Hank Williams for Mother’s Best Flour

Hank in the Slammer, 1951.

Hank in a good mood.

Hank Williams & the Drifting Cowboys

Hank Williams: The Ole Sorry Ass, Himself.
Hank on TV, except the camera doesn’t seem to be plugged in.
Hank Williams with the Drifting Cowboys in a peculiar pose.

Where the lost highway ended, Hank in his casket, 1953.

You’re not really dead unless you have the paperwork to prove it, Hank’s death certificate.

Dorks like Bruce Springsteen make a big deal about not taking advertising money, but that’s because they don’t need the money. I hate that holier than thou shit. Radio never played the Stooges, so if people hear ’em on TV commercials, good for the Stooges, who deserve a pay day.
Ray Charles (Pepsi), Jimmy Reed (Gypsy Rose Wine), Little Richard (Royal Crown hair dressing), Sonny Boy Williamson (King Biscuit Flour), the Rolling Stones (Rice Krispies), Dave Bartholomew (Jax beer) , and Howlin’ Wolf (C.V. Wine), all did commercials, and it didn’t hurt their music one bit. For several years Hank Williams did a morning radio show (this one, aimed at the rural farm crowd was 7:00-7:15 AM, ouch!) for various sponsors, the ones presented here were for Mother’s Best Flour. Here are five airchecks, they’re fifteen minutes each, and are presented exactly they way they were heard back in 1949-50 when they were aired. There are some songs he never recorded commercially as well as some of his hits. Even his wisecracks are sometimes pretty funny, and he’s singing his ass off on most of these tunes. Hell, even tin-eared wife Audrey doesn’t sound so bad. Enjoy: Hank Williams’ Mother’s Best Show: #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5.
Some fun facts about Hank Williams:
*His favorite song was Death Is A Dream, here’s the best version (by Rev. Edward Clayborn “the Guitar Evangelist”).
*His favorite saying was “Don’t worry, nuthin’s goin’ be alright anyhow”.
*He died from a combination of alcohol, morphine and chloral hydrate.
*Had he lived, he might have invented rockabilly, since in his final years he had chronic hiccups (the day before he died his doctor gave him two morphine shots for the hiccups).
*His real name was Hiriam, he named himself Hank as a kid.
* He charged admission to his second marriage (to Billy Jean Jones), and sold out four shows, so he married her four times (if they got divorced would he have had to pay four alimonies?).
* He’s playing the guitar solo on his version of My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It. He’s pretty good too.
* For a really great look at Hank’s final days, check out John Gilmore’s Laid Bare.

14 thoughts on “Hank Williams for Mother’s Best Flour”

  1. That's funny, I just watched that sure cure for TX nostalgia “The Last Picture Show” again last night, where Hank's playing in the background of every pool-hall & pickup truck scene. These Mother's Best Flour spots would have worked real well in that one.It's been years since I read it, but I recall really liking Chet Flippo's Hank bio “Your Cheating Heart.”

  2. I bought both the recent box-sets not long ago – the latest one, Revealed, has a selection of complete Mother's Best radio shows. The first box-set, Unreleased Recordings, just has songs.It's some of the best music I've heard – anytime, anywhere!!!

  3. I always loved Hank, from the time I bought and listened to a dusty Luke the Drifter 78, circa 1969. I don't even know why I bought it. Something told me to.And I always detested Springsteen. A total blowhard no-talent phony. BTW, as I recall, Mr No Advertising struck an exclusive deal with Wal Mart not too long ago. Y'know, what an asshole.

  4. “Sure, living fast is fun, but it doesn't look like “morning after” Hank is having beautiful memories…”I was lookin' all over for that picture (I know I've got a copy here but it must've gotten misfiled), you don't mind if I borrow it and run it w/the post do you?

  5. I think the Escott bio is the best.There have been so many in the past but Escott's info is more up to date and he is a bloody good writer.Loved his “Road Kill On The 3 Chord Highway”

  6. Oh, thank you, thank you for these! Believe it or not, the man playing the fiddle on these recordings, Jerry Rivers, is my grandfather. I've been trying to track these down for years! I'd nearly given up hope.Thanks to last year's Hank exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, I finally got to hear him on the radio shows for the first time. I've been burning to hear them in their entirety. Sadly, my grandfather is no longer with us, he died before I could realize how amazing his life was. I'm trying to rectify that by learning as much as I can now!It brings me so much joy to know that Hank and his Drifting Cowboys are still loved today.


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