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Live at the Grand Ole Opry

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Album Review

This two-disc set brings together every extant performance from Hank Williams' brief hookup with the Opry. The first disc collects 21 performances, both musical and in the company of Opry comedy regulars Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield. To give a sense of how his presence worked in the format of the show, the second disc is a complete Opry broadcast from 1950 with Williams as part of the cast that also features Red Foley, Wally Fowler and the Oak Ridge Quartet (forerunners of today's Oak Ridge Boys), Minnie Pearl, Claude Sharpe and the Old Hickory Singers, and blackface comedians Jamup and Honey. Whether he's singing one of his famous hits or an old gospel favorite, or playing straight man to Brasfield or Pearl, it's obvious that here was a performer with personality aplenty, and it comes across on these old acetates with amazing impact.


Born: 17 September 1923 in Georgiana, AL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

Hank Williams is the father of contemporary country music. He was a superstar by the age of 25; he was dead at the age of 29. In those four short years, he established the rules for all the country performers who followed him and, in the process, much of popular music. Hank wrote a body of songs that became popular classics, and his direct, emotional lyrics and vocals became the standard for most popular performers. He lived a life as troubled and reckless as that depicted in his songs. Hiram King...
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