Hank Williams 'Garden Spot' recordings to be released
Two dozen long-lost Hank Williams performances will â€śsee the lightâ€ť next month, when Omnivore Recordings releases The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, a collection of cuts from an obscure Iowa-based radio show that first aired more than 64 years ago.
The album will be released digitally, as well as on CD and vinyl, on May 20. Among the 24 tracks are versions of â€śA Mansion on the Hill,â€ť â€śIâ€™ve Just Told Mama Goodbye,â€ť and â€śI Donâ€™t Care (If Tomorrow Never Comes).â€ť
The Williams recordings were originally heard in February 1950,over the course of four episodes of The Garden Spot, a show that aired on KSIB-AM in Creston, Iowa and was sponsored by national nursery chain Naughton Farms.
Williamsâ€™ appearance on the show, however, came from pre-recorded material sent from Nashville, according to Williamsâ€™ biographer Colin Escott.
â€śCountry radio was beginning its slow transition from live music to DJ shows,â€ť Escott writes in the CD liner notes. â€śLive music and DJ shows were augmented by transcribed shows. After buying 15 minutes of airtime on small-market stations, sponsors would prerecord shows with well known artists, duplicate them, and ship them out on 12 or 16-inch transcribed discs.â€ť
The same Williams recordings were likely sent to dozens of small-market radio stations, adds Escott, but only KSIBâ€™s copies are known to have survived.
The recordings were transferred, restored and mastered from original transcription discs by engineer Michael Graves. The CD package will include rare photos from Escottâ€™s personal collection; the LP will offer a limited-edition first pressing on translucent red vinyl, with black vinyl to follow.
Williamsâ€™ daughter Jett says sheâ€™s â€śespecially pleasedâ€ť the Garden Spot release will include vinyl.
â€śItâ€™s incredible to me that weâ€™re still finding new recordings by my dad--great ones at that,â€ť says Jett Williams. â€śNo one even suspected that these recordings existed.â€ť
For more information, visit omnivorerecordings.com.
Check out the above video, put together in 1998, featuring Williams performing â€śCold, Cold Heart.â€ť