Hank Williams

Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Recordings...Plus!

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Hank Williams had a breakthrough year in 1951. He had a string of moderate country hits already under his belt, but the release that year of his version of an old jazz age novelty tune called "Lovesick Blues," originally recorded in 1922 by Elsie Clark and given a country arrangement in 1939 by Rex Griffin (the template for Williams' version), suddenly made him a big star. It also meant his touring schedule increased, but he still found time that year to slip into Nashville and prerecord shows for the Mother's Best Flour Company. These good-natured and intimate performances were cut to acetate discs and then played over the air on Nashville's WSM radio station. Brittle, disposable, and made for only a few plays, these acetates were then shelved and forgotten until they were literally rescued from the trash in the '70s by an alert WSM employee. In all, 72 of these shows survived, containing some 143 songs, and all of them are presented in this beautiful, ornate set that comes packaged as an old parlor radio and includes a 108-page hardcover book; 14 CDs of the Mother’s Best shows; another disc with his audition for the similar Aunt Jemima radio show; and a DVD that features Williams' daughter, Jett Williams, former WSM engineer Glenn Snoddy, and two members of Williams' band, Don Helms and Big Bill Lister, discussing and remembering the shows and the era. The performances collected here are intimate and relaxed, and Williams tackles an amazingly varied set list, singing old mountain ballads, hymns, and cowboy tunes, and he delivers recitations of parlor poems and other various cautionary tales as well, and even yodels on occasion. What emerges is a full, rounded portrait of Williams at his creative and commercial peak. "Lovesick Blues" is here, along with fine versions of "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," "A Mansion on the Hill," and the Williams-composed gospel classic "I Saw the Light," among others, including a spirited instrumental romp through the old fiddle tune "Eighth of January," which celebrated the British defeat at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815 (Jimmie Driftwood added lyrics to the tune and had a huge hit with the resulting "The Battle of New Orleans" in 1959). That these long-lost recordings are an absolute treasure simply goes without saying. Hank Williams was country music's first modern superstar, and it's nothing short of a miracle to be given -- all these years later -- several hours of Williams performing in an intimate setting just as he was beginning to break across the nation's radar.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:12 SpotifyAmazon
2 7:33 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:09 Amazon
4 2:26 SpotifyAmazon
5
0:54 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:16 SpotifyAmazon
7 6:08 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:01 SpotifyAmazon
9
4:14
10
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:22 SpotifyAmazon
12 4:49 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:20 Amazon
14 4:02 Amazon
15 0:48 Spotify
16
1:12 SpotifyAmazon
17
1:22 SpotifyAmazon
18
6:26 SpotifyAmazon
19 1:54 Spotify
20 3:59
21
1:05 SpotifyAmazon
22
1:02 SpotifyAmazon
23 5:11 SpotifyAmazon
24
3:11 SpotifyAmazon
25 3:19 SpotifyAmazon
26
0:55 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:00 SpotifyAmazon
3
5:50 Spotify
4 2:02 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:05 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
7 5:31 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:37 Spotify
9
2:28 Spotify
10
1:02 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:11 SpotifyAmazon
12 6:01 SpotifyAmazon
13
3:10 Spotify
14 3:27 SpotifyAmazon
15
1:06 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:44 SpotifyAmazon
17 5:44 SpotifyAmazon
18 2:42 Spotify
19 3:47 Spotify
20
1:04 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:15 SpotifyAmazon
22 5:29 SpotifyAmazon
23 3:21 Spotify
24
4:01 SpotifyAmazon
25
0:49 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
0:59 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:09 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:59
4 3:28 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:49 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:05 SpotifyAmazon
7
5:01 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:02 Spotify
9 2:52 SpotifyAmazon
10 1:32 Spotify
11
1:00 SpotifyAmazon
12
1:00 SpotifyAmazon
13 6:04 Amazon
14
4:09 Spotify
15
3:19 Spotify
16
0:59 SpotifyAmazon
17
1:14 SpotifyAmazon
18
6:37 SpotifyAmazon
19
2:32 Spotify
20 2:50
21
1:04 SpotifyAmazon
22
1:27 SpotifyAmazon
23 4:52 SpotifyAmazon
24 3:04 Spotify
25 3:35 Spotify
26
1:01 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:39 SpotifyAmazon
2 6:02 SpotifyAmazon
3
4:52
4 2:23 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:02 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:20 SpotifyAmazon
7 5:57 SpotifyAmazon
8
2:50
9
2:29 SpotifyAmazon
10
1:02 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:17 SpotifyAmazon
12 6:06 SpotifyAmazon
13
3:14 Spotify
14 2:48
15
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:18 SpotifyAmazon
17 5:56 SpotifyAmazon
18 4:34 Spotify
19 1:45 Spotify
20
1:08 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:14 SpotifyAmazon
22 6:35 SpotifyAmazon
23
3:00 Spotify
24 3:17 Spotify
25
0:58 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:51 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:05 SpotifyAmazon
3 3:03 Spotify
4 2:58 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:11 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:22 SpotifyAmazon
7 6:41 SpotifyAmazon
8
2:56 Spotify
9 2:51 SpotifyAmazon
10
0:51 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:22 SpotifyAmazon
12
6:03 SpotifyAmazon
13
2:14 Spotify
14 2:58
15
1:55 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
17 6:33 SpotifyAmazon
18
3:00 Spotify
19
3:10 SpotifyAmazon
20
1:21 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:24 SpotifyAmazon
22 5:11 SpotifyAmazon
23 3:40
24 3:53 SpotifyAmazon
25
0:52 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:29 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:38 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:55 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:16 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:08 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
7 5:10 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:15 Spotify
9 3:24
10 0:52 Spotify
11
0:59 SpotifyAmazon
12
1:39 SpotifyAmazon
13 5:03 SpotifyAmazon
14
3:03 Spotify
15
3:39 Spotify
16
1:39 SpotifyAmazon
17
1:23 SpotifyAmazon
18 4:54 SpotifyAmazon
19 3:28 Spotify
20 3:03 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:17 SpotifyAmazon
22
1:06 SpotifyAmazon
23 5:13 SpotifyAmazon
24
2:34 Spotify
25 3:10 SpotifyAmazon
26 1:04
27
1:29 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:10 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:04 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:29 Spotify
4 4:17 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:21 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:29 SpotifyAmazon
7 5:42 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:13 Spotify
9 2:37 SpotifyAmazon
10
1:46 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:12 SpotifyAmazon
12 4:39 SpotifyAmazon
13 1:35 Spotify
14 4:51 SpotifyAmazon
15
1:29 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:15 SpotifyAmazon
17
4:42 SpotifyAmazon
18 1:46 Spotify
19 3:55 SpotifyAmazon
20 1:11 Spotify
21
1:28 SpotifyAmazon
22
1:15 SpotifyAmazon
23 4:56 Amazon
24 2:00 Spotify
25 3:49 Amazon
26 1:08 Spotify
27
1:21 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:33 SpotifyAmazon
2
6:55 SpotifyAmazon
3 1:51 Spotify
4 3:01 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:49 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:26 SpotifyAmazon
7 4:55 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:28 Spotify
9 3:37
10
1:43 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:24 SpotifyAmazon
12 6:45 SpotifyAmazon
13 4:03 SpotifyAmazon
14
2:11 SpotifyAmazon
15
0:56 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:24 SpotifyAmazon
17 5:20 Amazon
18 3:08 Spotify
19
3:03 SpotifyAmazon
20
1:22 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
22 6:31 SpotifyAmazon
23 2:09 Spotify
24 2:57 SpotifyAmazon
25
1:39 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:34 SpotifyAmazon
2 5:04 SpotifyAmazon
3 1:52 Spotify
4 5:03 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
6
0:59 SpotifyAmazon
7 6:15 SpotifyAmazon
8
1:57 Spotify
9 4:07 SpotifyAmazon
10
1:07 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:14 SpotifyAmazon
12 6:26 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:10 Spotify
14 2:58 SpotifyAmazon
15
1:19 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:25 SpotifyAmazon
17 5:46 SpotifyAmazon
18 4:26 SpotifyAmazon
19 2:24 SpotifyAmazon
20
1:25 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:15 SpotifyAmazon
22 7:24 SpotifyAmazon
23 1:26 Spotify
24 2:43 SpotifyAmazon
25
1:28 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 10

