Several years ago, I ran across an awesome “best-of” list called the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” which was published by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003. To my surprise, I found Hank Williams’ “40 Greatest Hits” album ranked No. 94 on the list, which is why I put this album on my “bucket list” a few years ago. During the past week, I listened to the entire album from start to finish and officially scratched this item off my list.
I’ve always been interested in Hank Williams because he was born and raised in Butler County, Ala., which is just a short drive from my hometown in Monroe County. Even though I’ve been to visit his boyhood home (which is now a museum) and his statue in downtown Montgomery, I couldn’t honestly say that I’d listened to his “40 Greatest Hits” album, which was released in 1978, that is, 25 years after his death.
Fans of Hank Williams will recognized most of the songs on the album. They included "Move It on Over,” "A Mansion on the Hill," "Lovesick Blues,” "Wedding Bells," "Mind Your Own Business," "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)," "Lost Highway," "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "I Just Don't Like This Kind of Living," "Long Gone Lonesome Blues," "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy," "Why Don't You Love Me," "Why Should We Try Anymore," "They'll Never Take Her Love from Me,” "Moanin' the Blues," "Nobody's Lonesome for Me," "Cold, Cold Heart," "Dear John" and "Howlin' at the Moon."
The other 20 songs on the album include "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," "Hey, Good Lookin'," "Crazy Heart," "(I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle," "Baby, We're Really in Love," "Ramblin' Man," "Honky Tonk Blues," "I'm Sorry for You My Friend," "Half as Much," "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)," "Window Shopping,” "Settin' the Woods on Fire," "You Win Again," "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive,” "Kaw-Liga,” "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Take These Chains from My Heart,” "I Won't Be Home No More,” "Weary Blues from Waitin'," and "I Saw the Light.”
In its entirety, this album is well over an hour long, so rather than buy the original album or buy it on CD, I bought it online (inexpensively) through eMusic.com. I then loaded it onto a MP3 player and listened to it from start to finish during several back-and-forth trips to work last week. I started it on Wednesday of last week and finished listening to the final song last Thursday.
Now that I’ve got that Hank Williams-related item off my list, I’ve still got a few more Hank Williams “bucket list” items left to go. I still want to take the Hank Williams Trail driving tour from Georgiana to Montgomery, and I still want to visit the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery. Maybe I’ll get around to those two very soon.
In the end, how many of you have listened to Hank Williams’ “40 Greatest Hits”? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments section below.