One of the big story lines in country music over the past few years has been the rehabilitation of country music from a quarter century ago that emerged during the period known colloquially as the “Class of ’89.” Despite the commercial rise of country during the era, it’s also the period people love to point […]
That’s the somewhat anecdotal, but still troubling conclusion of a recent analysis by ‘Billboard.’ Today, the more likely scenario for how a song is written is scheduled meetings in cubicle farms, or collaborations on Skype with individuals who are credited as songwriters, but are better described as producers or programmers. Ideas are thrown out in collaborative form, and then workshopped in a group setting.
On Saturday evening (10-17), the highly-anticipated, yet much-maligned movie covering the life of Hank Williams called ‘I Saw The Light’ made its big star-studded Nashville debut at the Belcourt Theater just south of the city’s Music Row district. After the red carpet ceremony and screening of the film at the Belcourt, festivities moved to Acme Feed & Seed on lower Broadway for an afterparty.
The movie about the life of Hank Williams is starting to account for as much drama as Hank did. Originally scheduled to be released on November 28th to give the film prime consideration during Oscar season, I Saw The Light starring Tom Hiddleston as Hank has now suddenly been moved back. New stills from the movie have also been made available.
Henley’s been out there outwardly criticizing the state of country music and the state of music in general, though doing so with a lot more of a thoughtful and informed tone than many others, including tracing the problem back to the disappearance of the agrarian way of life that was once prevalent throughout America, and now finds itself quickly receding.
Andrew Combs, Ashley Monroe, Bill Monroe, Cale Tyson, Cass County, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Dottie West, George Jones, Hank Williams, J.P. Harris & the Tough Choices, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Jed Hilly, Jeffrey Foucault, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Kelsey Waldon, Kitty Wells, Merle Haggard, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Patsy Cline, Shovels & Rope, Striking Matches, Sturgill Simpson, The Eagles, The Milk Carton Kids
Hank Williams Jr.’s politics and boisterous attitude will always make him one of the most polarizing figures in country music history. But those who are quick to overlook his musical contributions both on and off the stage, the amazing body of work he’s amassed over his legendary career, and the mark he’s made on country music are doing Bocephus and themselves a huge disservice.
We’ve heard Hank Williams III’s thoughts on the biopic about his grandfather I Saw The Light starring the British-born Tom Hiddleston as Hank set to be released on November 27th, and we’ve heard from critics who attended the premier screenings of the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Now another blood relative of Hank, his granddaughter Holly Williams has sounded off on the film.
The songwriter, singer, guitar player, and frontman for the legendary Western Swing and classic country band Asleep At The Wheel had some harsh things to say about today’s country music in a recent interview, and specifically about the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year, Luke Bryan.
The highly-anticipated Hank Williams biopic ‘I Saw The Light’ starring Tom Hiddleston made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival Friday, September 11th. And the only way to describe the degree disappointment, displeasure, and at times vitriol towards this movie from the select few who were allowed into the screening can only spell one thing: ‘I Saw The Light’ is a gargantuan letdown.
No more waiting, no more hypothesizing what the British-born Tom Hiddleston will look and sound like attempting to evoke the likeness and sound of the great Hank Williams. Ahead of the world premier of the Hank Williams biopic “I Saw The Light” at the Toronto Film Festival this weekend, we now get to see the very first clip of the movie.
It’s not just that depth and intelligence are missing from a lot of mainstream country music these days, it’s that it’s being purposely avoided. It’s uncool to be deep. It’s uncool to challenge listeners to think, to covey ideas through music, or tell truly meaningful stories. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with songs that are just fun-loving moments of visceral escapism. The problem arises when that’s all you’re offering.
Former professional baseball player turned actor Casey Bond has been cast as Hank’s legendary fiddle player Jerry Rivers. The rest of Hank’s Drifting Cowboys have also been cast, as well as Ray Price and Faron Young. From both the recent casting revelations, and the synopsis found on the Toronto Film Festival’s website, we’re beginning to get a sense of the scope of the film’s focus.
I don’t know what they’re lacing the Canadian municipal water supplies with these days that allows the great frozen north to churn out authentic country and roots artists worthy of ears in bumper crop fashion, but they better import some of that concoction down here to the States post haste because Canada is kicking our ass in cool new country artists per capita.
Jason James isn’t afraid to to pen a song in a traditional style and then challenge himself to sing it with the same heart and passion as one of the old greats. Nobody will ever replace George Jones or ‘Ol Hank, but that doesn’t mean others can’t try to reach for that same level of excellence, and pay forward the traditions of country to a new era of listeners who still find value in the classic modes.
It was August of 1952, and the life of Hank Williams was in a downward spiral. The Hillbilly Shakespeare already suffered from chronic back pain which helped lead to his notorious alcoholism, and then earlier in 1952, Hank suffered a fall during a hunting trip in Tennessee, facilitating his use of painkillers such as morphine.
Looking to clear his mind and hopefully help find the inner voice he needed to persevere on his new career path, Hank Jr. took a retreat to Montana before a big tour was scheduled to commence. Hank went climbing on a mountain called Ajax Peak that straddles the border of Montana and Idaho, accompanied by a rancher named Dick Willey from nearby Wisdom, Montana.
Along with information on a likely release in November, Oscar buzz continues to swirl around the film even before it is released. Sony Pictures Classics co-President’s Michael Barker and Tom Bernard were talking up Tom Hiddleston’s performance at the L.A. Film Festival the second week of June. A November release and placement in the right fall film festivals is what is expected for “I Saw The Light.”
Just like his predecessors Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, George Jones is getting a major biopic movie made about his life. Entitled No Show Jones and authorized by the George Jones estate, the big budget biopic will cover his rise to fame in the 1950’s, his struggles with alcohol and drugs throughout the 70’s, his tumultuous seven-year marriage to Tammy Wynette, and his final marriage to Nancy Jones.
The Louisiana Hayride is on its way back, and in a big way. Arguably the 2nd most influential music program in country music history, only rivaled in stature by The Grand Ole Opry, it’s been an effort that has lasted over 20 years and seen a major renovation of the radio program’s original home of The Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport that has put organizers on the brink of bringing the show back.
Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Wills, Elvis, Faron Young, George Strait, Hank Williams, Horace Logan, Jeannie C. Riley, Jim Reeves, Joel Katz, Johnny Cash, Louisiana Hayride, Maggie Warwick, Margret Lewis, Merle Kilgore, Shreveport, Tex Ritter, The Grand Ole Opry, Tillman Franks, Webb Pierce, Willie Nelson
The biopic chronicling the short but legendary life of Hillbilly Shakespeare Hank Williams has its distributor, and it is one of the titans of the film industry. Sony Classics has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to I Saw The Light, a movie based on the Hank Williams biography by Colin Escott, and written and directed by Marc Abraham.