Hank Williams, Jr. & the Cheatin' Hearts

Your Cheatin' Heart: Hank Williams' Life Story

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When Hollywood made its biopic of the Hank Williams story in the mid-'60s, Your Cheatin' Heart, the vocals were supplied by a 15-year-old Hank Williams, Jr. (though George Hamilton played Williams in the film). Hank Jr. did a credible job, sounding older and more polished than you'd expect, considering his tender age, on Hank Sr. standards like "Your Cheatin' Heart," "I Saw the Light," "Cold, Cold Heart," and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." The arrangements are sometimes anachronistically modern, as though Hank Sr. was suddenly backed by Nashville Sound arrangements; listen to those sweet strings and backup vocals on "Cold Cold Heart," for instance, or the Boots Randolph-type sax on "Jambalaya." Rhino's 1998 CD reissue adds a heap of bonus tracks, including no less than 11 "unplugged" acoustic outtakes that are both truer to the spirit of the originals, and an interesting context in which to hear Hank Jr.'s emerging voice. There are also detailed, entertaining liner notes of the genesis of the film and Hank Jr.'s soundtrack contributions.

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