Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hank Williams

The Original Singles...Plus

When I listen to Hank Williams it amazes me that anyone with such a plain voice, who wrote such disarmingly simple songs, and whose style was so basic, could be so vital. There is no artifice here, nothing that gets between the singer and the listener, not an extra note, nothing intrusive or unnecessary in the arrangements.

And it’s very unfortunate that the powers in my writing are inadequate to describe what it is that I hear here. It is something real here. I forget that this guy is singing, that he is a recording artist, that it is “country” music, that it is anything other than direct emotional communication. It just is what it is. You don’t hear that often.


This is 90 minutes worth of tracks from the box set, I saved the songs I knew, the ones that everyone knows. So many of these songs ended up elsewhere: “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by B. J. Thomas and The Cowboy Junkies, “Honky Tonkin’” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight” and “Cold Cold Heart” by Tony Bennett, “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It” and “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You” by Ricky Nelson, “(I Hear That) Lonesome Whistle” by Johnny Cash, “Half As Much” by Rosemary Clooney, “You Win Again” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Kaw-Liga” by Charlie Pride and by Hank Williams Jr. (or is that cheating?), “Take These Chains From My Heart” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Ray Charles, “Jambalaya (On The Bayou) by Brenda Lee, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Fats Domino, and the first time I heard the song at all was by The Blue Ridge Rangers, who put it on the top 10 in 1972, “Lovesick Blues”, by, well, who didn’t do “Lovesick Blues.”

That’s just what I have, and it’s still just scratching the surface. This is from the West Kildonan Library

Hank Williams:

  • Never Again (Will I Knock On Your Door)
  • Wealth Won't Save Your Soul
  • Last Night (I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep)
  • Move It On Over
  • Honky Tonkin’
  • A Mansion On The Hill
  • I Can’t Get You Off My Mind
  • Lovesick Blues
  • Wedding Bells
  • There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
  • I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  • My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
  • I Just Don’t Like This Kind Of Livin’
  • Long Gone Lonesome Blues
  • Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used To Do)?
  • Cold Cold Heart
  • Dear John
  • I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You
  • Hey, Good Lookin'
  • (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
  • I'd Still Want You
  • Honky Tonk Blues
  • Half As Much
  • Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
  • Settin' The Woods On Fire
  • You Win Again
  • I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
  • I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You
  • Kaw Liga
  • Your Cheatin’ Heart
  • Take These Chains From My Heart
  • Ramblin’ Man
  • There’s A Tear In My Beer

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