The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26665   Message #322214
Posted By: Jim the Bart
18-Oct-00 - 06:43 PM
Thread Name: Luke the Drifter aka Ol' Hank Williams
Subject: RE: BS: Luke The Drifter aka 'Ol Hank Williams
"The Schyzoid Tendencies in the Country Music Singer, as Illustrated by Hank William's Luke the Drifter Recordings" ought to be the topic of some psychologists thesis. You find this popping up over and over in the country music field. The need to "testify" on Sunday after cutting loose on Saturday night seems to me at least to be a common pattern that can turn serious when the individual can't control his/her demons. After all, Luke the Drifter died along with Hank, drunk in the back of a Cadillac on the way to a New Year's Eve performance.

You need look no farther than Elvis hisself to see more evidence of how success, fame and a whole lot of money can't split a po' country boy's psyche right in half. All that womanizing and pre-scription drug abuse and yet his Gospel recordings were some of his most powerful. It seems the only recordings worth a damn by the king in his later days were of sacred songs.

The Luke recordings have real power because I think they reflect a deeply rooted need on the part of Hank Williams to justify the life he had chosen to live. Drinking, divorce, womanizing - his whole world was out of control, at least in the terms of his upbringing. Those recordings might have been a lot more than a way to maximize his record sales; maybe they were his way to save his soul.

Picture this:
A hung over, slightly dishevelled looking Hank Williams standing outside the Pearly Gates, holding a stack of "Luke the Drifter" 78's out to a frowning St. Peter and saying, "How 'bout these? Don't they count for nothin'?"