Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to download a live album by a contemporary band, but, unless you were born decades ago, you’d be out of luck if you wanted to experience the vibrancy of Hank Williams’ live performance — until now.
Hank Williams: The Lost Concerts Limited Collector’s Edition, featuring the only two Hank concerts reputed to be recorded, will be released October 2. The concerts were recorded only six weeks apart in 1952, less than a year before the songwriter’s death. At the time, tape recording was expensive and rarely done, but lucky for us, a radio DJ in Buffalo, New York, and a promoter in Pennsylvania, decided to capture the unscripted and intimate performances in their respective hometowns.
In between the songs, Hank shares personal anecdotes about himself, his band members and his songs. “The studio recordings and juke box masters can’t touch the reality of his genius as manifested in these shows,” says daughter Jett Williams.
The collection will also feature the only known live recording of “Are You Walking and A Talking,” along with a rare radio interview conducted on September 14, 1951.
Here is the tracklisting from the two shows:
Niagara Falls, New York: April 25, 1952.
1. Comedy with Hank and the Drifting Cowboys
2. I Can’t Help It
3. Jerry Rivers and the Drifting Cowboys: Orange Blossom Special
4. Why Don’t You Love Me
5. Are You Walking and A Talking
6. The Funeral
7. Hey Good Looking
8. Cold, Cold Heart
9. Lovesick Blues
Sunset Park, West Grove, PA: July 13, 1952.
11. Hey Good Looking
12. Comedy with Hank and the Drifting Cowboys
13. Jerry Rivers and the Drifting Cowboys: Fire On The Mountain
14. Lonesome Whistle
16. Long Gone Lonesome Blues
17. Half As Much
18. I Saw The Light
19. Lovesick Blues
20. Interview: Hank interviewed by Mack Sanders, KFBI, Wichita, Kansas, September 14, 1951.