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Update No. 4 on the Hank Unreleased Recordings (aka Mother's Best)

ATTENTION HANK/COUNTRY MUSIC FANS - Colin Escott graciously provided the following information on the forthcoming releases (Thanks much Colin). In particular note the Reader's Digest reference. I received some information on this yesterday. I was advised that the Reader's Digest version is obtainable thru the Reader's Digest sweepstakes/mail order and I am attempting to get a copy of that sweepstakes - some info on this coming as Update No. 5. If any of you knows more about the "Barjan" outlets do let me know.
Robert Ackerman
Palmer, Alaska

----- Original Message -----
From: Colin Escottt
To: Robert HANK Ackerman
Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 11:05 AM
Robert: here is the full info on the Mother's Best releases.
The basic 3-CD edition includes 54 songs. There is SOME chatter, but the feeling was that, for a general audience, the chatter was interesting once or twice while the music bears repeated listening. The chatter was included if it was felt to be very interesting (eg when Hank explains that "I Can't Help It" had never been heard before by anyone) or if the chatter came over the musical intro or outro. There are no complete shows. The official release date is 10/28/08.

The 3-CD set is augmented with a DVD for a Sam's Club exclusive. The DVD features a series of conversations totaling 45 minutes between Jett, Don Helms (his last ever interview), Big Bill Lister, and WSM engineer Glenn Snoddy. The segs in which Jett talks with Don and Big Bill one-on-one are very moving.

The basic 3-CD set is augmented with a 4th disc for Reader's Digest mail order. The 4th disc includes three complete shows.

The Walmart single CD features 15 songs from the 3-CD set, plus a bonus track of Hank and Louie Buck talking.

Barjan is a truck stop jobber. The set for them features 12 gospel songs, one of which, "I'll Fly Away," isn't available elsewhere.

Now I realize that cassettes of the Mother's Best shows have been making the rounds among fans for some years, but I think everyone will be astonished at the sound on these releases. Back in 1981 when the shows were 30 years old, Bob Pinson arranged for them to be transferred to tape at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Those transfers have never been heard from that day to this. Time-Life acquired those transfers and then gave them to Joe Palmaccio, who engineered the 10-CD Mercury/Polygram set. Joe carefully applied noise-reduction technology in such a way that the presence is unimpaired. These truly sound infinitely better than the MGM studio recordings because the studio recordings were made to acetate and transferred to tape. After transfer, MGM applied compressors, limiters, and filters that robbed the sound of a great deal of presence. The Mother's Best recordings were made direct-to-disc.

There is still a plan to release all of the Mother's Best recordings in a comprehensive edition at some point to be determined between Time-Life and Jett & Keith, but the date has not been fixed. It certainly will not be in the foreseeable future.

Hope this clarifies things a little.

--Colin Escott

Click HERE For information about the HANK FAN MAILING LIST &
Robert Ackerman's combined songwriting efforts
with Dustin Hunt and Jim Murphy.
Of Special Note: "Hank's Old Scratched Record"

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