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Bulletin - February 2009
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Jules Allen -> Various Artists + Book, DVDS

 

 

NEW BOOK

 
 
PURE COUNTRY THE LEON KAGARISE ARCHIVES, 1961 Introduction & Text by Eddie Dean ● BOOK $34.95
192 pages, large format hardbound, counts as 10 CDs for shipping Leon Kagarise was an audio engineer who managed to caputure--both on tape and photograph--the great Country musicians of the 60's. Kagarise was strictly an amatuer photographer, but he managed to capture highly intimate and thoughtful images of everyone from Ernest Tubb, Skeeter Davis and The Stonemans to The Louvin Brothers, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Carl Smith - 140 color photos, all previously unpublished. It's obvious that Kagarise wasn't a pro--there's a couple of shots of June Carter from the side of the stage and one wherein her face is obscured by the mike stand--but that's what gives these pictures their edge and "hominess". With Eddie Dean providing background text, these images show us an entire world that is long gone but never forgotten.

 
 

NEW DVDS

 
JOHNNY CASH & GUESTS Shout Factory 10940 The Johnny Cash Christmas Specials, 1976-1979 ● DVD $48.98
Four DVDs, 200 minutes, highly recommended
Johnny Cash's late 60's/early 70's TV show was landmark music television before MTV was a gleam in its creator's eye, and his late 70's Christmas specials were mostly welcome extensions of the pattern established by the earlier shows. That being said, the first special--from 1976--works more along the lines of Andy Williams' then-popular Christmas specials, with taping taking place at the Cash's farm in Bon Aqua, TN and their house in Hendersonville, outside of Nashville. The setting is cozy and pretty, but seems artificial -- as when Johnny, and guests Roy Clark and Tony Oralando are singing a Stephen Foster medley outside with no mics or a band in sight. The segments taped inside the house are much better, highlighted by the Carter Family's In the Pines and Merle Travis' Cannonball Rag. Things pick up with 1977 and 1978: these shows may have been filmed for the Holiday Season, they don't have an overtly Christmas feel; indeed, one would hardly know it's Christmas except for the decorations and occasional carol. Musical highlights are many, from Johnny and June Carter's duets on Darlin' Companion ('77) and You're a Part of Me ('78) to the stellar cast of guest stars. There's nothing more magical than watching Johnny, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis pay tribute to the then-recently deceased Elvis P. by burning through This Train is Bound For Glory, and Johnny and Roy salute to Gene Autry with a spirited medley. The cracker jack prizes of the '78 show are Steve Martin's witty comedy bits (not as out-of-place as one would think), the duets between Kris Kristofferson and then-wife Rita Coolidge, and the ensemble sing-a-longs with Johnny, June, Kris and Rita. There's also a nice touch when Johnny brings out all six of their daughters (including Rosanne Cash and Carlene Carter) to sing with him on Silent Night. Fabulous stuff! The 1979 show is, for me, a bit of a let-down after the previous two; guests Anne Murray and Tom T. Hall lack the oomph of previous years' stars, and the overall feel harkens back to the slight sentimentality of 1976's installment. And yet, if you're into that sort of thing--and want to relish the weirdo comedy relief of Andy Kaufman in his prime--this episode definitely has its moments. The package is well presented, with liner notes detailing the production of each show, but there's no interviews to put the shows into perspective, as with the Johnny Cash TV show box set. Still, this is more TV gold from the Man in Black and his family, working in their element, tugging heart strings and providing musical and spiritual food for the world. (GMC)

 
BILL MONROE MVD 4577 Father Of Bluegrass ● DVD $17.98
DVD issue of video originally issued in the 1990s with some additional footage. A 90 minute portrait of one of the great innovators in 20th century music. It includes archival footage of Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys plus performances from the 90s as well as performances by people whose music Bill touched - Lester Flatt, Emmylou Harris, The Osborne Brothers and others. It includes interviews with Monroe, footage of him backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, on the road and at his farm outside Nashville and also includes interviews with Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead, Roy Acuff and others.

