Preview: The Complete Mother's Best Recordings...Plus! - Hank Williams (15-CDs/1-DVD)

Artist: Hank Williams
Title: The Complete Mother's Best Recordings...Plus! 
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Label: Time-Life
Format(s): 16-CDs

Back in 1951, Hank Williams hosted a daily radio show on WSM in Nashville sponsored by Mother's Best Flour.  Every morning at 7:15 AM, he would play music with his band, talk and joke with each program including an open and close along with three songs.

During that year, Williams and his band went on tour, recording 72 shows on 16-inch acetate discs before hitting the road.  Years later, those discs were thrown out by station personnel but were rescued by an employee who saw the historical value.  Over the years, the discs passed through the hands of various people until the finally made their way to Williams son and daughter, Jett Williams and Hank Williams, Jr.  For the next eight years, the two fought legal battles to establish sole ownership, which they eventually won.


The agreement between the two Williams and Time-Life has allowed the company to release two compilations over the past two years.  Those two collections and additional material are assembled on this new 16-disc set (15-CDs/1-DVD), available only from hankwilliamsmothersbest.com.

The set is housed in a reproduction antique radio that actually plays, 15-CDs of programs, a DVD interview with the last two surviving members of Williams' band, a 108-page illustrated hard-cover book and a poster-size map showing the singer's grueling 1951 schedule.

The following is a seven-minute preview of the set.




Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Recording Plus from Hank Williams Mother's Best on Vimeo.


Kindle users can see the video by pointing their browsers to ow.ly/2yVLT.

The complete track listing is after the cut.

Track List:

List courtesy of hankwilliamsmothersbest.com.

