Music Monday: Hank Williams’ Health and Happiness Recordings

I had planned to write a post featuring Hank Williams’ The Complete Health & Happiness Recordings on Friday, the day it was released.  I was short on time, so I just highlighted it on Twitter and Facebook and moved on about my day.  But I’ve been listening to it all weekend, and it is an absolute treasure.  I can’t let it go unmentioned here.  So on the day after Fathers’ Day, let us remember the granddaddy of them all, Hank Williams Sr. (speaking of fathers and grandfathers, I really need to highlight Hank Williams Jr. and Hank III on these pages).

The Health & Happiness Recordings were made over eight radio shows in 1949 to promote a patent medicine.  The complete recordings take up two CDs or three vinyl records.  This isn’t the first Health & Happiness Recordings release, but, judging by what’s on YouTube at least, it is the most high quality release.  Many of the songs are higher quality than you will find on Hank’s studio albums.

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Music Monday: Charley Pride

Charley Pride recorded somewhere between 29 and 40 #1 hits, depending on how you count.  It was funny, then, when someone posing as an expert on country music claimed only four black men had ever topped Billboard Country Charts.[1]  One of those didn’t—Lil Nas X.  And there was one massive omission—Charley Pride.  The most likely explanation is the most obvious.  This guy doesn’t know who Charley Pride is because he doesn’t really know shit about country music and is lying to make a cheap point.

When called on it, he responded flippantly.  I could argue here that if you expect any credibility in arguing country music[2] that you need to get your facts right.  He might perhaps argue in return that his cause[3] is more important than getting it right about Mr. Pride.  But those are utilitarian arguments.  I’m not interested in making utilitarian arguments.  In Kantian terms, Mr. Pride has the right to be treated as an end, not as a means.  In Christian terms, he is inherently deserving of dignity as a human being created in God’s image.  He is a man, not a tool in your box of arguments.

So fuck that hack.  Let’s listen to some damn fine music.

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