Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

Holly Williams never felt much of a connection to her grandfather. So when she slipped on a pair of white gloves and lifted one of Hank Williams' old spiral-bound notebooks to inspect its pages recently at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, she was a little bit startled to feel a deep visceral reaction.Hank Williams used to carry the notebooks in a battered old leather briefcase he always had with him, including at the time of his death on Jan. 1, 1953, on the way to a show in West Virginia.

His mother found a cache of material after his death as well. She turned the song fragments over to Williams' publisher and they've sat in a vault for most of the ensuing decades, until producer Mary Martin came up with the idea for breathing life into them.

That idea developed into an all-star project that coupled Hank Williams' lyrics with modern artists melodies to create a unique form of collaboration. Jack White, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Alan Jackson, Levon Helm, and others built melodies around Hanks lyrics to create new songs. These songs were then recorded by the artists and was released as the superlative "Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams" CD, now available at The Urbana Free Library!

No comments: