For Hank Williams Fans

by Richard Brookhiser

One of my Christmas presents was the Unreleased Recordings of Hank Williams — 15-minute AM slots, sponsored by Mother’s Best flour, that Williams recorded for WSM in the last few years of his life, which have only this year emerged from technological and legal limbo.
Many of the tunes are famous hits — “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Hey, Good Lookin’” — though even these may be done slightly differently from their studio versions, or come with interesting intro and outro banter. What has impressed me most so far is a version of “On Top of Old Smokey.” What could be impressive about that old campfire sing-along?
Listen. It will make the hair on your arms stand up. The instrumentals and the vocal harmonies are perfect, too.

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