Cover image for Hank Williams : snapshots from the lost highway
Hank Williams : snapshots from the lost highway
Escott, Colin.
Personal Author:
First Da Capo Press edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Da Capo Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
207 pages : illustrations ; 26 x 27 cm
Reading Level:
1100 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML420.W55 E82 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
ML420.W55 E82 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
ML420.W55 E82 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



He was twenty-nine years old and had recorded just eighty sessions when he died on New Year's Day 1953. Yet those songs-'Hey Good Lookin', "Your Cheatin' Heart," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"-made Hank Williams the most influential country musician ever. He is the essential pre-Elvis performer, molding American music into a new art form, and creating descendants that range from Garth Brooks to Beck. But for all that his music reveals, we know remarkably little of the man himself. His formal interviews barely filled a page, and even those who claimed him as a friend admit they barely knew him. Hank Williams fans, devoted and avid, have been cherishing the same few Hank pictures and reminiscences for decades. Now this book will reveal a previously unseen wealth of photographs, letters, interviews, and the handwritten lyrics to twenty-nine newly discovered songs in a beautifully designed tribute. Arranged chronologically and enhanced by testimonials from Hank's family, friends, andthe musicians he inspired, Hank Williams is a revelation."

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Not long before she died, the sister of archetypal country-music star Hank Williams (1923-53) met and took a liking to present-day country star Marty Stuart. Eventually, she sold Stuart her memorabilia and manuscripts concerning her brother. Escott, author of the award-winning Hank Williams: A Biography (1995), and Florita, Escott's partner in producing the multiple-award-winning 10-CD set The Complete Hank Williams, explain that only a few photos of Williams have been used and reused on recording packages and in the media and that Stuart obtained an exponentially larger number of pictures, nearly all previously unpublished. They are the meat and potatoes of the volume. What amounts to an oral biography of Williams, assembled from interviews with his associates and his own verbal legacy, accompanies them, and documents, including the handwritten lyrics to 30 unrecorded songs, also appear. Given Williams' stature as a singer-songwriter and his influence as a role model as well as a stylist upon subsequent generations of hard-country and alt-country performers, consider this album essential Americana. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Hank Williams died in the backseat of a car at age 29, he left behind grieving fans, friends and family, as well as eight guns, eight pairs of boots, 11 hats and a saddle. Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway by Colin Escott and Kira Florita gathers together just about every last piece of paper having anything do to with country music's greatest and most tragic star (hence the postmortem inventory). Much of the material is new: included in this volume are the handwritten lyrics to 30 songs never recorded or published, private family correspondence and some 150 previously unpublished photographs, including Hank's first baby photo. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Although he never made it to 30 and died nearly a half-century ago, singer/songwriter Hank Williams continues to exert tremendous influence on all spheres of popular music. The country crooner also continues to invite biographical treatment. In 1998, music historian Escott (Hank Williams: A Biography) and Florita, former marketer of the Hank Williams catalog for Mercury Records Nashville, produced the Grammy-winning, ten-CD set The Complete Hank Williams. While working on that project, they amassed a huge number of photographs, documents, and published and unpublished song lyrics. That iconography forms the basis of Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway, an appealing coffee-table book that is being cross-promoted with the tribute album, Timeless. Composed of captions by the authors and excerpts of interviews with Williams and his family and friends, the text is somewhat sparse but to the point and well written. Rick Bragg also contributes an elegant foreword. Koon's Hank Williams, So Lonesome was first published as Hank Williams: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood, 1993). This second take features expanded biographical coverage and important discussions of Williams's songs. Also significant are the author's attempts to separate the facts of Williams's life and work from the mythology of the musician and his thoughtful assessment of sources. In eliminating the reference-book qualities of the earlier Greenwood volume, Koons has made a significant contribution to Williams literature for fans and scholars. As a pair, these books nearly perfectly complement each other, but, unfortunately, neither contains a discography. In addition, the Escott and Florita volume lacks a bibliography (perfectly acceptable for a work of this kind), and the Koons book contains only a scaled-back one. Despite these shortcomings, both books avoid sensationalizing their complex subject and are highly recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with a popular culture focus. James E. Perone, Mount Union Coll., Alliance, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Rick BraggMarty Stuart
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Forewordp. 13
Prefacep. 15
Introductionp. 17
1 I Wish I Had a Dad..p. 21
2 The Wap Bluesp. 33
3 This Ain't No Place for Mep. 45
4 The 'Lovesick Blues' Boy: Spring 1948-spring 1949p. 63
5 Hilbilly Hits the Jackpot: Nashville, 1949-1951p. 89
6 I'm So Tired of It All: January-june 1952p. 145
7 Then Came That Fatal Day: June-december 1952p. 157
8 The Funeralp. 175
9 Aftermathp. 187
Creditsp. 207