The reason that Hank Williams Jr (born Randall Hank Williams in 1949) is mostly seen wearing sunglasses is due to an horrific accident that befell the country singer when he was only 22 years-old. At the time, he was a man who was struggling to climb out of his father's shadow, and heading down the same self-destructive road, when on a hiking expedition in Montana, the now legendary singer, fell 500 ft after attempting to climb Ajax mountain as the snow gave way beneath his feet.
The resulting fall saw Hank Jr's face literally split in two and really should have killed him. Instead after two year's worth of reconstructive surgery and of learning to talk again, Hank Williams Jr emerged like the proverbial Phoenix and began his legacy of super stardom, carving his own name into Country Music history, and on his own merits.
The sunglasses and beard combination which has become his trademark are thought to hide most of the scarring of the accident and the resultant corrective surgery.
An Autobiography entitled 'Living Proof' catalogs Bocephus's (A nickname Hank Williams Senior gave to his son as a baby) early career and graphically depicts the fall. In 1983 a made for TV movie of the same name failed to live up to the book, while also charting Hank Williams Jnr's early career, the fall and carrying out his mother's wishes to the detriment of his own artistic fulfillment, the movie received criticism from fans in regards to some minor factual inaccuracies, and also with the casting of Richard Thomas (previously immortalised as John Boy Walton in the beloved TV series The Waltons) coming under fire for his diminutive stature.