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Jamey Johnson: Country's 'Lonesome' Songs

Jamey Johnson is deeply rooted in the spirit of Southern country music. Somewhat of a rebel in nature, Johnson spent a good portion of his youth drinking and playing country songs in the backwoods of Alabama. After he returned from the Marine Corps, Johnson got to writing music and moved to Nashville. In just a few years' time, Johnson — who was formally trained in music composition, networked around Music City — which quickly took notice of his considerable talent.

Following a run of hardships, Johnson went into a period of isolation, supporting himself by penning hits for Trace Adkins and George Strait — including 2006's Country Music Award-winning "Give It Away." It took a full year, but Johnson emerged from his slump rejuvenated, with a new collection of songs in tow. In this session, Johnson talks about his country hero, Hank Williams Sr., and explains how his own recent divorce influenced his album That Lonesome Song.

This story was originally aired on May 13, 2009.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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