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Archive for April, 2009

Two recent blog postings have enriched the discussion about Hank’s works and reputation.

Steve Wilson at a blog called ‘Amusia’ talks about the verse about Hank from ‘Tower of Song’ by Leonard Cohen. I have also discussed this song  and the interview Cohen gave later in which he said he was not using “inverse”or false modesty when he said Hank Williams was a ‘thousand floors above me in the ‘Tower of Song.”

Wilson goes off in a new direction and discusses in some detail the Cohen reference to Hank ‘”coughing all night long.”  What is the significance of Cohen’s use of gthe word “cough” in relation to Hank?  I loved the essay which is here.

My articles on Leonard Cohen are here and here.

Our friend Citizen K who is linked on the blogroll to the right, has a new blog called, ‘Just a Song’. One of the first songs he discusses is Hank Williams’ ‘Ramblin Man’.

K presents a thoughful analysis of the song and Hank’s performance which he calls one of the “eeriest vocals ever recorded.”  K also talks about the content of Hank’s lyrics. He calls him a “reluctant rambler”, who wants to “rationalize an inablity to committ.” He  describes how fate and divine intervention  were important to Hank as seen in the line, “When God made me  he made a ramblin man.”

The ‘Just a Song’ post is here.

It is really great to find these thoughtful discussions of Hank’s work. The way to keep Hank Williams’ life and works alive for generations to come is to get people involved in discussing his work in a serious way.

Entertainers come and go. But from time to time one comes along whose memory should be kept alive for generations to come. We can do this by using these new media to discuss Hank in a serious, respectful, but also critical way if necessary. By doing this we are insisting that Hank always be taken seriously as a major musical and poetic artist.

If anyone has examples of writings about Hank people should read, please bring them to my attention in the comments.

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On Thursday, Hank Williams’ granddaughter  Holly Williams visited the building where her grandfather spent his last night alive. She also met the  bell hop at the former Andrew Johnson Hotel in Louisville Kentucky. The 18 year old at the time  helped Hank into his room and back down to his car the next morning Sunday December 31st 1952. The building is now used by the local school board.

Here’s a story and link to video from Volunteer TV.

And here’s the story and link from WBIR-TV.

Thanks for the tip from A. Michael Uhlmann, amu communications, who left a note and link in the ‘About’ section above.

The last days of Hank Williams continue to fascinate fans as so many uncertainties remain. The trip through Tennesee, the stop in Knoxville, and then on  to Oak Hill, West Virginia, where Hank was pronounced dead, continues to be big news in the media in local states.

Earlier, I linked to a news story in  a West Virginia newspaper about a film on Hank Williams which is reportedly in pre production.

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