Rose often “doctored” the songs Hank composed, making suggestions and revisions, with biographer Roger M. Williams noting that Rose’s contribution to Hank’s songs was hey good lookin sheet music pdf craftsmanship, whereas Williams’ was genius. Hank would come up with the ideas, and Fred would say, ‘Well, write it down and let me look at it.
Hank’d bring it to Fred, and Fred would sit at the piano and complement Hank and say, “Maybe you can express this a little differently, let’s change it a little bit,’ but Fred never changed Hank’s thinking. Named after a legendary Indian for which a wooden statue was later placed near the lake, the song was written by Hank when he was staying at a lakeside cabin that he owned and still stands today. Because his heart was made of knotty pine. Is it any wonder that his face is red?
Kaw-liga, that poor ol’ wooden head. More than any other song, “Kaw-Liga” bears evidence of the guiding hand of Rose, who moulded the song into nothing like Williams had recorded up to that point. In addition, the song fades out, the only Hank Williams song to do so. 1 on the country chart for 6 weeks. On the recording, Williams flubs a chord and can be heard muttering “shit” before starting the song again.
Champ Butler was the first to record the song, predating Williams’ release. 3 on the country singles chart in 1969. This was more than likely a reference to Williams’ wife, who was named Billie Jean. While their cover is a largely faithful one, it is known for including a segment before the final chorus in which Bruce Williams goes off on a tangent and winds up performing a completely different song before Terry Ree finally resumes the original song.
Connie Francis and Hank Williams Jr. The Best of Hank Williams Jr. 20 Hits Special Collection, Vol. Are You Ready for the Country?