Archive for September, 2010

Time Life’s decision to release the complete Mother’s Best radio program recordings by Hank Williams is getting a rave review from a noted music critic and Hank Williams biographer.

Chet Flippo in Nashville Skyline on the Country Music Television website says the Complete Mothers Best transcends country music. His most dramatic description of the new album comes in the opening paragraph:

If I could send any recorded music collection into distant outer space to forever preserve and represent the true nature of American popular music, I think I would choose this extensive Hank Williams set of his little 15-minute radio shows from the 1950s. They contain a breathtaking display of the width and breadth of American music and culture from the first half of the 20th century and even earlier. The songs Hank sang transcend country.

He says the performances: “open a candid window on Southern culture in the 1950s, on its music, religion, humor and social attitudes.”

Of course Flippo fills in a lot of background about the origin of the historic recordings and how they were made, information already quite familiar to readers of this blog.

But like all of us who have listened to these recordings, as they were restored for the first two box sets, he can’t get over the quality of the sound.

So, what does it all sound like? Well, the fidelity of the sound is incredible. Imagine that you’re in a farmhouse kitchen on an early morning in 1951 and you’re just sitting down to some aromatic biscuits, dripping with fresh-churned butter and a cup of throat-scalding coffee, and you turn on the big table radio and the warm sound of clear-channel signal WSM fills the room.

Chet Flippo wrote ‘Your Cheatin Heart’ a biography of Hank Williams, and has written a biography of Paul McCartney. He is the editorial director of CMT.com and writes a weekly column called  called Nashville Skyline.  He has been writing about Country Music since the 60’s when he wrote liner notes for a couple of early Waylon Jennings records.

Here’s the link to the original article.

The Complete Mother’s Best with 72  complete radio shows from 1951 will be released September 28. I’ve posted the link to the sales site on an earlier article about the new record. The price is up in the $200.00 range.

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A blog called SxDx.com with a reader comment board called “shout board” recently ran a little comment on the various Hank Williams movies in production or rumored to be in production. I thought the writer summed things up pretty well and and tried to sort out the confusion about which projects are active and which ones may never make it. Here’s the comment:
The first rumored Hank Williams biopic was/is a small-budget film tentatively titled “Lonesome Cowboy.” It was being made by Jeff Queen (a fledgling writer and deputy sheriff from Auburn, Alabama). Christopher Malpass was on the short list to play Hank. I’m not sure about the larger, Strike Entertainment film. Marc Abraham is writing the script and they have the cooperation of the Hank Williams estate (giving them exclusive access to most of Hank’s recordings). The book “Hank Williams: The Biography” (written by Colin Escott) is being used as a resource for the film and Escott will be associate producer. However, this news dates from last August and I haven’t heard any updates on either film since that time.
There is also a third project, dealing with the final days of Hank Williams, underway called “The Last Ride.” This one is being directed by well-known TV and film director Harry Thomason and some shooting has already been done in Benton, Arkansas. The production company has transformed downtown Benton, changing store fronts and signs and bringing in a fleet of local vintage automobiles. Apparently, shots of a vintage baby-blue Cadillac convertible were also taken in the Oak Hill, WV area. Thomason was involved in the West Virginia shoots, although there are different producers mentioned for the two projects. Jeff Queen from Alabama was the first producer, but this film is being co produced by Tim Jackson and Josh Miller of Category One Entertainment in central Arkansas. They are both Arkansas natives as is Thomason. The movie is being produced under a new Arkansas film production incentive program. The script was written by Howie Klausner and Dub Cornett (Klausner wrote “Space Cowboys” for Clint Eastwood). Henry Thomas is playing Hank Williams. According to IMDB, “The Last Ride” is in post -production.
So there you have it the very latest. I found about this posting because the writer kindly linked to my  site. Don’t be alarmed, this is some sort of punk rock site for a group called Social Distortion. The Hank Sr.  discussion came up under a discussion of Hank III. Here’s the link. Use the search to find the comment.
As regular readers of this blog well know I have been covering these various movie projects over the past year or so.

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