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.
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.