I never knew I needed Lukas Nelson to cover Hank Williams until today.
Lukas shared an awesome cover over on Instagram singing Hank’s iconic song “Lovesick Blues,” and of course, he brings his own signature sound to it with some absolutely fantastic vocals.
The song was originally composed by Cliff Friend, with lyrics by Irving Mills, under Tin Pan Alley publishing. It first appeared in the 1922 musical “Oh, Ernest”, and was recorded that year by Elsie Clark.
Emmett Miller and Rex Griffin recorded it for themselves in 1925 and 1939, respectively, and those are the recordings that first inspired inspired Hank to perform it during his first appearances on the Louisiana Hayride radio show in 1948.
And because the audience was so receptive to Hank’s rendition, he decided to cut it in the studio, at the behest of his producer Fred Rose (and some of his band members).
Released in February of 1949 as a single, it became an instant hit, shooting to the top spot of the Billboard Top Country & Western singles chart.
And of course, because it was such a big hit and spent so long at the top of the charts (and was one of the most-played songs on jukebox’s across America) it became Hank’s signature song, and is a country classic and standard by all accounts still today.
Do yourself a favor and check out Lukas’ rendition… it’s a great cover of an all-time classic, with a bit of a modern touch and style, and I absolutely love it.
Of course, Hank’s version is Hank’s version, and no one can ever recreate that, but in my humble opinion, this is how you should cover a Hank Williams song:
“‘Lovesick Blues” / Hank Williams.”