“I Saw the Light” is a country gospel song written by Hank Williams. Williams was inspired to write the song while returning from a concert by a remark his mother made while they were arriving in Montgomery, Alabama. He recorded the song during his first session for MGM Records, and released in September 1948. Williams’ version did not enjoy major success during its initial release, but eventually it became one of his most popular songs and the closing number for his live shows. It was soon covered by other acts, and has become a country gospel standard.
In September 1946, Hank Williams auditioned for Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry but was rejected. After the failure of his audition, Williams and his wife Audrey tried to interest the recently formed music publishing firm Acuff-Rose Music. Williams and his wife approached Fred Rose, who signed him to a six-song contract, and leveraged a deal with Sterling Records. In December 1946, Williams had his first recording session. The songs “Never Again” and “Honky Tonkin'” became successful, and earned Williams the attention of MGM Records. His first MGM session took place on April 21, 1947. The first song he recorded was “Move It on Over”. The second was “I Saw the Light”.
B-side “Six More Miles (To the Graveyard)”
Released September 1948
Recorded April 21, 1947
Genre Country, gospel
Songwriter(s) Hank Williams
Producer(s) Fred Rose