   

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
JULES ALLEN B.A.C.M. 250 Complete Recordings ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Delightful collection of recordings featuring one of the earliest western singers to record. Unlike many of contemporaries Allen was actually a cowboy for a number of years until he was injured when thrown by a horse and decided to turn his attention to music. This collection features all his issued recordings though apparently Allen was also a popular radio performer. Allen had an appealing voice and most tracks feature him with his own guitar accompaniment - a few feature added fiddle and/ or harmonica. Most of the songs are familiar western favorites though Allen was one of the first, if not the first to record many of them. Songs include Little Joe The Wrangler/ Somebody But You Don't Mean Me/ The Texas Cowboy/ Zebra Dun/ The Old Chisholm Trail/ LOng Side The Santa Fe Trail (one of the fiest performances here)/ The Cowboy's Dream/ Little Old Sod Shanty/ The Dying Cowboy and others. Sound quality is satisfactory and there are excellent notes by Tony Russell. (FS)
JULES ALLEN: A Prisoner For Life/ Cow Trail To Mexico/ Cowboy's Love Song/ Home On The Range/ Jack O' Diamonds/ Little Joe The Wrangler/ Little Old Sod Shanty/ Long Side The Santa Fe Trail/ Po' Mourner/ Punchin' The Dough/ Somebody But You Don't Mean Me/ Sweetie Dear/ The Cowboy's Dream/ The Cowboy’s Lameny/ The Days Of Forty Nine/ The Dying Cowboy/ The Gal I Left Behind Me/ The Old Chisholm Trail/ The Texas Cowboy/ Two Fragments/ When The Work's All Done This Fall/ Zebra Dun

 
THE BLUE SKY BOYS Gusto 0549 Are You From Dixie? ● CD $9.98
28 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
The Blue Sky Boys were among the greatest of the brother duos with their beautiful harmonies and sensitive renditions of traditional, gospel and more recent songs. Although their heyday was in the the 30s and 40s they continued performing on and off through the 1970s. In 1963 they recorded two sessions for Starday and two LPs were issued - one consisting mostly of remakes of some of their classic recordings and the other featuring gospel songs - mostly ones they hadn't recorded before. This CD features both those LPs plus all the other songs recorded at the sessions - several previously unreleased. The brother's style was pretty much intact with their superb singing and guitar and mandolin self accompaniment but in a nod to the times these were made they are joined by Tommy Vaden on fiddle and Billy Linnemann on bass plus a couple of cuts with a full country band. Songs includes Come To The Savior/ Why Should You Be Troubled & Sad?/ Precious Moments/ My God Why Have You Forsaken Me?/ Don't Trade/ Satisfied Mind (a particularly nice version of this Porter Wagoner hit)/ Don't let Your Sweet Love Die/ Little Paper Boy/ I Wish I Had Never Seen Sunshine. Previous reissues of this material have had awful sound but this release has superb sound - newly remastered from the original mastertapes and includes 8 page booklet with notes by country/ bluegrass scholar Gary Reid. (FS)

