The Unreleased Recordings

( 15 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Considering the seismic impact Hank Williams had on country music, it's remarkable to think that his recording career lasted a mere six years -- he signed with MGM Records in early 1947, and was found dead in the back of his Cadillac en route to a gig on the first day of 1953. Williams was a prolific recording artist during that period, cutting an impressive 68 singles in addition to appearing as a regular guest on WSM's weekly Grand Ole Opry broadcast from Nashville and maintaining a punishing schedule of personal appearances. Given Williams' overloaded agenda, it's hard to imagine why he'd agree to also host an early-morning radio show five days a week, but starting in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Considering the seismic impact Hank Williams had on country music, it's remarkable to think that his recording career lasted a mere six years -- he signed with MGM Records in early 1947, and was found dead in the back of his Cadillac en route to a gig on the first day of 1953. Williams was a prolific recording artist during that period, cutting an impressive 68 singles in addition to appearing as a regular guest on WSM's weekly Grand Ole Opry broadcast from Nashville and maintaining a punishing schedule of personal appearances. Given Williams' overloaded agenda, it's hard to imagine why he'd agree to also host an early-morning radio show five days a week, but starting in January 1951, he did just that, performing from 7:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. every Monday through Friday on WSM, sponsored by Mother's Best Flour. The show lasted for 15 weeks, and since Williams was frequently out on the road and unable to make it into the studio for live broadcasts, he recorded most of the Mother's Best programs in advance. Thankfully, a Williams fan at WSM had the presence of mind to save the transcription discs of the Mother's Best shows when they were in danger of being thrown away, and after years of legal wrangling over the rights to the recordings, the Hank Williams estate has finally arranged for an authorized release of this material. The Unreleased Recordings is a three-disc set that features 54 songs from the Mother's Best broadcasts, and for serious Hank Williams fans this collection was well worth the wait. The quality of the recordings is usually as good as his studio sessions of the period and often better, with Williams' vocals frequently sounding stronger and more resonant than on his singles, and the performances are strong but casual at the same time. For these shows, Williams and his band the Drifting Cowboys usually worked out the set lists on the fly, and it's said that the bandmembers often found themselves playing tunes they'd never formally rehearsed for the radio audience. But despite all that, the musicians follow Williams with skill and confidence, and the emotional force of Williams' vocals is an impressive thing to hear. Though a number of Williams' greatest hits are on the song list (sometimes before they were recorded for mass consumption), some of the most remarkable moments come when he pulls classic country and gospel favorites from the songbook: "On Top of Old Smokey" and "Cool Water" are given unexpectedly powerful and dramatic readings; "Cherokee Boogie" and "Tennessee Border" sound enthusiastic and energetic in the hands of the Drifting Cowboys; and white gospel classics like "Softly and Tenderly," "Dust on the Bible," and "I'll Fly Away" are delivered with genuine fervor, as Williams and his band join their voices together for some stellar harmonies. Given how Hank Williams' body of work has been extensively recycled and repackaged in the 50-plus years since his passing, the discovery of a cache of unheard Williams sessions would be good news even under the least favorable circumstances, but The Unreleased Recordings presents the country legend not only in fine form, but essaying some unexpected material with heart, soul, and savvy; it won't replace the man's essential catalog, but it certainly brings a welcome new perspective to his music as well as his influences.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
1/2 The 54 performances in this three-CD set pack a magical, concentrated immediacy that is, in its time and way, as electrifying as Johnny Cash's Sixties prison shows or Bob Dylan's early acoustic concerts.
The Guardian
The 72 Nashville radio shows that Hank recorded in 1951 are the Da Vinci Code of country; known to cognoscenti, tantalisingly elusive for seekers. After years of legal wrangling, this first instalment of 54 songs proves worth the wait. Hank croons, moans, yips and, best of all, talks – the man that emerges is complex, but far from the pitful soul so often painted.

The 72 Nashville radio shows that Hank recorded in 1951 are the Da Vinci Code of country; known to cognoscenti, tantalisingly elusive for seekers. After years of legal wrangling, this first instalment of 54 songs proves worth the wait. Hank croons, moans, yips and, best of all, talks – the man that emerges is complex, but far from the pitful soul so often painted.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/28/2008
  • Label: Time Life Records
  • UPC: 610583246025
  • Catalog Number: 80031
  • Sales rank: 15,111

