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Friends, I just received an advance copy of the latest treasure from the Richard Weize Archives (the RWA label.) It’s called The Blues According to Hank Williams. He’s the guy that is behind the amazingly unbelievable Bear Family records, who have done more to preserve vintage American Hillbilly music than anyone else… and they’re German! Now they have brought the meticulous curation and attention to detail to showcasing Hank Williams, Sr.’s influence on the African American artists that survived Hank’s death in 1953. I think by now you can guess that I love this effort; short summary, it’s brilliant.

SO… On October 1st I will share with the Dixie Bee Line’s audience a wide sample of Hank Sr. covers by popular African American artists, more or less from the 10 years following Hank’s death. Now, these weren’t all big hits, these covers. But some were chart hits, and some weren’t. But all are excellently performed and recorded. More than that, they show the universality of Hank Williams’ message. Hank was “crossing over” genres when that really wasn’t all that common. And although waning, the practice of restricting African American artists to the category of “race record” was still going strong. Heck, white performers were still performing in black-face.

This is all to say I’m pretty darn excited about this record, and can’t wait to share it with you. You can get a peek at the selection below, and enjoy some pictures of the artists at play. See if you can pick out Louie “Satchmo” Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Piano Red, and Fats Domino. Doing Hank songs!!

collage of images including a Hank Williams caricature, a Vernon Harrel record, and Dinah Washington

Please join me Saturday Oct. 1st, 2022 (or any Saturday, frankly) and we’ll explore! Listen to the Dixie Bee Line any Saturday night at 9pm Eastern, right after Holly Harris Spins the Blues… 91.9fm in New England, or stream live at WUMB.org anywhere… and if you miss it, please visit the “Weekend Archives” at wumb.org and click on the Dixie Bee Line for that date.

Happy September!! The most wonderful month of the year.

With love,

~ Jon G.
ps: Write to me! Jon.gersh@umb.edu