The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

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The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams.jpg
Studio album by Various
Released October 4, 2011 (2011-10-04)
Genre Country
Length 36:51
Label Columbia, Third Man

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams is a 2011 album by folk, country, and rock artists who set music to lyrics by country musician Hank Williams. The album was released on October 4, 2011.


Williams died suddenly in 1953 at the age of 29 while traveling to his next scheduled concert on New Years Day in Canton, Ohio.[1] Inside his Cadillac, the police found the unfinished handwritten lyrics to songs that Williams had never recorded.[2]

In 2006, a janitor working for Sony/ATV Music Publishing claimed to have found Williams' unfinished lyrics inside a Sony-owned dumpster. She said that she had sold Williams' notes to a representative of the Honky-Tonk Hall of Fame and the Rock-N-Roll Roadshow. She was then accused of theft, but the charges were dropped when a judge determined the janitor's version of events to be true. The unfinished lyrics were later returned to Sony/ATV, which handed them to Bob Dylan in 2008 to complete the songs for an album release. Dylan completed one song; others were completed by Alan Jackson, Norah Jones, Jack White, Lucinda Williams, Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Holly Williams, Levon Helm, Jakob Dylan, Sheryl Crow and Merle Haggard.[3]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (76/100)[4]
Review scores
Source Rating
The Observer Favorable[5]
Entertainment Weekly B+[6]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[7]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[8]

Neil Spencer in The Observer wrote, "The air of reverence hangs heavily, with Williams's droll humour and proto-rockabilly style largely absent [...] An entertaining exercise, though of Hank's celebrated yodel there is, alas, no sign."[5] Entertainment Weekly described the artist performances as "original melodies, some too wan for the strength of the lyrics, which range from the deeply romantic to the corrosively aggressive."[6]

The Daily Telegraph rated the album four stars out of five with a favorable review, saying, "It is rare that any posthumous release becomes an essential part of an artist’s canon, and the very simplicity of Williams’s oeuvre mitigates against declaring classic status for lovingly crafted yet essentially minor songs. But the album is a beauty, none the less, the care put into it confirming Williams’s exalted position in the tower of song".[7] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying that the artists selected "treat it with respect but not undue reverence, something that unites all the artists here", and called it "something real, imperfect, and resonant".[8]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Artist Length
1. "You've Been Lonesome, Too" Alan Jackson 3:24
2. "The Love That Faded" Bob Dylan 2:32
3. "How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart?" Gillian Welch, Norah Jones 3:33
4. "You Know That I Know" Jack White 3:54
5. "I'm So Happy I Found You" Lucinda Williams 3:54
6. "I Hope You Shed a Million Tears" Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill 4:01
7. "You're Through Fooling Me" Patty Loveless 2:06
8. "You'll Never Again Be Mine" Levon Helm 3:11
9. "Blue Is My Heart" Holly Williams (with Hank Williams, Jr.; uncredited) 2:44
10. "Oh, Mama, Come Home" Jakob Dylan 2:27
11. "Angel Mine" Sheryl Crow 3:37
12. "The Sermon on the Mount" Merle Haggard 2:08

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[9] 11
U.S. Billboard 200[9] 42


  1. ^ Koon, George William p.77
  2. ^ Koon, George William p.79
  3. ^ Flippo, Chet (August 25, 2011). "Nashville Skyline: Hank Williams' Life After Death". Country Music Television. MTV Networks. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
    - "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams to be released in October". Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams". MetaCritic. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Spencer, Neil (October 2, 2011). "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams – review". The Observer. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (October 4, 2011). "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b McCormick, Neil (September 29, 2011). "Various Artists: The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, CD review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (October 4, 2011). "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams". Allmusic. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 

Cited books[edit]

  • Koon, George William (2002). Hank Williams, so lonesome. University of Mississippi press. ISBN 978-1-57806-283-6.