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Hank Williams receives Pulitzer Prize

Monday, April 12, 2010 – More than half a century after his death, Hank Williams won a Pulitzer Prize.

Williams received the Special Citation honor Monday for his lifetime achievement as a musician when the Pulitzers for 2010 were announced by Columbia University.

The citation praises Williams for "his craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life."

The Board, chaired by Anders Gyllenhaal, executive editor of the Miami Herald, made the award after a confidential survey of experts in popular music. "The citation, above all, recognizes the lasting impact of Williams as a creative force that influenced a wide range of other musicians and performers," said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. "At the same time, the award highlights the Board's desire to broaden its Music Prize and recognize the full range of musical excellence that might not have been considered in the past."

In recent years, the board awarded several other Special Citations in music: jazz composers Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane in 2006 and 2007 and to composer and singer Bob Dylan in 2008.

Williams, who died in 1953 at age 29, was noted for writing and singing songs that reflected the hopes and struggles of everyday Americans, and his compositional skill and fusion of genres, experts say, became the measure by which country music is judged. Among his most famous songs are the standards Your Cheatin' Heart, Cold Cold Heart, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and Jambalaya.

More news for Hank Williams

CD reviews for Hank Williams

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams CD review - The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams
"The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams" is a great story before you even start playing the music. Williams, according to the story, used to write down his lyric ideas in notebooks. When he died, there were four notebooks of unreleased or unperformed songs. Over the years, the notebooks remained in the possession of Williams' publishers Acuff-Rose and few knew of them. One who did, however, was longtime Nashville executive Mary Martin, who shepherded this project to its eventual light-of-day. »»»
Revealed The Unreleased Recordings CD review - Revealed The Unreleased Recordings
After his death in 1953, Hank Williams, became less a performer than a post-mortem brand name wherein his basic personality as an artist was increasingly downplayed and diminished. This remarkably enjoyable three-CD set, drawn from warmly remastered acetates - featuring occasional surface noise - of the old Mother's Best radio show, showcases much of that nearly lost essence. Supported by his regular collaborators the Drifting Cowboys, Williams brings surprising drive to live renditions his »»»
The Unreleased Hank Williams CD review - The Unreleased Hank Williams
Today it would be unthinkable that one of country music's current superstars would make live recordings to be aired on one commercial radio station on an almost daily basis. But the world of Hank Williams in 1951 was quite different than anything in the genre today. Fortunately through some legal battles Hank's daughter Jett came into possession of recordings made by her father for WSM in that year, and the highlights are in this three-disc set. The programs were aired at 7:15 a.m. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: 19 years later, Harris returns with "Wrecking Ball" – At one point, Emmylou Harris told the crowd that she could not believe it had been 19 years since she released "Wrecking Ball." That was most understandable because based on this concert tour devoted towards playing the left of center atmospheric disc, the song bird has hardly missed a beat. Harris' label, Nonesuch, just released a... »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name – Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
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