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Hank Williams Early Recordings Unveiled on 3-CD Set

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Hank Williams Estate has teamed up with Time Life for a three-CD set, collecting newly discovered Hank Williams recordings, meticulously restored to their original sound quality.

‘Hank Williams: The Legend Begins’ features the late icon’s earliest home recordings on the first ‘Rare and Unreleased’ disc, including cuts ‘Fan It’ and ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band,’ which have not been heard since the 15-year-old Hank and his pal and accordionist, Pee Wee Moultrie, recorded them in 1938. The first disc also contains four 1940 recordings of standards like ‘Freight Train Blues’ and ‘Greenback Dollar,’ showing tremendous growth for the budding country legend.

“Talk about a discovery!,” says Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams. “The first recording of my dad when he was fifteen was given to me decades ago, and then the 1940 home recordings followed a few years later. My husband Keith and I finally got up the nerve to get with the best sound people in Nashville to see if we could salvage these extraordinary recordings. It worked! We did it!”

The second and third discs feature 49 songs from Hank’s first syndicated radio show, Health and Happiness, including cuts like ‘Tramp on the Street,’ which were never performed elsewhere, and have been restored to sound exactly as they did over 60 years ago.

“Hank continues to speak to and entertain us across the generations,” added Time Life executive Mike Jason. “These recordings give us a rare and special insight as this American music giant begins his career.”

‘Hank Williams: The Legend Begins’ will be in stores on September 13, 2011. For more info, visit Hank Jr.’s site here.

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