 
JIMMY DEAN B.A.C.M. 252 Find 'em Fool 'em Leave 'em Alone ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Jimmy Dean's the kind of singer that falls through the cracks of categorization, nobody claims him. After Big Bad John hit so massively in 1961 and he got a TV show he fell into bland MOR limbo and dull recitations. But this ol' pork sausage eatin' boy has roots. He knocked around for years before any success, charting only once before 1961, in '53 with a great cover of T Texas Tyler's Just Bummin' Around on Four Star. That song is here along with 25 other fine tunes recorded between 1952 and 1958 - most of it solid Texas honky tonk with fine bands with sawing fiddles and soaring steel guitar. His earliest songs find himn strongly influenced by Webb Pierce and on his cover of Webb's hit There Stands The Glass he sounds uncannily the man himself. Other songs include the gorgeous Queen Of Hearts plus Big Blue Diamonds/ Glad Rags/ Do You Love Me/ Freight Train Blues/ Losing Game/ Nothing Can Stop My Love (a great up-tempo number covered a few years back by Buddy Miller)/ I'm Feeling For You/ Release/ I Know What It Means To be Lonesome and more. Great stuff! (AE/ FS)
JIMMY DEAN: A Fool In Love/ Big Blue Diamonds/ Bumming Around/ Do You Love Me/ Find 'em Fool 'em Leave 'em Alone/ Freight Train Blues/ Glad Rags/ Happy Child/ Hello Mr Blues/ I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome/ I Might Have Known/ I'm Feeling For You/ I've Found Out What I've Been Thinking/ Look On The Good Side/ Losing Game/ My Heart Is An Open Book/ My World Is You/ Nothing Can Stop My Love/ Paper Love Affair/ Picking Sweethearts/ Queen Of Hearts/ Release Me/ Sweet Darling/ There Stands The Glass/ What This Old World Needs/ You Should See Tennessee Mam'selle

 
MERLE HAGGARD Time Life 19506 The Original Outlaw ● CD $39.98
Three CDs, 60 tracks, very highly recommended
Career retrospective of one of the greatest country music performers of the 20th century. It opens with his first hit Sing A Sad Song recorded for the small Bakersfield label Tally in 1963 and ending chronologically in 2005 with his duet with Toby Keith on Some Of Us Fly recorded for his own Hag label. The bulk of the recordings are from the period 1963 through 1986 when Hag was at his best and having the most hits. With his incredibly soulful and expressive voice and accompanied by his fabulous band The Strangers there's one classic after another Swinging Doors/ Branded Man/ Mama Tried/ Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)/ It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)/ Everybody's Had The Blues/ Things Aren't Funny Anymore/ Ramblin' Fever/ I Think I'll Just Stay here And Drink/ Big City/ Yesterday's Wine (with George Jones)/ Pancho & Lefty (with Willie Nelson)/ Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)/ A Place To Fall Apart (with Janie Fricke) and lots more including a handful of non hits and album cuts to keep things interesting. As another measure of Hag's genius 41 of the 60 songs here were written or co-written by him - many of them becoming country standards and covered by numerous later performers. If you don't have much by Merle I can't think of a better place to start and if you wonder what all the fuss is about by the time you reach the end of this set you'll be a convert. Sound quality is stellar. Set is packaged in a an 1" x 5 1/2" book format with 36 pages of notes and black and white and color photos. (FS)
MERLE HAGGARD: (My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers/ A Place to Fall Apart/ Always Wanting You/ America First/ Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver)/ Big City/ Branded Man/ Carolyn/ Cherokee Maiden/ Daddy Frank (The Guitar Man)/ Everybody's Had the Blues/ Going Where the Lonely Go/ Grandma Harp/ Haggard (Like I've Never Been Before)/ Hungry Eyes/ I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am/ I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink/ I Threw Away the Rose/ I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me/ I'm Always on a Mountain When I Fall/ If We Make It Through December/ If We're Not Back in Love by Monday/ It's All in the Movies/ It's Been a Great Afternoon/ It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)/ Kentucky Gambler/ Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room/ Lonesome Day/ Mama Tried/ Misery and Gin/ Movin' On/ My Favorite Memory/ Natural High/ Okie from Muskogee/ Old Man from the Mountain/ Out Among the Stars/ Pancho and Lefty/ Ramblin' Fever/ Sing Me Back Home/ Sing a Sad Song/ Some of Us Fly/ Someday We'll Look Back/ Someday When Things Are Good/ Swinging Doors/ That's the Way Love Goes/ The Bottle Let Me Down/ The Fightin' Side of Me/ The Fugitive/ The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde/ The Roots of My Raising/ The Way I Am/ Things Aren't Funny Anymore/ Today, I Started Loving You Again/ Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star/ What Am I Gonna Do (With the Rest of My Life)/ When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again/ Wishing All These Old Things Were New/ Workin' Man Blues/ Yesterday's Wine/ You Take Me for Granted

