitter for Hank Jr.

“Hank was so easy to play with,” said Holmes. “That’s why he went over so good. He might write a song in the front seat of his Packard and not say a word to us. When he got up on stage to sing that night, he’d just say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, it makes an old country boy like me feel good to write a song in the car while we were coming on down here, and I want to play it for you.’

“Then he’d turn to us and say, ‘Hit me the key of C, boys.’ And that would be the first time we’d ever heard the song.

“Every time he went on stage, he had something different and funny. He was always carrying on and was a pleasure to work with. Just a one-time genius is the best way I know how to describe him.

“I was on my way to Abilene, Texas in early 1948, when I met Hank. I had stopped off at a radio station, and Hank was there. He needed a guitar player to go with him on tour and then return to the “Louisiana Hayride.”

The two musicians hit it off well, and before long Holmes was the chauffer of the group, driving Hank’s Packard limousine.

“Hank had a lot of confidence in me,” continued Holmes. “He was one of the most honest fellows you ever met. When it came time for payday, he would look you up. A lot has been said about his drinking, but he was an honest person who loved fishing and good country food.”


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