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (3:22)
  2. 2 Dust on the Bible (2:55)
  3. 3 I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (3:16)
  4. 4 I Heard My Savior Calling Me (2:21)
  5. 5 Precious Lord, Take My Hand (2:14)
  6. 6 Hey, Good Lookin' (3:11)
  7. 7 On Top of Old Smokey (3:44)
  8. 8 I Can't Tell My Heart That (3:31)
  9. 9 I Dreamed That the Great Judgement Morning (5:28)
  10. 10 Next Sunday Darling Is My Birthday (2:25)
  11. 11 At the First Fall of Snow (3:59)
  12. 12 Dear John (2:23)
  13. 13 The Blind Child's Prayer (3:22)
  14. 14 I'll Have a New Life (2:01)
  15. 15 On the Banks of the Pontchartrain (3:36)
  16. 16 Low and Lonely (1:39)
  17. 17 Drifting Too Far from the Shore (2:15)
  18. 18 I'm Gonna Sing (1:54)
Disc 2
  1. 1 I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You) (3:09)
  2. 2 Seaman's Blues (3:15)
  3. 3 The Prodigal Son (3:09)
  4. 4 Cherokee Boogie (2:48)
  5. 5 Where He Leads Me (2:20)
  6. 6 From Jerusalem to Jericho (3:56)
  7. 7 Cool Water (4:41)
  8. 8 I've Got My One-Way Ticket to the Sky (2:24)
  9. 9 Searching for a Soldier's Grave (4:09)
  10. 10 California Zephyr (2:41)
  11. 11 Softly and Tenderly (3:52)
  12. 12 Just When I Needed You (3:04)
  13. 13 Gathering Flowers for the Master's Bouquet (2:37)
  14. 14 Why Should We Try Any More (3:06)
  15. 15 The Old Country Church (4:05)
  16. 16 May You Never Be Alone (2:57)
  17. 17 When the Fire Comes Down (2:21)
  18. 18 Lonely Tombs (2:34)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Pictures from Life's Other Side (5:03)
  2. 2 I'll Fly Away (2:05)
  3. 3 Cold, Cold Heart (2:19)
  4. 4 Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (3:09)
  5. 5 When God Dips His Love in My Heart (2:02)
  6. 6 Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine (3:51)
  7. 7 When the Saints Go Marchin' In (2:40)
  8. 8 I'll Sail My Ship Alone (3:44)
  9. 9 Wedding Bells (3:47)
  10. 10 Mind Your Own Business (3:18)
  11. 11 You Blotted My Happy Schooldays (2:51)
  12. 12 Where the Soul Never Dies (1:51)
  13. 13 Pins and Needles (In My Heart) (2:57)
  14. 14 Tennessee Border (2:32)
  15. 15 There's Nothing as Sweet as My Baby (2:57)
  16. 16 Wait for the Light to Shine (1:37)
  17. 17 If I Didn't Love You (3:06)
  18. 18 The Pale Horse and His Rider (4:18)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Hank Williams Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Audrey Williams Background Vocals
Jerry Rivers Fiddle
Howard Watts Bass Guitar
Samuel K. "Sammy" Pruett Guitar
Cousin Louie Buck Spoken Word
Technical Credits
Roy Acuff Composer
Moon Mullican Composer
Tex Ritter Composer
Clyde Moody Composer
Ernest Tubb Composer
Johnnie Wright Composer
Rick Vincent Composer
Colin Escott Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Photo Courtesy
William Lee Golden Composer
Joseph M. Palmaccio Mastering
Fred Rose Composer
Hank Williams Composer
Kay Williams Photo Courtesy
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey Composer
Jack Anglin Composer
Walter Bailes Composer
Zeke Clements Composer
Bob Nolan Composer
Jimmy Work Composer
Jett Williams Liner Notes, Executive Producer, Author, Source Material, Photo Courtesy
Les Leverett Photo Courtesy
Ervin Staggs Composer
Scotty Wiseman Composer
Cleavant Derricks Composer
A. Brumley Composer
A. Smith Composer
Ron Stewart Composer
Traditional Composer
Mike Jason Executive Producer
Lisa Marie Presley Composer
Floyd Jenkins Composer
Olivia Kim Editorial Research
Will L. Thompson Composer
F. Keith Adkinson Executive Producer, Author, Source Material
Ken Campanile Photo Courtesy
W.M. Robinson Composer
T. Harrell Composer
S. Nathan Composer
P.W. King Composer
P. Kinsey Composer
M. Estes Composer
M.D. Wright Composer
Marvin Baungardner Composer
L. Messer Composer
L.L. Pickett Composer
L. Fields Composer
J.W. Fowler Composer
Johnny Bailes Composer
I. Mercer Composer
H. Thurston Composer
E. Blandy Composer
C. Boone Composer
C. Baer Composer
B. Shadduck Composer
A.A. Gass Composer
Art Brumley Composer
Chief William Redbird Composer
H. Bernard Composer
C. Baum Composer
M. Burns Composer
J. Ellis Composer
J. Vaughan Composer
John Norris Composer
Alicia J. Rose Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I'll buy the next volume too

    Hank never had much of a voice but he had style , I don't know why but I love those old Hank songs .I listen to them along with Wayne Hancock ,Hank the 3rd ,I just can't get enough of it. So I'll buy the next batch of unreleased Hank when it's available .

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    At last a look at the real talent of Hank

    Growing up in the 70's my parents only listened to country music--I hated it, I'm a real rocker. But as I've matured, and became a bit nostalgic I am able to appreciate country music for the unvarnished sound that it is. This collection is incredible, Hank's voice is so sincere and refined, it is as though you are in the studio with him. A must have for any music collection. Kudo's to Jett and Hank Jr. for bringing forth this magnificent tribute.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A long time fan

    I have listened to Hank as a youngster when he was alive. I had some of his recordings on 78's.

    I really like what you've done with this group of songs and with the clarity that comes across in the re-mastering. A job well done !


    Georgia Boy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must have collection

    Amazing quality for such old recordings. The only thing missing is "Your Cheatin' Heart".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hank

    I bought this for my husband since he is a huge Hank fan and I personally don't like him...but he loves it and listens to it every day

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love it

    I remember listening to Hank Williams on the radio when I was a little girls so this collection brought back memories. I don't claim to be a country music fan but my husband says I must be because I have so much country music. But this is quality music by someone who could sing and not just "speak songs".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Real Hank Williams

    This is a "must have" for anyone who enjoys the real country sound!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Worth the money

    Gave to my dad for his 82nd birthday. He LOVES it. He says it sounds like Hank is in the room with him.

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    Posted December 30, 2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews