It's no overstatement to say that [Hank Williams's] ghost lingers in the pages.
Many books have been published about Williams, but never one quite like this....[it is] a riveting account of the singer's short life and career.
This illuminating 200-page book, jammed with 300 photos, goes far in celebrating [Hank Williams'] extraordinary but tragically brief life....There are poignant letters...and the photos, many of them snapshots, are a revelation.
A handsome coffee-table book... [and] an eye-opening collection... all laid out around an informative text by Colin Escott and Kira Florita.
Truly a treasure trove for ardent fans, this volume also functions as an amazing slice of music Americana....This haunting volume has the jarring effect of a train wreck: You simply can't look away. Country artist Marty Stuart provides a fascinating introduction.
Nearly as compelling as Williams' music.
When Hank Williams died in the backseat of a car at age 29, he left behind grieving fans, friends and family, as well as eight guns, eight pairs of boots, 11 hats and a saddle. Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway by Colin Escott and Kira Florita gathers together just about every last piece of paper having anything do to with country music's greatest and most tragic star (hence the postmortem inventory). Much of the material is new: included in this volume are the handwritten lyrics to 30 songs never recorded or published, private family correspondence and some 150 previously unpublished photographs, including Hank's first baby photo. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Although he never made it to 30 and died nearly a half-century ago, singer/songwriter Hank Williams continues to exert tremendous influence on all spheres of popular music. The country crooner also continues to invite biographical treatment. In 1998, music historian Escott (Hank Williams: A Biography) and Florita, former marketer of the Hank Williams catalog for Mercury Records Nashville, produced the Grammy-winning, ten-CD set The Complete Hank Williams. While working on that project, they amassed a huge number of photographs, documents, and published and unpublished song lyrics. That iconography forms the basis of Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway, an appealing coffee-table book that is being cross-promoted with the tribute album, Timeless. Composed of captions by the authors and excerpts of interviews with Williams and his family and friends, the text is somewhat sparse but to the point and well written. Rick Bragg also contributes an elegant foreword. Koon's Hank Williams, So Lonesome was first published as Hank Williams: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood, 1993). This second take features expanded biographical coverage and important discussions of Williams's songs. Also significant are the author's attempts to separate the facts of Williams's life and work from the mythology of the musician and his thoughtful assessment of sources. In eliminating the reference-book qualities of the earlier Greenwood volume, Koons has made a significant contribution to Williams literature for fans and scholars. As a pair, these books nearly perfectly complement each other, but, unfortunately, neither contains a discography. In addition, the Escott and Florita volume lacks a bibliography (perfectly acceptable for a work of this kind), and the Koons book contains only a scaled-back one. Despite these shortcomings, both books avoid sensationalizing their complex subject and are highly recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with a popular culture focus. James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.