The Unreleased Recordings of Hank Williams Sr.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


A recently released boxset from Time Life came across my desk recently, and when I looked at it, I was pretty amazed what I had in my hands. Its history. Country music's first real superstar's unreleased recordings. I popped the first of the 3 CDs into the computer, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Amazing stuff. You see, this boxset is recordings of Hank Williams Sr. Not just actual singing, but his voice too, at times. You get the chance to actually hear a bit of introduction to some of the songs.

Also, I keep having to remind myself, this collection, until now, have never been heard by the public. In fact, these tracks are in country history already for its lengthy legal battle to be released. These recordings were purged from WSM-AM's storage and were being thrown away since legally that would not be able to use them. A very smart photographer from WSM saved them from the dumpster and held on to them. He also knew he couldn't do anything with them for legal reasons, but kept them in self keeping. They were turned over to Jett Williams (Hank's daughter) and her attorney. A copy did get out, and they were released unauthorized with
removing “skips” and hissing noises present in the originals and by adding additional background music. After many years of legal battles, it came to an end with the Williams' Estate winning the case. Here are 3 links for further reading:

http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/opinions/tca/PDF/061/polygramOPN.pdf
http://www.joneslawfirmplc.com/pdfs/Polygram_Records_v_Legacy_Entertainment.pdf
http://www.newsweek.com/id/165655/output/print

The boxset takes you to the peak of his career in 1951. Hank Williams recorded 143 songs for the Mother's Best Flour Company that were aired in a 15 minute program that aired in the mornings.. Hank sang with his regular studio band. From this amazing legacy, Time Life is proud to release this historic 3 CD, 54 track collection drawn from the very best of the Mother's Best recordings.

Inside the CD holder, there is a 40 page booklet that is beyond belief. It contains many pictures of Hank Williams Sr, A opening letter from Jett Williams, a history of Hank Williams in the time that these recordings were made, and then comments about each and every song on the 3 discs. Then, a listing of the tracks. It is put together so very well. This is a keepsake that is meant to be played over and over.

This collection is a must have for any true country music fan. If you have any other recordings of Hank Williams Sr, you need this collection. If you have heard of Hank Williams Sr. and want to learn more about him, you need this collection. If you love the historical side of country music, you need this collection. Believe me, serious country music fans.

Now don't let the word boxset scare you away from the set. First, its only 3 discs. However, the 3 discs are 18 tracks long and each and every one of the 54 tracks are worth the small price alone. Amazon has the boxset for $28.99, so it is not expensive at all. You will be blown away by the book and the music.

I hope you will look into this great collection, it is an important part of the history of country music.

0 Comments: