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Hank Williams: 40 Greatest Hits

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Editors’ Notes

Hank Williams was among the greatest country & western singers of all time. Others have had longer careers, and some came before him with sizable talents of their own, but Williams has a catalog that's beyond peer. That his professional recording career lasted for just six-plus years—before he died at age 29 in the back of a car on New Year's Day 1953 on his way to yet another show—makes the legend ever more fascinating. But it's the beauty of songs such as "Wedding Bells", "Lost Highway", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "Cold, Cold Heart", "I Can't Help It", "Your Cheating Heart", "You Win Again", and so many others that served as the template for Williams' extraordinary voice, which simply cries with overwhelming emotion. These recordings are the original performances, with "Weary Blues from Waitin'" receiving a tasteful overdubbing that's still within the confines of late-'40s/early-'50s hard country. This may be the single sharpest assembly of classic tracks. However, don't be surprised if you find yourself wishing you had the The Complete Hank Williams, since the quality of his recordings was outstanding from a very early date and continued that way until his death.

Customer Reviews

Hank at his best!

There are not many singer/songwriters who have left such a body of work that in such a short period of time can(1949-1953)which is still being recorded by todays artists 50 years later

it may be country but

hank lived his life like a true rock star he also sung one of the sadest songs in rock history im so lonesome i could cry later to be coverd by elvis give him a chance and enjoy

Defined a genre!

Hank Williams changed country music for ever. He had a suggestive style of moving on stage long before Elvis came along, his songwriting affected not only country but also seeps into rock and roll with "Move it on over" bearing a striking resemblence to "Rock around the clock". Whilst Hank Snr is probably not as a good a vocalist as Hank Jnr, there was an emotion to his singing that few have managed to replicate. You could hear him wearing his heart on his sleeve as he pours out his soul. That is why the likes of Hank and George Jones do country so well and why other cross-over artists like Presley just come across as bland regardless of how nice a voice they have.


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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