April 30, 2002 - Lum and Hank

When Richard Barksdale and his country band play a gig, there is usually well over half a century of music legend and lore right up there on stage with them. He's Lum York who started out playing bass and doing comedy bits for The Hank Williams, Sr., band back in 1944.

Years before "Your Cheatin' Heart," Lum, Hank and the boys played one-night stands throughout the south. And they always knew when they were pretty near home when they saw that airport beacon right outside Montgomery, Alabama.

Lum recalls one late night homecoming. "I didn't know Hank was awake, and I told the driver that we were getting close because I see the light, and Hank wrote a song about I Saw the Light."

Lum never got a dime for inspiring that country classic, but he loves to tell stories about traveling with Hank. One night he'll never forget involved an encounter with a water hole. "He went behind the theater and fell into a well about five feet deep. He got out, and he came and got me to show me the well that he fell into. He went back around to show me the well, and he fell in it again!"

Lum's bass is in the Hank Williams Hall of Fame. Lum now plays the spoons and is happy to spoon out music history. Mr. York was with Hank Williams and the Drifting Cowboys for about five years. After that he played with Lefty Frizzell, then settled down with a job at the East Baton Rouge School District. He is 83 years old, and still loves to sit in with local bands.