 
CHARLIE HERALD & HIS ROUNDUP RANGERS B.A.C.M. 255 Pioneering Canadian Cowboy Group ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Delightful collection of sides recorded by this unique Canadian group between 1933 and '35. Active mostly in Manitoba the group line up included, in various combinations - guitar, fiddles, harmonica, accordion, trumpet, clarinet, tuba, bass and drums. They perform a diverse range of music including western songs, popular songs and instrumentals that reflect both American influences and Canada's significant Scottish heritage. Several different vocalists are featured including the excellent Helen Diller who does some fine yodeling. An entertaining collection that is both unusual and also familiar. Kevin Coffey's excellent notes helps put the music into perspective. (FS)
CHARLIE HERALD & HIS ROUNDUP RANGERS: Chicken Reel/ Circassian Circle-Rickett’s Hornpipe/ Cowboy’s Christmas Ball/ Cowboy’s Heaven/ Crawdads/ Goofus/ Hi-Le Hi-Lo/ Hiawatha Two-Step/ Irish Washerwoman-Garry Owen/ Kingdom Coming-Love Is But A Lassie/ Oh For The Wild and Wooly West/ Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet/ Red River Valley/ Red Wing/ Roundup Rangers Schottische/ Soldier’s Joy-Speed The Plough/ Swallow Tail Jig-Haste To The Wedding/ The Dying Cowboy/ The Wind That Shakes The Barley-Devil’s Dream/ There Is A Tavern In The Town/ There’s An Empty Cot/ Trouble For The Range Cook/ Turkey In The Straw-Chicken Reel/ White Cockade-Rakes Of Mallow/ Yodelling My Troubles Away

 
FIDDLIN' RED HERRON Gusto 0963-2 Fiddlin' Red Herron ● CD $4.98
8 tracks recorded in the late 40s for King featuring excellent fiddler Fiddlin' Red Herron performing a fine selection of traditional tunes and old favorites accompanied by guitar & bass. Herron's playing is fine and expressive and,at times, a bit jazzy. I don't know anything about him but I believe he also acted as a session musician for King. Includes Sally Goodin'/ Over The Waves/ Soldier's Joy/ Goodnight Waltz, etc. Sound quality is excellent.

 
GEORGE JONES Time Life 19330 40 Years Of Duets ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 59 mins, highly recommended
George Jones has had quite a long career at this point, and throughout it all, pretty much since the start, Jones has had a lot of success performing duets. Sure you are gonna know his famous duets with Tammy Wynette like Golden Ring/ Were Gonna Hold On, and Two Story House, but have you heard him with James Taylor doing Bartender's Blues, or with Gene Pitney on I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night? This career spanning set show how wide reaching Jones' appeal and talents are and will be a real delight for fans of George Jones, or of great Country music in general. You get early cuts like Yearning from 1957 with Jeanette Hicks, Milwaukee Here I Come with Brenda Carter, plus fine duets with Melba Montgomery, Johnny Paycheck, Randy Travis and many more. Probably my favorite is Jones and Merle Haggard's version of Willie Nelson's Yesterday's Wine, from a duet LP with Haggard of the same name that is worth hunting down. Fittingly this Duets collection ends with the last duet Jones did with his soul mate Tammy Wynette on their 1995 hit, One. (JM)

 
SPENCER MOORE Tompkins Square 1950 Spencer Moore ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 41 min., good
Long ago, Spencer and his brother Joe formed the Moore Brothers, modeled after the Delmore Brothers, and actually performed in a "tent show" with the Carter Family. Later, Alan Lomax would record Spencer Moore as part of his Blue Ridge Mountain project, recordings eventually released on Atlantic and Prestige. In the 1970s, he even performed for President Jimmy Carter. These days, he still plays weekly gigs at a local store, where he offers up a few of the more than 500 songs he has dedicated to memory. This CD finds Moore at his home in Chilhowie, Virginia, in June of 2006, when he was a mere 88 years of age. The recordings are no doubt an important living link to the musical past of Virginia, but Moore's guitar work vocal powers are not what they once were, and while the recordings are interesting folklorically and historically, they are strong medicine for the casual listener and may not be in high demand at parties. (JC)