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:28 SpotifyAmazon
2
7:35 SpotifyAmazon
3 1:09 Spotify
4 4:20 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:25 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:26 SpotifyAmazon
7 5:35 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:17 Spotify
9 3:59 SpotifyAmazon
10
1:13 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:14 SpotifyAmazon
12 5:10 SpotifyAmazon
13 1:45 Spotify
14 4:05 SpotifyAmazon
15
1:37 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:09 SpotifyAmazon
17 6:14 SpotifyAmazon
18
3:01 Spotify
19 2:50
20
1:26 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:08 SpotifyAmazon
22 5:37 SpotifyAmazon
23 2:11 SpotifyAmazon
24 4:01 SpotifyAmazon
25
1:17 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 11

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
1:38 SpotifyAmazon
2 6:02 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:38 Spotify
4 3:20 SpotifyAmazon
5
1:39 SpotifyAmazon
6
1:21 SpotifyAmazon
7 4:13 SpotifyAmazon
8 2:06 Spotify
9 5:11
10
1:18 SpotifyAmazon
11
1:14 SpotifyAmazon
12 4:31 SpotifyAmazon
13 1:39 Spotify
14 3:54 SpotifyAmazon
15
2:08 SpotifyAmazon
16
1:06 SpotifyAmazon
17 5:04 SpotifyAmazon
18 2:32 SpotifyAmazon
19 4:41 SpotifyAmazon
20
1:45 SpotifyAmazon
21
1:23 SpotifyAmazon
22