Rare Home Movie Footage of Hank Williams, Carter Family, and More Discovered

Reelin' In The Years Productions, the world's largest music footage library has uncovered a 30-minute film of home movies from the 1950s featuring the legendary Hank Williams Sr. along with Marty Robbins, the Carter Family, Merle Travis, Lefty Frizell, Hank Snow, Maddox Bothers & Rose, Bill Monroe and a host of others.

These images, shot in pristine 16mm color film, capture these classic artists in performance and in rare candid moments. Highlights include Hank Williams singing at a disc jockey convention in Nashville, Marty Robbins playing guitar on a front lawn, Kitty Wells standing in front of her tour car and Merle Travis preparing to board a small plane.

This newly recovered footage was shot by John Banks, part owner of radio station KRDU in Dinuba, CA while these artists were at the station and his home. In addition to filming these artists in California, Banks took his 16mm camera to Nashville and captured many artists backstage during a convention of disc jockeys held in the early 1950s.

"There exists precious little footage of many of these artists shot so early in their careers," notes David Peck, President of Reelin' In The Years Productions. "To now have pristine color film documenting Hank Williams just a few short years before his untimely death, is thrilling. This is an important piece of country music history." The forgotten original 16mm color films had been in the garage of Banks' widow Bernice until their recent discovery.

The film has now been restored and transferred directly to digital format, highlighting the richness of depth and color that 16mm film offered. Another recent discovery by Reelin' In The Years is 50 minutes of home movies from the Louisiana Hayride in the late 50s and early 60s featuring color 8mm footage of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Ray Price, Faron Young and Hawkshaw Hawkins among others.

In addition to having the world largest library of music footage (over 10,000 hours), Reelin' In The Years has produced over 55 commercially released DVDs, garnering them a Grammy nomination, platinum and gold awards and rave reviews. Earlier this week, the company released a five volume British Invasion DVD box set chronicling the music and careers of Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits, Small Faces and Gerry & The Pacemakers. A second series of British Invasion DVDs is expected in the fall of 2010.


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