In this recently unearthed clip, Hank is playing a show in Lafayette, Louisiana. The video is from 1995 and Hank looks out into the sold out crowd, finding a four year old boy who is dressed like your prototypical cowboy. The child does not allow his young age to make him nervous and he wanders on the stage bravely. With 200,000 adoring fans looking on, the young man launches into a performance of the classic Hank record “Jambalaya”. Seasoned country fans may recognize the little boy who is singing and be wondering where they have seen that face before. After all, he does look incredibly familiar.
The little boy’s name? Hunter Hayes. You probably recognize that name from your local country radio station’s latest playlist, as he has come a long way since his humble beginnings as a young Hank Williams Jr concertgoer. His voice is no longer only heard onstage singing “Jambalaya,” his music is heard by millions and millions of people. Hayes is no longer the little boy who is content to sing for his idols, he is now well on the way to becoming an idol to a new generation of country fans. This video serves as the proof that we all need to start somewhere, no matter how big or small we may be at the time.
By watching this video, a country fan is able to glimpse two generations of greatness and watch them interact with one another. While it is unlikely that Hank could have ever known that a future star was being born that fateful night back in 1995, Hayes is clearly preparing for his day in the spotlight. He steps to the stage with more confidence than any four year old should rightfully have, clutching his accordion. While his performance is cute and one of the most adorable that you will ever have an opportunity to witness, it is merely a step forward for Hays, towards his bright future.
Music lovers all over the world should share this video with their friends, as it is proof that any one of us can achieve our goals and dreams. Any of us can step on stage with the stars and give it all we’ve got. Hunter’s confident strut onto the stage that night was merely a harbinger for the greatness that was yet to come.