Thursday, June 11, 2015

HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER

It wasn’t until 1980 and human jukebox extraordinaire Sleepy LaBeef’s foot-to-the-accelerator version of today’s song that I really connected with it. Heresy though it might be to admit, I’ve always preferred covers of Hank Williams songs to the original recordings. Part of that, I think, is because ol’ Hank is just too scary for me; he conjures up feelings that I generally like to stay far from for my everyday safety and sanity. As Bill Friskics-Warren writes in his essay for the “Lost Highway” entry in Heartaches by the Number, “‘Lost Highway’ [is] one of the eeriest records ever made. But what’s unsettling here isn’t so much that Hank sees himself as bound for hell as that he sounds like he’s already there, which in a very real sense he was.”



2.  Lost Highway • Hank Williams with His Drifting Cowboys • 1949


Label shot: Zero to 180

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