Being Released in Conjunction with the DVD/BD of the Williams’ Biopic, I Saw the Light, the Singular 15 CD + 1 DVD Collection From One of America’s First Country Music Superstars Features 142 Performances from the Mother’s Best Flour Radio Shows (1951) and a DVD Featuring Behind-the-Scenes Conversations with Williams’ Daughter and Bandmates.
Long regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Hank Williams was one of America’s first country music superstars. Before his tragic, early death at 29, Williams’ almost singlehandedly set the agenda for country songcraft with classic standards such as “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin’,” and “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.” His life story was recently put on the big screen in I Saw the Light, a biopic starring Tom Hiddleston as the father of contemporary country music; it’s being released to the home entertainment marketplace on July 5. But for a rare, informal glimpse into the heart and soul of country music’s greatest star look no further than HANK WILLIAMS: THE COMPLETE MOTHER’S BEST COLLECTION from Time Life®.
At the peak of his career in 1951, Williams recorded 142 songs for the Mother’s Best Flour Company.
The best-known and most sought-after Williams recordings, The Mother’s Best Flour Shows featured the legendary musician and his studio band laying down his chart-busting hits, as well as songs he never recorded commercially anywhere else. Broadcast over the Grand Ole Opry’s parent station, WSM, in Nashville every morning at 7:15am, the format was consistent: each 15-minute show consisted of one country song, one instrumental or guest vocal and a gospel song to close the show. Recorded in an intimate and casual setting, The Mother’s Best Shows highlighted Williams personality, and his relaxed patter was filled with wry, self-deprecating wit.
For the very first time, THE COMPLETE MOTHER’S BEST COLLECTION brings together all of the surviving recordings in a single set across 15 CDs. Featured among the 142 rare performances are Hank’s greatest hits including “Cold, Cold Heart,” “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You),” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Move It On Over,” and many more. Hank also sings then-current hits by other artists, including “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “On Top Of Old Smoky,” “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” and “Cherokee Boogie” among others. Williams also loved the old hymns, and here he sings sacred classics like ‘Softly and Tenderly,’ shouts out Southern gospel classics like ‘I’ll Have a New Life’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marchin’ In,’ and many he never sang anywhere else such as “Lonely Tombs” and “At the Cross”.
As Colin Escott penned in the liner notes, “Imagine finding a half-dozen unreleased Beatles LPs or a stash of previously unheard Elvis Presley recordings. That’s how significant these Mother’s Best Hank Williams radio shows are”. The first truly three-dimensional portrait of one of the giants of American music, THE COMPLETE MOTHER’S BEST COLLECTION also includes a bonus DVD entitled “Hank Williams: The Untold Stories” which reveals the incredible story of these unreleased recordings in a behind-the-scenes conversation between Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams, and two members of Hank’s band, Don Helms and Big Bill Lister.