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Hank radio recordings, book coming

Monday, November 25, 2019 – An extensive six-CD collection of 144 songs from Hank Williams radio recordings will be released on Feb. 7, 2020 on BMG. The release will also include a boo of photographs.

"Hank Williams: Pictures From Life's Other Side - The Man and His Music in Rare Photos and Recordings" represents the complete rundown of Williams' performances from the existing transcription discs. This is said to be the first collection to gather the entirety of Williams' Mother's Best performances and presents them outside the context of self-contained radio programs.

Williams was a star of WSM's Grand Ole Opry when he began hosting his own radio show for the same station in 1951. Sponsored by Mother's Best Flour Company, the 15-minute broadcasts aired every weekday. But there was a problem: Williams was wildly popular and his aggressive touring schedule meant he couldn't always be at the station to perform the show live. Many of the broadcasts were actually pre-recorded transcription discs that were aired and then forgotten. The discs were re-discovered decades later as they were being hauled to a dumpster. The find more than doubled the number of known Hank Williams recordings.

The compilation was produced by Cheryl Pawelski, and each track was restored and remastered by Michael Graves. Together, they earned Best Historical Album Grammy award for their work on Hank Williams' "The Garden Spot Programs, 1950" compilation in 2015.

The recordings are packaged in a slipcase with a book that chronicles Williams' career in photographs. With the assistance from Scott B. Bomar and Williams photo collector Ken Campanile, the 272-page hardbound volume was assembled by leading Williams expert Colin Escott, who wrote the definitive biography of the American music icon and has won two Grammy awards for Best Historical Album for his production work on previous key Williams releases. Williams' daughter, Jett Williams, contributed a touching foreword that sets the tone for the collection of images.

To gather the photos, the team coordinated with Marty Stuart's Congress of Country Music, the Grand Ole Opry Archives, the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the production company behind Ken Burns' "Country Music" documentary, and various Williams fans and historians. They uncovered unseen images from the estates of other country stars of the day, including photos that had been saved by Hank Thompson, as well as fellow Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens. The Dickens collection includes two rare color slides of Williams. Other color photos that were unearthed include a trio of images of Williams at the Sunset Park in Pennsylvania and a photo of Williams in bed recovering from back surgery.

More news for Hank Williams

CD reviews for Hank Williams

The Garden Spot Program 1950 CD review - The Garden Spot Program 1950
In a career that spanned a mere six years - a minuscule amount of time compared to those who are today celebrating anniversaries of 40, 50 or even 60 years of more - Hank Williams established himself as an abiding influence on all those who followed, a man whose music is as relevant and revered today as it was when it was originally recorded. Indeed, what Williams accomplished in that scant amount of time still resonates nearly 70 years later. There's been an abundance of compilations, »»»
The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams CD review - The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
"The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams" is a great story before you even start playing the music. Williams, according to the story, used to write down his lyric ideas in notebooks. When he died, there were four notebooks of unreleased or unperformed songs. Over the years, the notebooks remained in the possession of Williams' publishers Acuff-Rose and few knew of them. One who did, however, was longtime Nashville executive Mary Martin, who shepherded this project to its eventual light-of-day. »»»
Revealed The Unreleased Recordings CD review - Revealed The Unreleased Recordings
After his death in 1953, Hank Williams, became less a performer than a post-mortem brand name wherein his basic personality as an artist was increasingly downplayed and diminished. This remarkably enjoyable three-CD set, drawn from warmly remastered acetates - featuring occasional surface noise - of the old Mother's Best radio show, showcases much of that nearly lost essence. Supported by his regular collaborators the Drifting Cowboys, Williams brings surprising drive to live renditions his »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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