This famous Hank William’s hit from the 50’s was adapted from another tune of the same name originally written by legendary composer Cole Porter in 1942. As the story goes, William’s friend/musician Jimmy Dickens was in need of a hit so Hank Williams took it upon himself to write him a tune. Apparently he wrote the 1951 version in only 20 minutes while on a plane ride with Dickens, the infamous Minnie Pearl and her husband Henry Cannon. Hank Williams ended up recording the tune himself and if what I read is true he jokingly told Dickens “This song is too good for you”! The rest is history.
Loaded with amusing double entendres using cooking phrases to refer to the game of flirtation, the song became a big country music hit and it is still a classic country favourite.
Hey Good Lookin’ has been performed by a variety of musicians including Roy Orbison, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. In my classes, I like to use a Hank William’s recording because you can feel all that emotion from the man who actually wrote the song as he plays and sings it. This tune provides a nice musical contrast to the styles that seem to dominate 50’s music playlists.