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In the past, I'll admit that I've held a bit of a grudge against country music. It's not that I consider it any less of an art form, or valid musically than any of the other genres, I just haven't been able to connect with country artists as I have with the artists of other genres. That isn't to say that I don't like any country music. Instead I think that my lack of connection is a product entirely of the more recent country scene, as the country artists who I really dig, tend to be the originals, like Johnny Cash, and the man I thought worth sharing today: Hank Williams.
I'll be honest, my reluctance towards country music means I'm a little lacking in the history of the genre. As I understand it though, Hank Williams, amongst others, is for country what someone like Woodie Guthrie is for folk and Robert Johnson is for Blues... sort of a patriarch, a pinnacle of the early days of the genre. Now some other music historians or people who are passionate about their country music might think otherwise, but I think it's safe to say that Mr. Williams has, at the very least, had a huge influence not only on country music, but also folk, and even rock and roll.
It seems as if I've known the songs of Hank Williams all my life, even if I've never really explored his catalog all that seriously. They're just the songs that, again like works of Woodie Guthrie and Robert Johnson, have become part of music and popular culture.
And as in inevitable with all of pop culture these days, his songs and video footage have ended up on the Internet, much to the elation of music enthusiasts like myself.
Now this clip might be a little rough, and the sound might be a little out of sync, but that doesn't matter, it's the songs we're talking about. This is from the Kate Smith Evening Hour, and consists of a pair of songs, the second a duet with Anita Carter.
Special thanks go out to Gatorrock786 and Youtube as always.
For whatever reason, with artists like the afore mentioned Woodie Guthrie and Robert Johnson, there's a certain something to their music that is untouchable... the authenticity, the simplicity, the soul. The music of Hank Williams is in that same category in my mind, except that I think there's also a certain charm to his music that is completely unique.
These songs speak for themselves, so I'll leave it at that. Don't hesitate to check out other Hank Williams clips on the Internet though (more than a few others on Youtube) along with his albums. His career was relatively short (he unfortunately died pretty young), but there's still plenty of great music contained within his catalog.