CD 1
  • Show 1, January 10, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Where the Old Red River Flows
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Over Moonlit Waters
    • How Can You Refuse Him Now
    • Closing
  • Show 2, January 11, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Alabama Waltz
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Fire on the Mountain
    • Lord Build Me a Cabin
    • Closing
  • Show 3, January 12, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Nobody’s Lonesome for Me
    • Don Helms, Sammy Pruett & the Drifting Cowboys: Twin Guitar Polka
    • Gathering Flowers for the Master’s Bouquet
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Eighth of January
    • Closing
  • Show 4, January 15, 1951
    • Introduction
    • The Blind Child’s Prayer
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Blue Steel Blues
    • When God Dips His Love in My Heart
    • Closing
  • Show 5, January 16, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Mansion on the Hill
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: I Like that Kind
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: How Can You Refuse Him Now
    • Closing
CD 2
  • Show 6, January 17, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Nobody’s Lonesome for Me
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: My Tight Wad Daddy
    • I’ll Have a New Life
    • Closing
  • Show 7, January 18, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Everything’s Okay
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Why Should I Cry
    • Hank & Audrey and the Drifting Cowboys: I Heard My Mother Praying for Me
    • Closing
  • Show 8, January 19, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Move It on Over
    • Audrey Williams: I’m Satisfied with Life
    • I Saw the Light
    • Closing
  • Show 9, January 22, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Seaman’s Blues
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Blues in My Mind
    • Hank & Audrey and the Drifting Cowboys: Something Got a Hold of Me
    • Closing
  • Show 10, January 23, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Bonaparte’s Retreat
    • I’ve Just Told Mama Goodbye
    • Closing
CD 3
  • Show 11, January 24, 1951
    • Introduction
    • May You Never Be Alone
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: My Love for You (Has Turned to Hate)
    • Hank & Audrey and the Drifting Cowboys: Dear Brother
    • Closing
  • Show 12, January 25, 1951
    • Introduction
    • They’ll Never Take Her Love from Me
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: (Last Night) I Heard You Crying in My Sleep
    • Wait for the Light to Shine
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Whistling Rufus
    • Closing
  • Show 13, January 26, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Pins and Needles (in My Heart)
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Four Flusher
    • Hank & Audrey and the Drifting Cowboys: I Heard My Mother Praying for Me
    • Closing
  • Show 14, January 29, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Cool Water
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Orange Blossom Special
    • Oh Those Tombs (Lonely Tombs)
    • Closing
  • Show 15, January 30, 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Just Don’t Like This Kind of Living
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: You Don’t Have Be a Baby to Cry
    • Hank & Audrey Williams and the Drifting Cowboys: Jesus Remembered Me
    • Closing
CD 4
  • Show 16, January 31, 1951
    • Introduction
    • On the Banks of the Pontchartrain
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Blue Love (In My Heart)
    • Calling You
    • Closing
  • Show 17, February 1, 1951
    • Introduction
    • My Sweet Love Ain’t Around
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Model T Love
    • Where the Soul Never Dies
    • Closing
  • Show 18, February 2, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Mind Your Own Business
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: I Like that Kind
    • When God Dips His Love in My Heart
    • Closing
  • Show 19, February 6, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Cold, Cold Heart
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Honky Tonkin’
    • Jerry Rivers, Hank Williams, Cousin Louie Buck & the Drifting Cowboys: Sally Goodin
    • Closing
  • Show 20, February 7, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Dear John
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: I’m Satisfied with Life
    • Hank & Audrey Williams and the Drifting Cowboys: Something Got a Hold of Me
    • Closing
CD 5
  • Show 21, February 12, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Move It on Over
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Waltz of the Wind
    • I’ll Have a New Life
    • Closing
  • Show 22, February 13, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Faded Love and Winter Roses
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Four Flusher
    • I Saw the Light
    • Closing
  • Show 23, For February 16, 1951
    • Introduction
    • At the First Fall of Snow
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: I Like that Kind
    • When God Dips His Love in My Heart
    • Closing
  • Show 24, February 19, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Wedding Bells
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: My Tight Wad Daddy
    • Where the Soul of Man Never Dies
    • Closing
  • Show 25, February 20, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Why Don’t You Love Me
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Blue Love (In My Heart)
    • Hank & Audrey with the Drifting Cowboys: Dear Brother
    • Closing
CD 6
  • Show 26, February 21, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Why Should We Try Any More
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Low and Lonely
    • Jesus Died for Me
    • Closing
  • Show 27, February 22, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Long Gone Lonesome Blues
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: (Last Night) I Heard You Crying in Your Sleep
    • Oh Those Tombs (Lonely Tombs)
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Turkey in the Straw
    • Closing
  • Show 28, February 23, 1951
    • Introduction
    • Dear John
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: If You Want Some Lovin’
    • Hank & Audrey and the Drifting Cowboys: I Heard My Mother Praying for Me
    • Closing
  • Show 29, February 1951
    • Introduction
    • Moanin’ the Blues
    • Audrey Williams & the Drifting Cowboys: Honky Tonkin’
    • I’ll Have a New Life
    • Closing
  • Show 30, early March 1951
    • Introduction
    • Dear John
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Roadside Rag
    • I’ll Fly Away
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Bonaparte’s Retreat
    • Closing
CD 7
  • Show 31, early March 1951
    • Introduction
    • Cold, Cold Heart
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Fire on the Mountain
    • Farther Along
    • Closing
  • Show 32, spring 1951
    • Introduction
    • May You Never Be Alone
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Arkansas Traveler
    • I’ll Have a New Life
    • Closing
  • Show 33, spring 1951
    • Introduction
    • Next Sunday Darling Is My Birthday
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Old Joe Clark
    • Deck of Cards
    • Closing
  • Show 34, spring 1951
    • Introduction
    • Tennessee Border
