Hank Williams recorded this classic song in 1949. Elvis Presley thought that it was probably the saddest song he’d ever heard. Bob Dylan wrote: “I didn’t have to experience anything that Hank did to know what he was singing about. I’d never heard a robin weep, but could imagine it and it made me sad.”
Songwriter Harlan Howard coined the phrase “Three chords and the truth” to describe the necessary ingredients for country and western music, alluding to the familiar simplicity of country music and the paramount importance of the truth of the story. Hank Williams wrote this song with only three chords (I-IV-V) but my arrangement was inspired by Leon Russell’s recording which subtlely reharmonizes the song with some extra chords. Because of the importance of the lyrics, I’ve decided to sing this one – a rarity because I do not consider myself much of a vocalist. And be sure to listen for the lonely whippoorwill chirping at the end!
I’d like to dedicate this performance to Michael and Fred, my friends in Nashville. Thanks again to Michael for taking me to the church of country music, the Ryman Auditorium for the first time. Thanks to Fred for requesting this song. (Maybe he was suggesting that I write a song like “Im So Lonesome I Could Cry”, but this cover version will have to do for now. You really get into the mood of songwriting in Nashville – it seems that almost everyone is a songwriter there!)
Anyway, here you go, partner! Enjoy!
Some information from Wikipedia
Bosendorfer piano sound – For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I’ve ever owned!!
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