40 Greatest Hits
By James Calemine
"When the lights all grow dim
And the dark shadows creep
And the ones who love you
Are gathered to weep
Can you truly say with your dying breath
You're ready to meet the angel of death?"
"Angel of Death"
40 Greatest Hits stands as a fine representation of Hank Williams' everlasting songwriting. Born September 17, 1923, in Mount Olive, Alabama, Williams holds the eternal crown as the King of Country Music. During his lifetime, his success became overshadowed by his drinking, health and women problems that led him to an early grave.
Williams' musical style encompassed gospel, blues and country. Across the land he became lauded as the "Hillbilly Shakespeare". His initmitable songs, sang in the plain language of common country-folk, illuminated a struggle of the human spirit, forever preserving his legacy.
This 2-CD collection spans Hank's career chronologically including every hit such as "Move It On Over", "Lovesick Blues" "Lost Highway", "Cold Cold Heart", "Lonesome Whistle", "Ramblin' Man", "Honky Tonk Blues", "Jambalaya", "You Win Again" and "I Saw the Light" among others.
It's essential to mention, this 40 Greatest Hits was what fans wanted to hear. Williams' Luke The Drifter recordings--portray a polar opposite to the Greatest Hits since Luke The Drifter found him reciting gospel lyrics, stories and parables behind only a church organ. Those Drifter sessions reflected his spiritual convictions that his hard-drinking, womanizing reputation outweighed.
Williams died on New Year's Day, 1953, in the backseat of his powder blue Cadillac at the age of 29, on the way to a show in Canton, Ohio. These 40 Greatest Hits serve as the backbone to country music.