Jett Williams Proud Late Father Is Still Getting Grammy Nods
Hank Williams is still getting Grammy nominations decades after his death, and the icon's daughter Jett is thrilled that her dad is still receiving the recognition he deserves for his artistry in the form of projects like the Time Life boxed set, 'Hank Williams: The Complete Mother's Best Recordings...Plus!' The project is nominated in the Best Historical Album category at this Sunday's (February 13) ceremony, and Jett notes that the recordings had quite a journey from their inception in 1951 to this weekend's red carpet at the present-day Grammy Awards.
"It might be the only Grammy that's ever come from the dipsty dumpster, all the way from WSM studios in Nashville, Tenn., all the way to the red carpet in Los Angeles," Jett tells The Boot. "And the thing that's just remarkable is when you take the fact that some of the people in the category have had a career over decades and decades and decades -- my dad's career was in three years. And in decades and decades and decades, he's still getting Grammys."
Jett says that Hank Sr. fans get a real glimpse of her dad's personality through the vintage recordings in the boxed set, and he comes alive not as the tragic figure he's always portrayed as, but as a funny, warm, engaging entertainer.
"The other thing that's great about this project is my dad's music is fantastic, but the actual talking when you hear it, you find out he's not as sad a soul or as lonely and as woeful when you hear him laugh and cut up and you hear him host. He becomes a three-dimensional entertainer as opposed to just the MGM recording artist that we have only seen with an 8x10 photo. Here you actually meet this guy Hank Williams, and you know what? You even love him even more!"
The boxed set consists of fifteen discs packaged in a simulated vintage radio format, and features all of the 15-minute radio shows Hank recorded live to disc on acetates to be played on the air when he was touring and couldn't do the Mother's Best Flour show live. The shows contain many tunes that Hank never recorded anywhere else, like 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,' and 'On Top of Old Smoky.' An accompanying DVD also features two of Hank's original band members, Big Bill Lister and Don Helms, giving their last interviews on tape. The set also includes a 108-page book penned by Hank Sr. historian Colin Escott with an introduction by Hank Williams Jr. and an afterword by Jett herself.
For Jett, the nomination is even more sweet given the challenges she went through finding her place as a long lost member of Hank's family. "To be the daughter of Hank Williams and not know who you are, and then to discover you are the daughter of Hank Williams, then to have the courts vindicate you that you're that person, then to have the opportunity to be given these acetates, then go back to court to win the right with Hank Jr. to release these, then to release these with Time Life, then to have not only the fans say this is the greatest boxed set we've ever seen, but then to have the industry here say this deserves a nomination because it is true music history, not just country music history, but music history -- has been amazing!"