Glossary entry for
Williams, Hank

The following extract is taken from a Polygram web page:

Hank Williams' (1923-1953) recording career only lasted six years, his spell at the top of the profession barely four, and he was only twenty-nine when a life of excess caught up with him. But in that brief span Hank Williams created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music.

The manner of his death and the tragic nature of his short life have imbued Hank Williams' recordings with a certain mystique. On one level, they can be interpreted as the diary of a man heading ninety miles an hour down a dead-end street. But if it's possible to separate Hank's work from his biography, his music stands triumphantly on its own. It was one of those magical syntheses of composition, production, and performance. There was rarely a note or word surplus to intention.

The key to Hank Williams is passion. The entire range of human emotions is within these recordings: love, hate, envy, joy guilt, despair, remorse, playfulness, sorrow...and more. The lyrics were simple, but simplicity does not preclude meaning. In writing for the man who could barely sign his name, Hank Williams wrote for us all.

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