Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

by Hank Williams
     
 

Hank Williams was country music's first true superstar, and his songs were a remarkable synthesis of hillbilly elements with a dose of blues and gospel, and a clear awareness of Tin Pan Alley techniques, all delivered with a postmodern sensibility that understood that sex and image were a big part of the whole package. He was also heavily conflicted -- much like later… See more details below

Overview

Hank Williams was country music's first true superstar, and his songs were a remarkable synthesis of hillbilly elements with a dose of blues and gospel, and a clear awareness of Tin Pan Alley techniques, all delivered with a postmodern sensibility that understood that sex and image were a big part of the whole package. He was also heavily conflicted -- much like later soul singers Marvin Gaye and Al Green -- between the secular and the sacred, even going so far as creating a separate persona, Luke the Drifter, to deliver a series of dark, frightening sermons on the dangers of yielding to Saturday night temptation. But yield Williams did, and this tortured soul turned his contradictions into stunning songs like the elegant "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" -- which is as tightly written as a haiku -- and the eerily prophetic "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive." Williams remains the single most important artist in the history of country music, but every shooting star has its beginnings, and this delightful three-disc set charts the very beginnings of Williams' productive but brief career. Imagine hearing a scratchy recording of Williams singing and fronting an accordion-based swing band at the age of 15 -- "Fan It," which appears on the third disc here, is exactly that, and so we can mark 1938, the year it was tracked, as the nascent birth of modern country music. Most of this set is made up of live material done for the Health and Happiness radio show in 1949 and after, and many of the cuts don't feature Williams at all, but feature instead Jerry Rivers wrapping his blazing fiddle around traditional fare like "Old Joe Clark" and "Sally Goodin," but there is still plenty of Williams here, and his singing is relaxed, poignant, and solid. He was just becoming a star and his lifestyle had yet to consume him. Also included here are four previously unreleased recordings from 1940, including a fun take on "Greenback Dollar," and a half-dozen tracks from a March of Dimes radio show broadcast in 1951, all of which makes this package both a treasure trove for Williams fans and collectors, as well as a valuable archival glimpse at the musical beginning of the greatest and brightest shooting star that country music has ever known.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2011
Label:
Time Life Records
UPC:
0610583399127
catalogNumber:
26414
Rank:
61515

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  2. Wedding Bells
  3. Lovesick Blues
  4. Old Joe Clark  - Jerry Rivers
  5. Where the Soul Never Dies
  6. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers
  7. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  8. You're Gonna Change
  9. There's a Bluebird on Your Windowsill  - Audrey Williams
  10. Fire on the Mountain  - Jerry Rivers
  11. Tramp on the Street
  12. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers
  13. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  14. I'm a Long Gone Daddy
  15. I'm Telling You  - Audrey Williams
  16. Bill Cheatham  - Jerry Rivers
  17. When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels
  18. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers
  19. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  20. Lost Highway
  21. I Want to Live and Love
  22. Bile Dem Cabbage Down  - Jerry Rivers
  23. I'll Have a New Life
  24. Fingers on Fire  - Bob McNett
  25. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers

Disc 2

  1. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  2. A Mansion on the Hill
  3. There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
  4. Tennessee Wagner  - Jerry Rivers
  5. The Prodigal Son
  6. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers
  7. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  8. Pan American
  9. Lovesick Blues
  10. Arkansas Traveler  - Jerry Rivers
  11. I Saw the Light
  12. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers
  13. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  14. Mind Your Own Business
  15. Wedding Bells
  16. Cotton Eyed Joe  - Jerry Rivers
  17. I've Just Told Mama Goodbye
  18. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers
  19. Happy Rovin' Cowboy (Theme)
  20. I Can't Get You Off My Mind
  21. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  22. Fisherman's Hornpipe  - Jerry Rivers
  23. Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine
  24. Sally Goodin  - Jerry Rivers

Disc 3

  1. Fan It
  2. Alexander's Ragtime Band  - Pee Wee Moultrie
  3. Freight Train Blues
  4. New San Antonio Rose
  5. St. Louis Blues
  6. Greenback Dollar
  7. Lovesick Blues [The March of Dimes Show for Broadcast January 15-31, 19
  8. Moanin' the Blues [The March of Dimes Show for Broadcast January 15-31,
  9. There's a Bluebird on Your Windowsill [The March of Dimes Show for Broa  - Audrey Williams
  10. Hank Talks About Infantile Paralysis [The March of Dimes Show for Broad
  11. Help Me Understand [The March of Dimes Show for Broadcast January 15-31
  12. When God Dips His Love in My Heart [The March of Dimes Show for Broadca

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