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Archive for May, 2012

Hank Williams has a part  in one of the big blockbuster summer movies of 2012.

Six Hank Williams songs are used in the soundtrack of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ a Wes Anderson film opening across North America in the next 2 weeks. The film had the prestigious honor of being the opening film of the Cannes film festival.

Early reports indicate the film is setting box office records in its limited release so far. (May 30, 2012)

The soundtrack album features 3 Hank Williams songs:

Kawliga,
Long Gone Lonesome Blues
Ramblin Man.

But there are also 3 songs which aren’t on the soundtrack album but ARE in the movie:

Take These Chains from My Heart
Honky Tonkin
Cold Cold Heart.

From my reading about the film I should say that these songs are not played in their entirety at full volume as the movie is shown as is often the case on soundtracks. This Hank Williams film appearance may be  handled as it was on of that great American film ‘The Last Picture Show’.  As all Hank fans will recall, his dramatic appearances in that film came as a part of the film’s memorable realism. The voice of Hank Williams and other great 1950’s stars  flow naturally from car radios, kitchen radios, radio consoles, television sets and bar room jukeboxes as the movie’s dramatic scenes unfold.

Hank’s contribution to ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ could be  similar. I invite anyone who has been an early bird viewer to let us know in the comments below just how the Hank music is handled in this film.

Who will join Hank Williams on this movie appearance? Well there’s Francoise Hardy a mid 1960’s French pop singer, Benjamin Britten, Mozart, Alexandre Desplat, and Leonard Bernstein.

Millions of people will see this major summer movie release, millions have seen it already. And as those captive audiences are sitting absorbed in their theater seats, suddenly the haunting, piercing  yet intimate, harsh but yet rich and profound  voice of Hank Williams will reach out with all of its artistic power and capture a new generation.

As we all know, Hank Williams lived only 29 years and died January 1,1953. Here we are nearly 60 years later. Who can forget the haunting performance of ‘Alone and Forsaken’ by Neil Young on the Haiti Benefit a few years ago. There are line ups of contemporary singers coming forward to sing on the ‘Lost Notebooks’ album. The release of the stunning ‘Mother’s Best Recordings’ made entertainment news in media around the world.. The posthumous Pulitzer Prize, now a Wes Anderson film.

There were many big country stars, pop stars, movie stars even TV stars who made their mark along with Hank Williams in the last few years of he 1940’s. Few are ever seen  as active members of the arts or entertainment worlds here in the second decade of the next century. Hanks stands above them all as he will in centuries to come.

The trailer does  not include the Hank segments.

Here is information on the soundtrack album.

 

UPDATE

I hope someone who has seen the movie will write a comment below on how Hank is used in the movie and whether it has been a real boost to his reputation. Is it handled well and does he make an impact?

 

 

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Norah Jones has named Hank Williams as one of her five favorite singers of all time. She told The Toronto Star:

“The songs he sings are so good and even when the recordings are old and scratchy, they’re magic.”

 Jones is just about the most successful pop jazz, recording artists of the past decade.

The winner of five Grammy Awards Jones began her recording career in 2002 with ‘Come Away With Me’, which featured her rendition of ‘Cold, Cold, Heart’. Currently she is touring in support of her album ‘Little Broken  Hearts’. Jones appeared on the ‘Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams’ all star album of Hank Williams lyrics set to music by the performers. She recorded ‘How Many Times Have you Broken My Heart’ with Gillian Welch. Jones is a prolific accomplished songwriter in her own right, with most of her albums featuring songs either written or co-written by her.

She also a member of a group called Little Willies which is basically a country band. In their two albums they have recorded songs by Hank Williams, Fred Rose, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Ralph Stanley, and Lefty Frizzell. They also recorded Hank Williams ‘Lovesick Blues’ on one of their albums.

Jones was profiled in the Toronto Star  on May 20. She lists her top five as Hank, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, Willie Nelson and Neil Young.

Joners is the daughter of legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar, but grew up with her mother in Texas.

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The 33rd Hank Williams’ Festival in Georgiana Alabama will feature Moe Bandy, Larry Gatlin and Jett Williams as well as many other entertainers.

The yearly festival is held on the grounds of the Hank Williams Boyhood Home and Museum. Outdoor concerts featuring a full lineup of performers take place Friday and Saturday evenings, June 1 and 2, 2012. Events run through the day Saturday.

The program with ticket information is HERE.

And the Museum website is here.

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