Fans of Hank Williams will be able to get their hands on rare Hank recordings when Time Life and the Estate of Hank Williams release Hank Williams: The Legend Begins. The 3-CD package of newly-discovered historic Hank recordings have been restored with state of the art technology to sound as they first did more than 60 years ago. The first CD includes the earliest recordings of Hank at age 15 and four songs from a home recording session in 1940. The other two CDs are from Hank’s syndicated radio show in 1949, The Health And Happiness Show.
“Talk about a discovery!” Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams, said. “The first recording of my dad when he was fifteen was given to me decades ago, and then the 1940 home recordings followed a few years later. My husband Keith and I finally got up the nerve to get with the best sound people in Nashville to see if we could salvage these extraordinary recordings. It worked! We did it! What a special treat for music lovers around the world to listen to the talent of an evolving genius. These recordings are a Godsend and very special to me and Hank’s fans.”
The first recordings of Hank’s teen years are of Fan It and Alexander’s Ragtime Band. This is the first time they have been heard since 1938, when Hank initially recorded them. Hank was joined by his long-time friend and accordionist, Pee Wee Moultrie, on these recordings. The home recordings from 1940 showcase a matured sound from Hank as he sings Freight Train Blues, New San Antonio Rose, St. Louis Blues, and Greenback Dollar.
By 1949, Hank had two major hits and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He recorded his first syndicated radio series at that time, The Health And Happiness Show. The program’s name was tied to the sponsor of the show, Hadacol, a patent medicine that contained 12% alcohol. Forty-nine songs from the show have been restored to be included on Hank Williams: The Legend Begins. Also included in the set is The March Of Dimes show, which features several songs and a monologue from Hank about the fear of polio, expressing his concern that son Hank, Jr. might contract the disease.
Hank Williams: The Legend Begins will be released September 13.