An Un-Official Website for Hank Williams, Sr.

Andrew Johnson Hotel

The former Andrew Johnson Hotel is located at 912 South Gay Street in Knoxville, Tennessee. It's at the intersection with West Hill Avenue beside the hard-to-miss BB&T building. It is no longer a hotel, so don't bother looking for it in the phone book. Today, it is the administrative headquarters for Knox County Schools. Practically next door is the Blount Mansion while the old courthouse sits across the street.

Hank Williams and his driver, Charles Carr, checked into the Andrew Johnson Hotel around 6:08 pm on December 31, 1952. The desk clerk that evening was Dan McCrary and it is said Hank had stayed there in the past. Sometime after arriving, Hank was visited by Dr. Paul H. Cardwell who injected him with B-12 and morphine. Some accounts state that Hank also visited St. Mary's Hospital where he received additional morphine. The singer reportedly slept a bit and also fell out of bed, receiving a bruise that was seen at his autopsy. Around 10:45 pm, the two checked out and Hank seemed in bad shape. Some speculate he was dead. The stories state bellhops essentially carried him to his car and he made a couple of coughing sounds along the way.

It seems likely the two drove north on Gay Street and past the Tennessee Theatre, which was playing "Stop, You're Killing Me." They probably turned onto Magnolia, past Chilhowee Park and then to U.S. Highway 11W (Rutledge Pike). From my visit, it seems 11W was marked a little odd. Perhaps "S11W." So, be sure to watch for Rutledge Pike signs if you make the drive.

It seems Hank's car stopped at the Skyline Drive-In in Hilltop, West Virginia. This is about two miles from the Pure Oil Service Station and the Oak Hill hospital. It was in the parking lot of the Skyline that Charles Carr discovered Hank had died. An employee of the drive-in told him he had best take Hank to the hospital. Some people believe the stop may have been about four miles sooner around Mount Hope.