Hank Williams III & Hank Williams Return to 21st Century Radio

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"Lord, honey, you're a ghost!"

That's what Minnie Pearl allegedly told Hank Williams III after their first meeting. "It's a natural reaction to the skinny singer with the sunken cheekbones and, especially, the pinched nasal vocal--so reminiscent of his famous grandfather's catch-and-moan delivery." (amazon.com)

Hank III will be our guest of honor on 21st Century Radio Sunday, June 13th during a two hour Hank Williams special from 8-10 PM Eastern on WCBM 680 AM Baltimore.

Our other guests will be Colin Escott, biographer of Hank Sr. and author of Snapshots from the Lost Highway (call in to win a free copy!) and Morgan Neville, producer of a PBS Documentary on Hank Williams to be aired nationwide on June 23, 2004 as part of the American Masters series. Read more below about the DVD of Honky Tonk Blues, courtesy of Mercury Records!

Both of Hank III's CDs, Risin' Outlaw and Lovesick, Broke and Driftin, deliver the traditional country sound in clear and strong rebellion against the pop-superstar country music pushed on corporate radio today. Starting out as a young punk rocker, Hank III's influences shine through his infectious music which he makes his own despite the heavy mantle he carries and can't avoid in the physical and vocal comparisons to his legendary grandfather and father. His rabid fans admire his spunk as much as his talent, and see him as standing alone against the clones of country-pop that dominate the major record labels. He's at war with his own record company for being "too country", but he's not selling out, and he's not afraid to speak out about it, or just about anything else!

Hold on to your seats for one hell-raising semi-ghostly experience with a true individual.

21st Century Radio with Dr. Bob Hieronimus, Sunday June 13, 2004 from 8-10 PM Eastern on Baltimore's 50,000 watt WCBM 680 AM. Also streamed live at http://www.wcbm.com, and archived later for free at http://www.21stCenturyRadio.com.

This is the second Hank Williams 2-hour special on 21st Century Radio. The first one featured special guest Jett Williams, Hank Sr.'s "lost daughter"!

ATTENTION HANK FANS - Check out this 3-minute "trailer" for the HONKY TONK BLUES PBS documentary below. It is a BIG file and a LONG download -- if you have a slow connection, FYI. The 90-minute DVD is available for advance ordering right now from Amazon.com (see above) and an edited version of the show will be aired on PBS June 23rd: http://www.timelesshank.com/windows/windows.asx



Courtesy of Mercury Records


Honky Tonk Blues, the first feature-length documentary to tell the fascinating story of the life and music of Hank Williams, Country music's most important figure, will be issued on DVD in a special expanded Director's Cut by Mercury Nashville/UMe on June 8, 2004.

With the original hour-long program directed by Morgan Neville premiering June 23, 2004 as part of the many time Emmy Award-winning PBS "American Masters" series, this Honky Tonk Blues Director's Cut expands that documentary by more than 30 minutes and adds yet another 15 minutes of bonus features.

Hiram King "Hank" Williams is the giant of Country music, the father of contemporary Country and the Country artist with the greatest influence on rock 'n' roll--and he did it all in just four short years. A superstar by the age of 25, his turbulent life ended at 29. A charter inductee into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, Williams was also named one of the first members of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame. In 1994, Life magazine ranked him #1 on its list of The 100 Most Important People In Country Music.

Yet Williams has long been an enigma. Using never-before-released footage (including performance tapes and home movies), photos and audio of Williams, and featuring interviews with friends and family who have never spoken on-camera before, as well as musicians and musicologists, Honky Tonk Blues reaches beyond the impenetrable myth that has grown up around, and obscured, the real Hank Williams to tell his story in full, vivid detail.

By the time he died, drunk, drugged, and alone in the back seat of his Cadillac on New Year's Eve 1952, Hank had redefined Country music. He recorded 88 songs under his own name and from March 1949 to October 1953 had 34 consecutive hit singles, 32 hitting the Top 10, and 11 going to #1, including three which did so after his death. His songs, some of which are heard once more on Honky Tonk Blues, have become part of the classic American songbook, from "Cold, Cold Heart," "Hey, Good Lookin'," "Jambalaya," "Why Don't You Love Me," "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" and "Lovesick Blues" to "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and, of course, "Honky Tonk Blues" (a #2 hit in 1952).

Williams was so popular that when he appeared on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in 1949 he received an unprecedented six encores. Today, just over half-a-century since he died, Hank Williams' music is as admired and acclaimed as ever, and with Honky Tonk Blues his life both in and out of the spotlight is finally revealed.


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