Born Hiram Williams in Mount Olive, Alabama, Hank Williams is one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 20th century. He was plagued by a life of physical pain, a result of a spinal deformity. As Colin Escott wrote "Williams is the standard by which success is measured in country music on every level, even self destruction. He established the agenda for contemporary country songcraft". By the mid-1930s Williams's music career was well on track and by 1938 he had formed the first of his Drifting Cowboys bands. Williams experienced great success following the war only to be obstructed by his heavy drinking, relocating him from Montgomery in August 1948 when he became a member of the Louisiana Hayride, a fairly new radio jamboree. In June 1949 Williams moved to Nashville and quickly became one of country music's biggest stars. Williams's career reached its peak in 1950 and 1951. Each of his records found a place on the charts, except for the religious duets he recorded with his wife, Audrey Mae Sheppard and those recorded under his pseudonym, Luke the Drifter. He was also the most successful touring acts in country music. By 1952, however, Williams had succumbed to alcohol and prescription drug addiction and died in the back seat of his chauffered Cadillac sometime between December 30 and early January 1, 1953.