The Hank Williams Songbook [Varese]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
This entertaining collection of songs made famous by Hank Williams showcases some impassioned takes from some pretty spectacular artists. Johnny Cash's cool walkthrough "Hey Good Lookin'" has all of the swagger that the Man in Black's original Sun recordings had in spadefuls, while Del Shannon's soul-tearing rendition of "Ramblin' Man" is somehow even more lonesome than Williams' original. Jerry Lee Lewis' predatory stomp through "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" is a lot sexier than was originally intended, while B.J. Thomas' soulful "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is more like a Stax torch song than a country classic. Despite somewhat uneven sound quality it seems as though some ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
This entertaining collection of songs made famous by Hank Williams showcases some impassioned takes from some pretty spectacular artists. Johnny Cash's cool walkthrough "Hey Good Lookin'" has all of the swagger that the Man in Black's original Sun recordings had in spadefuls, while Del Shannon's soul-tearing rendition of "Ramblin' Man" is somehow even more lonesome than Williams' original. Jerry Lee Lewis' predatory stomp through "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" is a lot sexier than was originally intended, while B.J. Thomas' soulful "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is more like a Stax torch song than a country classic. Despite somewhat uneven sound quality it seems as though some tracks were taken from old masters or even LPs, each of the songs on this compilation show another side of the music of Hank Williams, as seen through the eyes of some of country's greatest performers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/2003
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • UPC: 030206646122
  • Catalog Number: 066461

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Doug Kershaw Vocals
Roy Acuff Fiddle, Vocals
Johnny Cash Guitar, Vocals
Don Gibson Vocals
Sue Thompson Vocals
Sonny Burgess Guitar, Vocals
Jerry Lee Lewis Piano, Vocals
Del Shannon Guitar, Vocals
Wilma Lee Cooper Banjo, Guitar
Rusty Kershaw Vocals
Stoney Cooper Fiddle
B.J. Thomas Vocals
Technical Credits
Jimmie Davis Composer
Dickey Betts Composer
Louis Armstrong Composer
Jack Clement Producer
Ronnie Gant Producer
Huey P. Meaux Producer
Velma Middleton Composer
Fred Rose Composer
Wesley Rose Producer
Billy Sherrill Producer
Hank Williams Composer
Clarence Williams Composer
Bill Dahl Liner Notes
Sam Phillips Producer
Bill Pitzonka Art Direction
Harry Balk Producer
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jerry Lee Lewis

    It seems that a large number of the tracks were recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis and I have always found his country singing passable. I feel that this recording is good background music while driving though it does get a little boring at times. It does remind you of just how man songs Hank Williams made famous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    25 years of Williams covers

    Varese’s new 18 track collection of Hank Williams covers (not to be confused with a similarly titled 1991 collection on Columbia) is a welcome gathering of interpretations dating from the late ’50s through the early ’70s. These tracks were collected from a variety of sources, rather than purpose-built for this album -- resulting in a variety that’s less forced than the sort of all-star tribute albums that have been epidemic over the past decade. A few tracks were taken from complete tribute albums by a single artist (Del Shannon, Don Gibson, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff), but most are one-off singles or album sides that find the artist covering a favorite Williams tune. ¶ The range of styles, and the ease with which Williams songs adapt to them, is impressive. Spare, downcast readings like Johnny Cash’s 1957 take of "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle Blow" are just as effective as Jerry Lee Lewis’ party-styled "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" and "Cold Cold Heart." Pop crooner Del Shannon is surprisingly convincing as he echoes Williams’ yodel, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper give a hard mountain twang to Williams’ "Singing Waterfall," and Rusty & Doug Kershaw render "Why Don’t You Love Me" as Everlyesque rock ’n’ roll. ¶ B.J. Thomas, Don Gibson and Sue Thompson provide the farthest stretches. Thomas turns "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry" into a fine mid-60s top-10 pop single, Gibson recorded "Your Cheatin’ Heart" in an oddly compelling early ’70s funk style, and Thompson sings "I Can’t Help it (If I’m Still in Love With You)" as a treacly ’50s ballad, replete with violins (not fiddles!) and background harmonies. ¶ This is a really refreshing look at Williams songbook, viewed through disparate eyes that were unified by Williams talent. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings.

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