A new set of previously unreleased recordings that Hank Williams made for
the Mother's Best radio show in 1951 will be issued as a 3-CD box set
called Revealed: Unreleased Recordings on November 3rd via Time Life.
In addition to 50 tracks not heard since they originally aired, the collection
includes extremely rare in-studio conversations with Williams, and each disc
contains a complete show exactly as it was heard over fifty years ago.
Of particular importance is "Cold, Cold, Heart" captured on one of
the program's earliest surviving shows, making it the first public performance ever
of the song.
The recordings offer new and profound insight into William's life and music,
revealing a personality that had never been previously seen or heard anywhere
else. It showcases his humor as he jokes with his band and the emcee, his love
of music as he talks unguardedly about his favorite songs, and captures him
in his prime. Newsweek magazine noted poignantly that upon first listening to
the tapes of Williams' in-studio banter, it marked the first time his
lost daughter Jett heard her father laugh. "To me, this is even more
exciting than the first set because you get to hear my daddy talk and
you get a sense of him, not just as an entertainer, but as a person,"
says Jett Williams. "That's why we called it REVEALED. The song selection
is as strong as the first volume, but this time we've done three thematic CD's."
Revealed follows Unreleased Recordings, a 3-CD box set issued by Time Life
last year to universal critical acclaim and strong sales. The Los Angeles
Times raved, "...remarkable...although many boxed sets are so filled with
hits and misses that they deserve to be called little more than record industry
"product," this set is so rich and revealing it deserves to
be labeled 'historic.'" Uncut gave the collection five stars,
declaring, "...it's a supreme showcase for his many talents: the poetic
simplicity of his songwriting, the vocal inflections that came to embody the
language of country music itself...the hurt and soul that imbued
everything he sang with an alarming rawness." And the New York Times
simply stated, "Truly one of the best records ever."
At the peak of his career in 1951, Hank Williams recorded 143 songs on
radio shows sponsored by the Mother's Best flour company. Hank sang
with his regular road band and taped his hits as well as songs he never
recorded anywhere else. It is a rare, informal glimpse into the heart and
soul of country music's greatest star who passed away on New Year's Day 1953,
at age 29. The performances were recorded on acetate discs (meant to be played
only once or twice) that were shelved in 1951 and gradually faded from
common memory. In the 1970s the acetates were saved from the trash by
a WSM employee and eventually given to Hank's daughter, Jett, who was born after
Hank died and did not know he was her father until many years later. On behalf
of the estate, Jett fought an eight-year battle to establish ownership,
finally winning the right to release these recordings.
Since his death in 1953, Williams has risen in popularity to become one
of most iconic figures in all of American music. Such classics as
"Your Cheatin' Heart," "Jambalaya," "You Win Again," keep his legacy
alive and these Mother's Best recordings have been eagerly awaited by
fans around the world. The 143 recordings will be released as installments
over a three year period. When the Time Life series is complete
it will increase the number of known Williams' recordings by fifty percent.