". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hank Williams's Breakfast Club Recordings

Hank Williams's daughter, Jett Williams, born 5 days after he died, was put out for adoption. But 3 months before she was born, Hank Williams had filed a paper with a court stating this baby born to Bobbie Jett was his child.

Jett Williams and Time-Life have put out the acetates of the singing spots he pre-recorded for the local home radio program, his early fifties Breakfast Club radio show, on Nashville’s WSM-AM station. He talks about the songs a bit, and patters with his Drifting Cowboys band. The boxed set is called The Unreleased Recordings of Hank Williams.

WSM-AM moved. The acetates were in boxes and discarded. A station employee, Les Leverett, rescued them, and later gave them to Jett Williams, as belonging to her.

Polygram and others, via chain of title claims, sued.

The courts, eventually, ruled these recordings were personal property of the family because they were not made with commercial, for profit, release in mind.

These are as moving as Hank Williams can be. I'm hearing "On Top of Old Smoky" now. It was one of Mom's favorite songs. That she actually got to the top of Old Smoky on a winter vacation driving south with Dad and an another couple when I turned 6 was always a meaningful memory for her.

Jett Williams says:

[ "In addition to Williams' best-known material, the recordings include 40 songs he was never known to have performed and others he never recorded commercially, including "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "Cherokee Boogie" and "On Top of Old Smoky." ]


K. said...

I can't wait to hear these -- been champing at the bit since I read about them.

Foxessa said...

Me too!

But the release is going to be spaced out over several years, if I understand correctly. The first set has just come out -- again if I understand correctly.

I think we have a friend at Time-Life ....

Love, C.