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Blue Bonnet Rag
    • Dear Brother (Hank’s only known solo recording!)
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Whistling Rufus
    • Closing
  • Show 35, April 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Panhandle Rag
    • Gathering Flowers for the Master’s Bouquet
    • Closing
CD 8
  • Show 36, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Pictures from Life’s Other Side with extra verse
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Sally Goodin
    • I’m Gonna Sing
    • Closing
  • Show 37, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Just Waitin’
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Paradise Isle
    • When the Fire Comes down from Heaven
    • Closing
  • Show 38, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • My Sweet Love Ain’t Around
    • Jimmie Skinner & the Drifting Cowboys: I Can’t Tell My Heart That
    • Where the Soul of Man Never Dies
    • Closing
  • Show 39, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Panhandle Rag
    • Drifting Too Far from the Shore
    • Closing
  • Show 40, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Just When I Needed You
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Steel Guitar Stomp
    • I’ll Fly Away
    • Closing
CD 9
  • Show 41, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Cold, Cold Heart
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Dance All Night
    • The Old Country Church
    • Closing
  • Show 42, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Move It on Over
    • Sammy Pruett and the Drifting Cowboys: The Darktown Strutters’ Ball
    • Thy Burdens Are Greater than Mine
    • Closing
  • Show 43, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Faded Love and Winter Roses
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Fire on the Mountain
    • I Heard My Savior Calling Me
    • Closing
  • Show 44, May 1951
    • Introduction
    • Just When I Needed You
    • Johnnie & Jack: I Can’t Tell My Heart That
    • Farther Along
    • Closing
  • Show 45, spring 1951
    • Introduction
    • There’s Nothing as Sweet as My Baby
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Turkey in the Straw
    • Wait for the Light to Shine
    • Closing
CD 10
  • Show 46, spring 1951
    • Introduction
    • Where the Old Red River Flows
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Blue Steel Blues
    • Thirty Pieces of Silver
    • Closing
  • Show 47, spring 1951
    • Introduction
    • On Top of Old Smoky
    • Sammy Pruett & the Drifting Cowboys: Columbus Stockade Blues
    • The Prodigal Son
    • Closing
  • Show 48, July 1951
    • Introduction
    • Moanin’ the Blues
    • Don Helms, Sammy Pruett & the Drifting Cowboys: Blue Steel Blues
    • I Dreamed about Mom Last Night
    • Closing
  • Show 49, July 1951
    • Introduction
    • Where the Old Red River Flows
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Orange Blossom Special
    • Where He Leads Me, I Will Follow
    • Closing
  • Show 50, July 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Hang My Head and Cry
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Tennessee Wagner
    • At the Cross
    • Closing
CD 11
  • Show 51, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Dreamed about Mom Last Night
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Black Mountain Rag
    • I Heard My Savior Call
    • Closing
  • Show 52, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Low and Lonely
    • Big Bill Lister & the Drifting Cowboys: Foolish Questions
    • The Funeral/Steal Away
    • Closing
  • Show 53, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Mind Your Own Business
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Old Joe Clark
    • I Dreamed about Mom Last Night
    • Closing
  • Disc 54, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Just Don’t Like this Kind of Livin’
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Tennessee Wagner
    • The Pale Horse and His Rider (Hank’s only known solo recording!)
    • Closing
  • Show 55, October 1951
    • Introduction
    • My Sweet Love Ain’t Around
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Fire on the Mountain
    • I Saw the Light
    • Closing
CD 12
  • Show 56, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Corrine, Corrina
    • I Heard My Savior Calling Me
    • Closing
  • Disc 57, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • If I Didn’t Love You
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Panhandle Rag
    • Wait for the Light to Shine
    • Closing
  • Show 58, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • You Blotted My Happy School Days
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Orange Blossom Special
    • Dust on the Bible
    • Closing
  • Disc 59, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I’ve Been Down that Road Before
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Gentle Annie
    • I’ve Got My One-Way Ticket to the Sky
    • Closing
  • Disc 60, October 1951
    • Introduction
    • Hey Good Lookin’
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Alabama Jubilee
    • Searching for a Soldier’s Grave
    • Closing
CD 13
  • Disc 61, October 1951
    • Introduction
    • California Zephyr
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Down Yonder
    • Softly and Tenderly
    • Closing
  • Disc 62, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Lonesome Whistle
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Roadside Rag
    • I Am Bound for the Promised Land
    • Closing
  • Show 63, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Have I Told You Lately that I Love You
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Sally Goodin
    • When the Saints Go Marchin’ in
    • Closing
  • Show 64, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Hey, Good Lookin’
    • The Drifting Cowboys: Silver Bell
    • I’m Gonna Sing
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Turkey in the Straw
    • Closing
  • Show 65, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Dance All Night
    • Oh, Those Tombs (Lonely Tombs)
    • Closing
  • Show 66 (incomplete), fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Crazy Heart (incomplete)
CD 14
  • Show 67, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I Can’t Tell My Heart That
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Georgia Steel Guitar
    • Precious Lord, Take My Hand
    • Closing
  • Show 68, fall 1951.
    • Introduction
    • Just Waitin’
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: Eighth of January
    • From Jerusalem to Jericho
    • Closing
  • Show 69, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • I’ll Sail My Ship Alone
    • Don Helms, Jerry Rivers and the Drifting Cowboys: Gentle Annie
    • I’ll Have a New Life
    • Closing
  • Show 70, fall 1951
    • Introduction
    • Lonesome Whistle
    • Jerry Rivers & the Drifting Cowboys: I Don’t Love Nobody
    • I Dreamed that the Great Judgment Morning
    • Closing
  • Show 71, October or November 1951
    • Introduction
    • Cherokee Boogie
    • Don Helms & the Drifting Cowboys: Columbus Stockade Blues
    • That Beautiful Home
    • Closing
CD 15
  • Show 72, The Aunt Jemima audition, spring 1952
    • Introduction
    • Why Don’t You Love Me?
    • Owen Bradley & his Orchestra: San Antonio Rose
    • The Beasley Sisters: Honey, Be My Honey Bee
    • Cold, Cold Heart
  • Show 73,
    • Stars in Her Eyes: anti-Venereal Disease play

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