I'm continuing to work on my little Hank Williams obsession. I am, of course, working on a poem, or something that might become a poem.
Today, for instance, I found out that Williams was born with a spine issue, called spina bifida occulta. It later caused him great pain, which both exacerbated and instantiated his alcohol use and the pain drugs he sought. That 'occulta' is giving me something to work with, it must be acknowledged.
I've been listening to a Hank Williams playlist I made, which includes songs from The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams. This playlist is, of course, open to suggestions of other songs I should include.
I asked Ann Cannon today, in an email:
...and her answer did not disappoint, including a rundown on the instruction she received from her dad about how Hank Williams sang the songs of the people, and so forth, and how, despite her past-Ann eyeball rolling, present-Ann loves Hank Williams, especially the classics.
Today, I found out that there is some disagreement about whether Hank Williams believed the gospel songs he wrote or not. (In related news, I read Hilton Als today about Beyonce (I know. I am in the grips.) and how she's performing this and that because she wants to be more serious and still make money. GET A GRIP America, musicians who record music want to make money. (There, I said it.)) Anyway, I'm interested not only in the state of Hank Williams' music but in the state of his soul, however he exhibited, recorded, wrote, and performed it.
I am interested in any and all Hank Williams leads, intelligence, sources. Also opinions. Please direct me, internet. I am on a mission.
Recently a DJ told the story of a music publisher (?) who doubted Hank's songwriting skills, so he locked him in a room with instructions to write a song with a title he was given. An hour later, he emerged with one of his classics. Sorry I don't remember the song nor could I find confirmation of the story on line.ReplyDelete
oooh, great story, oldbruin! thank you!ReplyDelete