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The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

Various Artists

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iTunes Review

Few albums have as strange a story behind them or such fantastic results. The songs here were created using lyrics that country legend Hank Williams had written in his notebooks but never got around to putting to music. Williams’ death at age 29 on New Year’s Day, 1953, froze his legacy with a catalog of unrivaled brilliance. Now, with the help of a first-rate cast, his unfinished songs are given life. It isn’t just country stars who re-create the Williams sound. Levon Helm, drummer from The Band, pulls from his Arkansas childhood for “You’ll Never Again Be Mine.” Sheryl Crow puts on her cowboy hat for the beautifully styled “Angel Mine.” Few albums have as strange a story behind them or such fantastic results. The songs here were created using lyrics that country legend Hank Williams had written in his notebooks but never got around to putting to music. Williams’ death at age 29 on New Year’s Day, 1953, froze his legacy with a catalog of unrivaled brilliance. Now, with the help of a first-rate cast, his unfinished songs are given life. It isn’t just country stars who re-create the Williams sound. Levon Helm, drummer from The Band, pulls from his Arkansas childhood for “You’ll Never Again Be Mine.” Sheryl Crow puts on her cowboy hat for the beautifully styled “Angel Mine.” Alan Jackson couldn’t come closer to Williams’ vocal ache for “You’ve Been Lonesome, Too.” Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell take “I Hope You Shed a Million Tears” and turn it into a tune that Williams’ alter ego Luke the Drifter would’ve recorded, complete with spoken word. The track features the last recorded evidence of Williams’ pedal steel player Don Helms. Merle Haggard takes the spiritual with “The Sermon on the Mount” and makes it a collaboration between two country legends.

Customer Reviews

Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

What surprised me most about this effort was the artistry and care that the performers invested. Maybe it was the power of Hank's lyrics, maybe the discerning curatorship of Bob Dylan, maybe just individual artists rising to the occasion – but I was blown away by the high quality throughout. Mind you, I think the ideal listener for this CD is someone with a developed taste for traditional C&W, and I wouldn't go looking for ground-breaking interpretations, but I could listen all day.

Thanks, Bob

I am so glad that Hank's words got loving put to music. This has been a labor of love for Bob Dylan, and he did a great job. (Too bad thanks Hank's son did not inherit his father's respect for words and intelligence.)

Great songs

I heard Norah Jones sing her song quite some time ago on the Elvis Costello show and have been waiting and waiting for this release. I should have known Alan Jackson would do Hank proud, Alan is a kindred spirit and has a great soul. Really enjoy all the songs and couldn't wait to buy, then Hank's son had to open his big mouth yesterday and ruin the spotlight on Hank Sr. talent. Love Sr., Jr. needs to shut up.

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: Sep 30, 2011

Customer Ratings