22/10/17 – Hank Williams With His Drifting Cowboys – The Angel Of Death – 1954

Song Of The Day

Life & Death

With Halloween and The Day Of The Dead festival approaching, the ‘Death’ theme continues.

Having left behind a timeless legacy of countless Country classics and influencing Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, Hank Williams may not have been quite ready for The Angel Of Death, dying in the back of his cadillac on the 1st January 1953, aged just 29 years old.

It was the era of 78’s and singles and at the time of his death, Williams had only made two albums, the debut Hank Williams Sings was mostly b-sides but the second Moanin’ The Blues included 3 No.1 hits, Lovesick Blues, Long Gone Lonesome Blues and Honky Tonk Blues, as the long player started it’s ascent.

The Angel Of Death seems to be one of the posthumous Williams single releases and there’s little information about it. It looks like it was released in November 1954 (MGM 11861) and was backed with (I’m Gonna) Sing, Sing, Sing. There’s two versions, one with the Drifting Cowboys and one with just voice and guitar. I’m sure there’s some Williams experts out there that could tell me more about this song.

Country music features little here, more because of time than desire and tonight’s playlist in the archive consisted of Hank, Waylon Jennings, Wanda Jackson, Bobbie Gentry and Jeannie C. Riley. It’s an acquired taste and whether you can get into this style from the fifties and the sixties or whether the more contemporary Alt Country is your thing, don’t let the word ‘Country’ put you off – quality lurks everywhere.

In the great book of John
You’re warned of the day
When you’ll be laid
Beneath the cold clay

The Angel of Death
Will come from the sky
And claim your poor soul
When the time comes to die

When the Angel of Death
Comes down after you
Can you smile and say
That you have been true

Can you truthfully say
With your dying breath
That you’re ready to meet
The Angel of Death

When the lights all grow dim
And the dark shadows creep
And then your loved ones
Are gathered to weep

Can you face them and say
With your dying breath
That you’re ready to meet
The Angel of Death

When the Angel of Death
Comes down after you
Can you smile and say
That you have been true

Can you truthfully say
With your dying breath
That you’re ready to meet
The Angel of Death

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Williams

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Williams_discography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drifting_Cowboys

http://www.angelfire.com/country/hanksr/death.htm

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2 Responses to “22/10/17 – Hank Williams With His Drifting Cowboys – The Angel Of Death – 1954”

  1. KLeigh October 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    How is that for some truth…..might want to take to Heart!

  2. delay plus chorus October 27, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    This old-school country is classic! And “alt-country” is generally pretty good. Basically everything from the 1920s-1970s, and selected acts since then, you can’t go wrong. Cowboy Junkies, Long Ryders, Lucinda Williams, the country side of X … all great.

    It’s the “new country” of the 1990s forward, high-dollar acts that are mostly a celebration of the former Confederate states, ignorance, and reactionary politics, that is hideous.

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