Archive for October, 2011

I have great hopes for a new book by Paul MacPhail called ‘Hank Williams: From the Cradle to the Grave’.

A note from Paul says the book is 81/2 by 11 with a glossy cover, and chapters organized year by year and pages day by day. Paul says the book will cover:

Everything ever written on Hank and then some. Every known tour date, world tour, all radio and tv appearances, recording sessions and personnel, cars, homes, band members, health problems, personal problems, singles, albums, box sets, chart positions, sales figures.

I’ve been looking forward to a book like this.  Many of Hank’s biographers have given the impression that his life was one of total irresponsibility, debauchery, drunken binges, missed shows, a tragic genius whose accomplishments seemed almost magic or mysterious.

Not true of course.

Hank Williams did have a very serious health problems which would be debilitating even with the modern medicine of this century, and he underwent just about the most serious, dangerous open back surgery you can undergo even today in 2011.

Of course he had very serious problems with alcohol and painkillers.

But how many original songs did he write, how many songs  had he learned, how many recordings did he make, how many radio shows did he broadcast, how many live shows did he give, how many miles did he travel? Just another lazy drunk I guess.

I have written a couple of posts referring to Hank’s back surgery which I hope you will go back and read.

I haven’t seen MacPhail’s book, but I am so hopeful his use of a wide range of sources, and the day by  day format, will tell us more about Hank’s life especially in the short period after 1946.

The book has to be ordered from Paul at:

Paul MacPhail
34 Mt. Herbert Rd.
Stratford, PE
Canada  C1B 2S4

PH: 902-569-3454
E-mail:  p.macphail@hotmail.com

There are copies at the Hank Williams’ museum in Montgomery.

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‘The Last Ride’ Hank Williams movie starring Henry Thomas never ceases to amaze. Just when you think it may be biting the dust, it takes on new life. At one point after it opened at the Little Rock Film Festival to mixed reviews in the spring, it looked like it might head straight to DVD for rental and store sales.

Of course films are sold online these days which changes things a lot, but normally new movies get three possible venues: Full theatrical release with lots of publicity and big publication reviews, release through TV, and direct to DVD which is the end of the line.

After playing a series of film festivals over the past few month the film makers from Arkansas have wisely sent their Hank film out on a limited run across 7 southern locations including Montgomery and Shreveport.

Along the way, the movie is picking up some good positive comments and is getting a big push from Jett Williams.

Now I notice the film has released a really impressive new website. Here it is.

This blog was churning out publicity about the movie right from start and you may recall we had a lot of input from the people of Arkansas as it was being filmed. This blog is still probably the best source and historical record of ‘The Last Ride’ info anywhere in the media.

Here’s a quick link to all the A Hank Williams Journal’s efforts on Hank Williams movies.

The first post on the subject was in February 2009.

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I’m still continuing to get comments on the Hank Williams bio pic movie ‘The Last Ride’.
Most of them are posted on an article  from April 2010 called ‘From Hank Williams movie ‘The Last Ride’ more pictures. Here are the last four which I decided to bring up to the top of the blog.
Meanwhile, a note from Jett Williams that she will be attending the screenings of  ‘The Last Ride’ in Montgomery and Shreveport.
Now here are the new comments:
Rock Harley

I hope they release this movie ASAP! While there are still some who are still alive and remember, there are the young who think they know Country and haven’t got a clue! “Hank’s music’, his delivery and his story are everlasting, and his image needs to make the screen again to revive the legend and let him live again! The closest thing to the real,”Hank Williams” is Alvin Anders, a Hank Williams tribute artist from Michigan.


This trailer appears to allude to a film that would be best served debuting on the Lifetime Channel. I find it terribly sad that there has been a film made about one of the greatest singer/songwriters that has ever lived, and the man’s name and music is not even used in the context of the movie. An attempt to recreate his music live would have been a sight to see, given there is such little footage of his live performances. That is why films like Walk The Line and Control have such power. The film is already an epic failure because of the involvement of Hank’s two hangers on of children. I can tell that the movie is dripping in cheap sentimentality constructed by shallow, nostalgic people. They should have allowed young, deep thinking, talented Southerners to have control of this project… much like the man who the film is suppposed to be about. If his life is of any significance, it is in that his music is eternal because it is honest and beautiful.


Willunderscore – I tend to agree with you completely. I wish there would be a truly artistic, talented screenplay/director/cast that would do this right, seeing that it has, as of yet, never been done. A life and career of the magnitude of Hank’s deserves a grand treatment on film, and why that has not happened is beyond me.

Rock Harley

In response to , “Why there has not been a movie about Hank’ s life and legend that captures the essance and magnitude of his greatness?” …the answer is, “Hollywood is blind to the amount of interest and hysteria, and dollars that it would draw at the boix office, and “Nashville’ isn’;t Country anymore! They’ve sold out to a bunch of Rock and Roll hasbeens that think Country is a Cowboy Hat, boots and a pretty face! There is no heart, no melody, no harmony, no message, no family, and no substance! All Modern Coutry music sounds the same, just a beat for a “Hillbilly mating dance so they line up on the dance floor at the bar, chicken step, and get laid!

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Jack White catches the up tempo “Mind Your own Business” and “Move it on Over” spirit  and humor of Hank Williams perfectly in his contribution to “The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams” album released this week.

Click here: Rolling Stone Magazine has the audio version of this cut on its website.

It’s great. I hope they leave it up.

Here are my other two posts on this important album. It’s giving Hank Williams a new burst of publicity in newspapers around the world, proving what this blog has been saying for almost three years now. Hank Williams is a major world artist.


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Hank Williams’ granddaughter Holly Williams has taken a bare 8 lines from Hank Williams’ notebooks, added additional words and a melody to create a lovely new Hank Williams’ song. ‘Blue is my Heart’ is part of the new ‘The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams’ being released October 4th. Back in August, I wrote an opening post about the new album with the track listing and artists participating.

My previous story from August 23rd is here.

Holly Williams describes the process of recording the song from the lost notebooks: “It was actually only eight lines when I first got it.Bob Dylan and Mary Martin gave me all the lyrics but this song spoke to me unlike any other in the stack. I wrote two more verses and added a bridge, but I’m hoping you can’t tell where Hank’s lyrics end and mine begin! It was such a beautiful lyric I felt connected to it immediately when I picked up my guitar and tried to write to it.”

I don’t know how long this link will stay up, but Holly has recorded an acoustic version of the song for the Los Angeles Times.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times article that features a stripped down performance of ‘Blue is my Heart’ which is featured with a different arrangement on the new album. The video link is at the bottom of the article.

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‘The Last Ride’ film about the final lonely, isolated days of Hank Williams as he travels with only a 17 year old driver from Montgomery to Ohio on New Years 1952-53 will be shown at a number of theatres including Montgomery later this month.

The movie was  shown at a number of film festivals beginning in the spring.

It was directed by Arkansas native Harry Thomason, and stars Henry Thomas.

The film will open October 21st in Montgomery AL, Shreveport and West Monroe LA, and 4 locations in Arkansas where the movie was filmed: Rogers, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, and Little Rock.

This blog has run many articles and photos about  this film and its history.

Here are some of them. 

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