Thursday, January 19, 2012

The “Other” Side of Hank Williams

The “Other” Side of Hank Williams

George Hamilton IV, well acknowledged for his deep interest and considerable knowledge of country music’s heritage, has now brought a fresh insight into the music of Hank Williams.

Although I Saw The Light is instantly familiar and sung worldwide, it is far less well known that the legendary Williams wrote dozens of classic country-gospel songs, poems and narrations under his pseudonym and alter-ego, Luke the Drifter.

A few years ago George Hamilton IV travelled south to Hank’s hometown – Georgiana, Alabama – to present a concert in tribute to Luke the Drifter at the Ga-Ana Theatre, where Hank sang as a teenager with his band. The concert was recorded “live” by theatre manager Robert Layton and the tapes later sent to producer Samuel Purdy in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, where he mixed and mastered them in his home studio. These historic recordings are now set to be released by Lamon Records, Nashville.

Following his appearance on the Grand Ole Opry on December 31, George IV premiered the cd in a live solo, acoustic concert at the Texas Troubadour Theatre in Nashville. This was followed by a guest appearance at the Midnite Jamboree, hosted by Hank’s daughter Jett Williams.

The first day of 2012 saw George Hamilton IV in Montgomery, Alabama where he sang a few “Luke the Drifter” songs at the Hank Williams Museum theatre for folks that had gathered to commemorate the 59th anniversary of Hank’s passing. George IV then travelled on to present Luke the Drifter – Live and in Concert at the Mount Olive West Baptist Church, near Georgiana, Alabama. This was the church that Hank attended as a child, sitting on a bench beside his mother while she played organ on Sunday mornings.

Told in his inimitable “story and song” presentation, George IV recalls the life and times of Hank Williams/Luke the Drifter interspersed with 20 songs featured on this innovative show. These include Has Anybody Seen Hank, The Old Log Train, Life’s Railroad To Heaven, Mansion On The Hill, When God Comes And Gathers His Jewels, House Of Gold, Too Many Parties And Too Many Pals, I’ve Been Down That Road Before, Men With Broken Hearts and I Saw The Light. The cd’s running time is 68 minutes.

A Tribute To Luke The Drifter (The Other Side of Hank Williams) is released by Lamon Records on January 24, 2012. The net proceeds from sales of the cd will be shared between the Hank Williams International Fan Club and the Mt. Olive West Baptist Church.
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