I Ain't Got Nothin' but Time (December 1946 -- April 1947): Vol. 1 kicked off Polydor's eight-volume reissue series of Hank Williams' complete recorded works. Though the series did eventually leave several demos, radio performances, and live tracks in the can, those were later issued in a variety of other formats. The eight-volume series did contain all of Williams' studio recordings, plus the bulk of his home recordings and live tracks. What makes the series especially interesting is how his great songs are placed in context with the large variety of material Williams also performed. For instance, on I Ain't Got Nothin' but Time, "Honky Tonkin'," "Move It On Over," and "I Saw the Light" sit next to a batch of gospel recordings ("Battle of Armageddon," "Wealth Won't Save Your Soul") as well as home versions of Western and Western Swing songs ("Cool Water," "Roly Poly"). It's an endlessly fascinating listen, especially for Williams fans who only know 40 Greatest Hits, or even The Complete Singles Collection. A wealth of hidden gems, as well as several lesser, but still enjoyable, songs are on each volume, and each collection is essential for any serious Williams fan, or any country music historian. Since it contains his very first recordings, I Ain't Got Nothin' but Time is sparse and direct, which gives the songs -- largely comprised of gospel numbers -- more weight. Highlights including "Calling You," "My Love for You Has Turned to Hate," "(Last Night) I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep)," and the non-session "Alone and Forsaken" in addition to the aforementioned hits.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Little Jimmy Dickens