 
MOLLY O'DAY Gusto 0876-2 Living Legend Of Country Music ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, 35 mins, highly recommended
Molly O'Day was one of the greatest female country artists to ever record though her career was far too short. She had a powerful heartfelt and raw vocal style and most of her material was gospel or with a moral tone and she was one of the first artist's to recognize the talents of hank Williams and introduced four of his songs to the public. Between 1946 and 1951 together with husband Lynn Davis and her group The Cumberland Mountain Folks she recorded 36 classic sides for Columbia (reissued on Bear Family 15565 - 2 CD set - $41.98). In 1951 Lynn was ordained as a minister and Molly retired from commercial performing. She was persuaded to briefly come out of retirement in 1961 to record a couple of sessions for REM records which were subsequently acquired by Starday who issued the tracks here on an LP in 1966. Molly was still a powerful performer accompanying herself on banjo with Lynn on guitar and harmony vocal (and occasional lead vocal) plus occasional mandolin and Dobro. Although Molly's vocals are occasionally unsure the performances here are mostly country gospel at its finest including songs like Living The Right Life Now/ When the Angels Rolled the Stone Away/ Coming Down FRom God/ He Has Called Me By My Name/ I'm Gonna Walk Right In/ I'm Going Home On The Morning Train, etc. Wonderful music. (FS)

 
CHUBBY PARKER B.A.C.M. 244 And His Old Time Banjo - Classic Recordings, 1927-1931 ● CD $14.98
21 tracks, 64 mins, highly recommended
A truly delightful collection of songs from Indiana born performer Frederick R. "Chubby" Parker who was one of the first old time performers to become regionally famous through the power of radio. Parker was a fine singer with a high, clear voice and accompanied himself with deft tenor banjo playing to which he sometimes added harp rack harmonica. Much of his material was from an earlier era - some from the 19th century and included old-time comic songs, minstrel songs and some that sound like they originated in the British music hall. Apart from his version of Froggy Went A Courtin' which he called King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O which achieved legendary status through its appearance on Harry Smith's "Anthology Of American Folk Music', very few of his other recordings have been reissued so this release is particularly welcome and includes songs like The Year Of Jubilo/ Bingo Was His name? Drill Ye Tarriers Drill/ The Old Wooden Rocker/ You'll Hear The Bells In The Morning/ Davey Crockett (no relation to the song made famous by Fess Parker)/And That Was Irish Too/ Oh Susanna, etc. Excellent sound and informative notes by Tony Russell. (FS)
CHUBBY PARKER: A Rovin Little Darkey/ And That Was Irish Too/ Bib A Lollie Boo/ Bingo Was His Name/ Davey Crockett/ Drill Ye Tarriers Drill/ Get Away Old Maids Get Away/ Grandfather's Clock/ I'm A Stern Old Bachelor/ In Kansas/ King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O/ Kissing Song/ Nickerty Knackerty Now Now Now/ Oh Dem Golden Slippers/ Oh Susanna/ See The Black Clouds A Breakin' Over Yonder/ The Irish Christening/ The Old Wooden Rocker/ The Year Of Jubilo/ Whoa Mule, Whoa/ You'll Hear The Bells In The Morning

