By August 1975, Hank Williams Jr. was determined to start recording his own style of music instead of basing his career on performing his father's music. After a period of personal struggle, including marital problems and a failed suicide attempt, he felt invigorated by a new sense of purpose. He recorded Hank Williams Jr. & Friends, his first album blending country music, southern rock, and blues, which pointed him in a new career direction. He also started dating Becky White, who would become his third wife.
Taking a break, he traveled to his beloved Montana to do some mountain climbing. While he crossed a snow field on Ajax Mountain, a rock shifted under him, starting an avalanche that carried Williams into a freefall. For five hundred feet, his body crashed against boulders and jagged cliffs.
Miraculously, he survived. His facial bones were shattered, and skin and tissue had been sheered away. Airlifted to a hospital, Hank Jr. spent eight days fighting for his life. He survived, enduring nine surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation.
Hank Jr. returned to the stage in May 1976, more determined than ever to focus on his own music. On June 18, 1976, he married White. He would never look the same after his fall. He would never sound the same, either.