Half as Much – 1952

Rosemary Clooney recorded a hit version

“Half as Much” is an American pop standard written by Curley Williams in 1951. It was first recorded by country music singer Hank Williams in 1952 and reached #2 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. The same year, Rosemary Clooney recorded a hit version for Top 40 markets; Alma Cogan recorded another version in the United Kingdom. Since then the song has been recorded by a number of artists including Patsy Cline (1962), Ray Charles (1962), Eddy Arnold (1964), Sharon Redd (1967), Petula Clark (1974), Emmylou Harris (1992), Cake (1998), and Van Morrison (2006)

According to the 2004 book Hank Williams: The Biography, Williams was not too enamoured with “Half as Much” and only recorded it at producer Fred Rose’s insistence. Williams recorded it at a session at Castle Studio in Nashville on August 10, 1951. He was backed by Jerry Rivers (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Sammy Pruett (lead guitar), Howard Watts (bass), probably Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), and either Owen Bradley or Fred Rose on piano. “Half as Much” is notable for being the only Hank Williams recording to feature a solo barroom piano at its conclusion. Two months after Williams recorded “Half as Much,” Curly Williams recorded it for Columbia Records, so Rose held back Hank’s release until March 28, 1952 to clear the way for Curley’s release on November 2, 1951.