Health, Happiness, and Hank Williams

Hank Williams’ Health & Happiness radio program was sponsored by Hadacol, said to cure epilepsy, heart trouble, stroke, weak spells, and insomnia. Newspapers ads for the alcohol-heavy product including the line, “It used to be I couldn’t sleep with my wife because she tossed and turned all night. She started taking Hadacol and now anyone can sleep with her.”

Sep 26, 2019

| Saving Country Music – If you have a hankering for Hank and haven’t received your fill of music from the Hillbilly Shakespeare over the years, you’re in luck.

BMG is getting ready to release a rare collection of Hank Williams archive material made in October of 1949 called The Complete Health & Happiness Recordings.

The 2 CD, 3 vinyl collection is compiled from a short-lived radio show Hank Williams and his Drifting Cowboys recorded at the studios of WSM called the Health & Happiness Show. It will be released June 14th.

The Health & Happiness shows were recorded directly to acetate, which were then duplicated onto 16-inch vinyl discs that would be distributed to radio stations throughout the country.

This is a cohesive release with all of the material presented unabridged like the shows were played, including WSM DJ Grant Turner’s introductions, and Audrey’s notoriously poor singing. This gives you more than just music, but insight into the history of Hank Williams.

These new recordings have been freshly transferred, restored and mastered for this new release, with extensive liner notes from well-known Hank Williams biographer, Colin Escott.

Hadacol was a health elixir created by Louisiana state senator Dudley LeBlanc, and was heavily marketed across the country in the late 40’s on radio programs and the Hadacol Caravan Tour through stars like Hank Williams and Bob Hope.

The Hadacol craze came to a screeching halt in 1951 amid federal investigations and accusations of fraud, but the recording Hank Williams made remains a treasure of country music’s first superstar. Read more. 

 

The Highwomen | IMAGE: NPR/Alysse Gafkjen/Courtesy of the artist

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