Hank Williams: The Complete Mothers Best Recording... Plus! Out September 28th

posted September 17, 2010

Hank Williams: The Complete Mothers Best Recording... Plus! Out September 28th

American music legend Hank Williams has long been considered one of the earliest influences on rock ‘n' roll and in fact was the first of a very few artists to be inducted in both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. His legacy will be honored in a new 16-disc box set, Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Recordings...Plus! due September 28th via Time Life at www.hankwilliamsmothersbest.com.

Williams's vocals, steeped in emotion, have influenced generations of rock and Americana artists, and lately have been covered by more rock artists than country acts. In the way he wrote and the way he sang, he set the standard for self-expression and believability that has inspired rock artists from Elvis Presley onward. Rolling Stone named him as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Beck and countless others have reinterpreted his songs. Dylan and John Fogerty both cite him as an early influence, Pearl Jam's Stone Gossard created a side band in his honor called the Hank Khoir and Neil Young, who owns one of Williams' original guitars, wrote "This Old Guitar" about it. Williams was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation earlier this year from Columbia University.

Many journalists refer to Hank Williams as the first rock ‘n' roll casualty. He was an original rock ‘n' roll rebel, making his music his way without compromise. Williams' songs ...and his searing performances of them... were intensely personal statements. His simple poeticism is still the benchmark by which popular songs are measured.

Hank Williams Complete Mother Best Recordings....Plus! features fifteen audio discs and a bonus DVD with performances including Williams' first-ever rendition of "Cold, Cold Heart" and "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)" just days after they were written, as well as many songs he never recorded elsewhere such as "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and "On Top of Old Smoky." On the DVD, two of Hank's original band members reminisce about his brief, incendiary career. The project also contains a booklet with an introduction by Hank Williams, Jr., afterword by Jett Williams and over one-hundred pages on the history of Williams written by respected music writer and Hank Williams historian, Colin Escott. This deluxe, limited edition set is lavishly packaged in a box designed to look like an antique radio with a working radio dial that plays selections from the radio shows. The 16-disc collector's box set contains 72 complete 15-minute shows, featuring 143 performances by Hank Williams together with conversation, and much more. The music and the unguarded conversation make this the first three-dimensional portrait of an American music legend.

The recordings are from Williams' Mother's Best Flour shows, recorded at the pinnacle of his career in 1951 at radio station WSM. Thinking the shows would only reach a small, mostly rural audience in middle Tennessee, Hank was unguarded in both his conversation and choice of songs. Accordingly, we hear him perform many songs he never performed elsewhere, including some from his childhood. . The original acetate recordings were painstakingly restored after they were salvaged from a trash can by a WSM employee and turned over to Hank's daughter, Jett Williams. The sound quality of these exceptional radio shows is at least comparable to his studio recordings, and many critics have remarked that the "direct-to-disc" Mother's Best recordings actually have more presence and clarity.

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