During Hank's career television was a new invention and just working its way into homes across the nation. This is the reason Hank Williams footage is so rare and treasured by his many fans and collectors. The only widely circulated footage among collectors is the Kate Smith Shows. Two one hour programs featuring Hank Williams and other Opry stars. The others are either lost, not found or in private collections.
Listed here are television performances we know for a fact took place. I've heard many rumors about different footage that supposedly exists and It is very possible that Hank appeared on various other programs throughout the early 50's, but the only ones listed here are the ones I have evidence of existing.
The Perry Como Show - November 14, 1951
On November 14th, Hank appeared on the Perry Como Show. The kinescope for this show has never surfaced, however, I for one am convinced by evidence such as still shots like the one seen here that it does exist. Hank sang only one song which was "Hey Good Lookin'". The following week, Perry Como opened his show by doing his own version of "Hey Good Lookin'" and then apologized to Hank for doing so.
The Kate Smith Evening Hour - March 26, 1952
Hank first appeared on 'The Kate Smith Evening Hour" on March 26, 1952. He performed "Hey Good Lookin'" and joined in with the rest of the cast singing his own "I Saw The Light". The Kinescope from this show would provide the footage for the "There's A Tear In My Beer" video some 37 years later.
The Kate Smith Evening Hour - April 23, 1952
The March 26th show was a hit with the shows viewers. The producers of "The Kate Smith Hour" asked Hank and the rest of the Opry cast to return on April 23, 1952. This time hank performed "Cold, Cold Heart" and joined Anita Carter in sining his own "I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You" At the end of the show, the entire cast performed "Glory Bound Train" This would be Hank's final televised appearance.
WSM-TV - Unknown Dates
At some point during the early 1950's Hank appeared on WSM-TV but I am told this footage was destroyed by a flood in Nashville sometime in the early 80's. But there hopefully there might be copies somewhere. The picture to the left was taken in the early '50's at Studio C during a TV telecast at WSM. Left to right: Don Helms (seated), Howard Watts, Jerry Rivers, Audrey, Hank, Sammy Pruitt and WSM announcer Louie Buck.
Miscellaneous Video Footage
There are also some home movies of Hank where he is singing with Ernest Tubb at his home and showing off his collection of Cadillacs. This footage is stored in the vaults of the Country Music Hall of Fame and can be viewed if you set up an appointment with them to do so. Parts of it have been seen on various documentaries made over the years.
There is some footage of Hank performing at the Louisiana Hayride, probably sometime in 1952 after his departure from the Opry. A five second clip of this was seen on the 1999 TNN special "Rockin' The Roadhouse". They played no sound with the clip so it is unknown if there actually is any audio to go along with it. How much footage of this show actually exists and who owns it reamin unknown.
Along the same lines, there is home video footage of Hank's funeral. This is privately owned and last I heard the owner was trying to sell it to Polygram.