Sunday, January 1, 1978

25 years ago: Hank Williams died; memorialized with 40 Greatest Hits

First posted 4/7/2008; updated 12/4/2020.

40 Greatest Hits

Hank Williams

Released: 1978

Recorded: May 1947 – July 1953

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: country

Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Move It on Over (8/9/47, 4 CW)
  2. A Mansion on the Hill (3/5/49, 12 CW)
  3. Lovesick Blues (3/5/49, 1 CW, 24 US, sales: 1.0 m)
  4. Wedding Bells (5/14/49, 2 CW)
  5. Mind Your Own Business (7/23/49, 5 CW)
  6. You’re Gonna Change or I’m Gonna Leave (10/1/49, 4 CW)
  7. Lost Highway (10/1/49, 12 CW)
  8. My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It (11/26/49, 2 CW)
  9. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (11/26/49, 43 CW)
  10. I Just Don’t Like This Kind of Livin’ (2/18/50, 5 CW)
  11. Long Gone Lonesome Blues (3/25/50, 1 CW)
  12. My Son Calls Another Man Daddy (3/25/50, 9 CW)
  13. Why Don’t You Love Me (5/27/50, 1 CW)
  14. Why Should We Try Anymore (10/7/50, 9 CW)
  15. They’ll Never Take Her Love from Me (10/7/50, 5 CW)
  16. Moanin’ the Blues (11/18/50, 1 CW)
  17. Nobody’s Lonesome for Me (11/18/50, 9 CW)
  18. Cold, Cold Heart (3/3/51, 1 CW, 27 US)
  19. Dear John (3/3/51, 8 CW)
  20. Howlin’ at the Moon (5/26/51, 3 CW)

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. I Can’t Help It if I’m Still in Love with You (5/26/51, 2 CW)
  2. Hey, Good Lookin’ (7/14/51, 1 CW, 29 US, sales: 1.0 m)
  3. Crazy Heart (10/20/51, 4 CW)
  4. I Heard That Lonesome Whistle (10/20/51, 9 CW)
  5. Baby, We’re Really in Love (12/22/51, 4 CW)
  6. Ramblin’ Man
  7. Honky Tonk Blues (3/1/52, 2 CW)
  8. I’m Sorry for You My Friend
  9. Half As Much (5/3/52, 2 CW)
  10. Jambalaya on the Bayou (8/16/52, 1 CW, 20 US, sales: 1.0 m)
  11. Window Shopping
  12. Settin’ the Woods on Fire (10/11/52, 2 CW)
  13. You Win Again (10/11/52, 10 CW)
  14. I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive (12/20/52, 1 CW)
  15. Kaw-Liga (2/21/53, 1 CW, 23 US, sales: 1.0 m)
  16. Your Cheatin’ Heart (2/21/53: B-side of “Kaw-Liga,” 1 CW, 25 US, sales: 1.0 m)
  17. Take These Chains from My Heart (5/16/53, 1 CW)
  18. I Won’t Be Home No More (7/25/53, 4 CW)
  19. Weary Blues from Waitin’ (10/10/53, 7 CW)
  20. I Saw the Light

Total Running Time: 106:59


4.582 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Quotable: “If you care about country music, you need some Hank Williams in your collection, and there isn’t a better introduction…than 40 Greatest Hits.” MD

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Country legend Hank “Williams lived fast and worked fast, too, recording relentlessly from 1947 until his alcohol-related death in 1953. This compilation shows how craft transcended the demon booze. Of these 40 hits, more than a quarter topped the country charts.” BL

“Williams’ body of work is so large and has been repackaged so many times in so many forms that the notion of creating a definitive compilation almost seems like an impossible goal. However, as a one-stop shopping place for Hank’s basic repertoire, 40 Greatest Hits is as good as it gets.” MD This two-record compilation was released in 1978 by Mercury Records to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Williams’ death. WK

“Practically every memorable hit is here, and thankfully every cut appears in its original form (that means in mono, with no string overdubs or artificial duets with his family members).” MD It actually marked the “the first anthology in quite some time that did not subject Williams’ recordings to either rechanneled stereo, posthumous overdubs, artificial duets with family members (like his son Hank Jr.), or most or all of the above.” WK

“Because of both this major fact, and the value-for-money attraction of having a deeper song selection than previous single-disc compilations issued previously by MGM Records, many reviewers consider this anthology to be the perfect starting point for newcomers to Williams’ recorded legacy.” WK

“The track sequence subtly reflects the arc of Williams’ short but vitally important career, and there’s enough good music and great songs here to make a fan of anyone with even a passing interest in American music. If you care about country music, you need some Hank Williams in your collection, and there isn’t a better introduction to his rich body of work on the market than 40 Greatest Hits; begin here, then start exploring.” MD

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