George Hamilton IV Examines the ‘Other Side’ of Hank Williams
When Grand Ole Opry star George Hamilton IV performed a concert in Hank Williams' hometown of Georgiana, Ala. a few years ago, he had no idea the show would turn into a recorded tribute to Hank's alter ego, Luke the Drifter, the name the legendary performer often used when he recorded country-gospel songs as opposed to the more mainstream country hits in his career.
The concert, held at the Ga-Ana Theatre, where Hank performed with his band when he was a teen, was recorded by theater manager Robert Layton. The tapes were sent to producer Samuel Purdy in Lisburn, Northern Ireland to be mixed and mastered in his home studio. The long journey for the songs is nearly over, as the album 'A Tribute to Luke the Drifter (The Other Side of Hank Williams)' will be released by Lamon Records on January 24.
George is known for his vast knowledge of the history of country music, and his interest in the gospel side of Hank is pulling that part of the singer/songwriter's heritage together in one new recording. Hank wrote many songs about the spiritual side of life, almost as if he were examining his own teachings and beliefs through his own lyrics.
George premiered the recording at the Hank Williams Museum theater on January 1, where people gathered to commemorate the 59th anniversary of Hank's death. He then performed a similar show at the Mount Olive West Baptist Church near Georgiana, which was the chapel where Hank attended services as a child, sitting beside his mother while she played organ on Sunday.
The album consists of 20 Luke the Drifter songs, including 'Has Anybody Seen Hank,' 'Life's Railway to Heaven,' 'Mansion on the Hill,' 'When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels,' 'House of Gold,' 'Too Many Parties and Too Many Pals,' 'Men With Broken Hearts' and his classic 'I Saw the Light.'
'A Tribute to Luke the Drifter (The Other Side of Hank Williams)' will be released on January 24. Net proceeds from sales of the CD will be donated to the Hank Williams International Fan Club and the Mt. Olive West Baptist Church.