On This Day: Hank Williams Records 3 Hits in First-Ever Recording Session in 1946

by Jennifer Shea
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On Dec. 11, 1946, country star Hank Williams recorded three hit songs in his first studio recording session ever. He recorded them for Sterling Records at Castle Recording Company’s Studio D in Nashville.

Williams Records Hits in One Session

The songs were “Calling You,” “Never Again (Will I Knock on Your Door)” and “Wealth Won’t Save Your Soul.” Williams also recorded “When God Comes and Gathers His Jewels” at that session.

“One session, $90 for four sides including ‘Never Again Will I Knock ON Your Door,'” Williams told Ralph Gleason for Rolling Stone of his breakout recording session.

But Williams was reportedly not happy with Sterling. So Williams’ manager Fred Rose purchased the Sterling masters and signed him to MGM Records.

Williams went on to produce a string of hit records for MGM.

The Singer on Songwriting

“A good song is a good song,” Williams told Rolling Stone. “And if I’m lucky enough to write it, well…! I get more kick out of writing than I do singing. I reckon I’ve written a thousand songs and had over 300 published.”

The country singer said he judged songs by their lyrics. And he found it impossible to predict which songs would turn out to be hits.

“I don’t say I ever write for popularity,” Williams said. “I check a song by its lyrics. A song ain’t nothin’ in the world but a story just wrote with music to it. I can’t sing ‘Rag Mop’ or ‘Mairzy Doats.’ But the best way for me to get a hit is to do something I don’t like. I’ve been offered some of the biggest songs to sing and turned them down.”

“There ain’t nobody can pick songs,” he added. “Because I say it’s good, don’t mean it’ll sell.”

Williams died at age 29 after developing an alcohol and morphine habit. He was in the backseat of a car on the way to a concert venue when he passed, according to Biography.com. He was survived by his ex-wife and son, Hank Williams Jr

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