In 1951 Hank Williams recorded no less than 143 songs for radio station WSM in Nashville, 72 of which were pre-recorded to run while Williams was on tour, and 40 of which he had never been known to perform. Those recordings, known by bootleggers who’ve traded partial and complete collections for years as the “Mother’s Best Recordings” from the sponsor of the show, are now going to be released in their entirety by Time Life.
From The Tennessean:
“Those box sets will be combined into one massive collector’s box, with 15 audio discs featuring pristinely recorded songs and conversation, a DVD which features interviews with band member Don Helms and opening act Big Bill Lister and over 100 pages of liner notes from historian Colin Escott. Set for a September 28 release, Hank Williams Complete Mother’s Best Recordings”¦ Plus! will be packaged in an antique working radio that will play Williams’ songs when the dial is pressed.”
The recordings were finally made available to the public through Time Life after 8 years of legal fights over rights from the principles for the Hank Williams estate, Jett Williams and Hank Jr. Previous attempts to commercially release the recordings by unauthorized record labels, including one that wanted to flesh out the tracks with overdubbed instruments were all thwarted. All outstanding issues over the collection were resolved in May of 2008.
The recordings were originally done on 16-inch acetate discs that were disregarded and ended up in the trash before being saved by a WSM worker. The show was broadcast live from 7:15 to 7:30 on WSM, and usually included three songs: a country song, one instrumental, and a gospel tune, with interesting banter in between.
No word on the price of the box set just yet.
Also last Monday Jett Williams accepted a Pulitzer Prize on behalf of her father that you can read about by CLICKING HERE.