Hey Good Lookin'

Written by Hank WilliamsUnreleased song

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Hey, Good Lookin'” is a 1951 song written and recorded by Hank Williams, and his version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2003, CMT voted the Hank Williams version #19 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs of Country Music. Since its original 1951 recording it has been covered by a variety of artists.

Background

The Hank Williams song “borrowed heavily” from the 1942 song with the same title written by Cole Porter. The lyrics for the Williams version begin as a come on using double entendres related to food preparation (“How’s about cookin’ somethin’ up with me?”). By the third and fourth verses, the singer is promising the object of his affection that they can become an exclusive couple (“How’s about keepin’ steady company?” and “I’m gonna throw my date book over the fence”).

Williams was friendly with musician Jimmy Dickens. Having told Dickens that Dickens needed a hit record if he was going to become a star, Williams said he’d write it, and penned “Hey Good Lookin'” in only 20 minutes while on a plane with Dickens, Minnie Pearl, and Pearl’s husband Henry Cannon. A week later Williams recorded it himself, jokingly telling Dickens, “That song’s too good for you!”

“Hey, Good Lookin'” was recorded on March 16, 1951, at Castle Studio in Nashville. The same session also produced the single’s B-side “My Heart Would Know” as well as another pair of tunes that would be released as singles: “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)” and “Howlin’ at the Moon”, released on April 27, 1951. The “Hey, Good Lookin'” single would follow on June 22. Williams was backed on the session by members of his Drifting Cowboys band, including Jerry Rivers (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Sammy Pruett (electric guitar), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), Ernie Newton or “Cedric Rainwater”, aka Howard Watts (bass), and either Owen Bradley or producer Fred Rose on piano. As author Colin Escott observes, “On one level, it seemed to point toward rock ‘n’ roll (hot rods, dancing sprees, goin’ steady, and soda pop), but the rhythm plodded along with a steppity-step piano, and Hank sounded almost dour.”

Williams performed the song on the Kate Smith Evening Hour on March 26, 1952; the appearance remains one of the few existing film clips of the singer performing live. He is introduced by Roy Acuff and banters with a young June Carter. He is wearing his famous white cowboy suit adorned in musical notes. He performed “Hey, Good Lookin'” and joined in with the rest of the cast singing his own “I Saw The Light”. The rare clip displays the singer’s exuberance on stage while performing an up-tempo number, and he appears at ease in the relatively new broadcast medium of television. The kinescope from this show would provide the footage for the Hank Williams Jr. video “There’s A Tear In My Beer” some 37 years later. […]

Bootlegs


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 31th, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:57 • Rehearsal • Jan.31 - D1-04 - Hey Good Lookin' 31.03

Session Recording:
Jan 31, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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