 
ROY ROGERS B.A.C.M. 251 A Lonely Ranger Am I ● CD $14.98
A collection of 24 tracks by this popular artist featuring sides appearing on CD for the first time. Recordings range from 1938 through 1952 and is mostly western songs along with some western swing, novelty songs, gospel songs and even a Christmas carol. Includes sides with Jimmy Wakely's Rough Riders, Spade Cooley and Mrs. Rogers (Dale Evans). Sound quality on some of the rarer cuts leaves a bit to be desired. Includes A Lonely Ranger Am I/ Nobody's Fault BUt My own/ O Come All Ye Faithful/ I'm Trusting In You/ I'm A Rollin'/ With A Sweep Of My Sombrero/ Little Hula Honey/ I Wish I WuzROY ROGERS: A Lonely Ranger Am I/ California Rose/ Church Music/ Do Ya Or Don'tcha/ Don't Be Blue Little Pal Don't Be Blue/ Don't Blame It All On Me/ Home Sweet Oklahoma/ I Wish I Wuz/ I'm A Rollin'/ I'm Gonna Gallop, Gallop, To Gallop, New Mexico/ I'm Trusting In You/ It's Just The Same/ Little Hula Honey/ May The Good Lord Take A Liken' To Ya/ Mommy Can I Take My Doll To Heaven/ Nobody's Fault But My Own/ O Come All Ye Faithful/ Old Fashioned Cowboy/ Old Pioneer/ That Palomino Pal Of Mine/ The Man In The Moon Is A Cowhand/ With A Sweep Of My Sombrero/ Without You Darling Life Won't Be The Same/ You Were Right And I Was Wrong

 
JOE SOUTH Collectables 1067 Classic Masters ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, 39 mins, recommended
Here we have a rather Spartan outing to celebrate this great southern singer-songwriter. Features 12 tracks and not much else, with a price that reflects as much. With hits that he had for himself as well as songs that Elvis, Deep Purple, Billy Joe Royal, and others would have hits of their own . Games People Play, Hush/ Walk A Mile in My Shoes/ Down in the Boondocks, etc. (JM)

 
MERLE TRAVIS B.A.C.M. 253 Dapper Dan & Other Classics ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Terrific collection of some of Merle Travis's lesser known titles recorded between 1946 and 1956. Outside of the comprehensive Bear Family box set (BCD 15637 - 5 CDs - $129.98) this is the first time most of these tracks have appeared on CD. Accompanied by some of the top West Coast session musicians he performs a great selection of songs (many of them original Travis compositions) like Alimony Bound/ A Fool At The Steering Wheel/ I Can't Afford The Coffee/ I'll Have Myself A Ball/ If You Want It I've Got It, etc. along with mind bending guitar instrumentals like Walking The Strings/ Memphis Blues and others. Sound quality is generally excellent and Brian Chalker provides a brief biography in the notes. (FS)
MERLE TRAVIS: A Fool At The Steering Wheel/ Alimony Bound/ Blue Smoke (instr.)/ Dapper Dan/ Devil To Pay/ Follow Through/ Gambler's Guitar/ Get Along Blues/ Green Cheese/ Hunky Dory/ I Can't Afford The Coffee/ I'll Have Myself A Ball/ I'm Picking Up The Pieces Of My Heart/ If You Want It I've Got It/ Information Please/ Jolie Fille/ Lazy River (instr.)/ Leave My Honey Bee Alone/ Memphis Blues (instr.)/ Petticoat Fever/ Shut Up And Drink Your Beer/ Tuck Me To Sleep In My Old Kentucky Home (inst.)/ Turn My Picture Upside Down/ Walking The Strings (instr.)

 
ERNEST TUBB Golden Stars 5609 Classic Album Collection ● CD $19.98
Three CDs featuring 44 tracks by the great Ernest Tubb with his band The Texas Troubadours. The first CD features his first LP recorded as an LP from 1956 "Daddy Of Them All" with 12 songs including You're Breaking My Heart/ Mississippi Gal/ I've Got The Blues For Mammy/ You're The Only Good Thing (That's Happened To Me), etc. plus two tracks from singles from around the same time. The second disc features tracks from two 10" LPs originally issued in 1951 featuring tracks previously on singles - "Jimmie Rodgers Songs Sung By Ernest Tubb" and "The Old Rugged Cross (Favorite Sacred Songs)". The third CD features his 1956 duet album with Red Foley "Red And Ernie" which includes Tennessee Border #2/ Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age/ No Help Wanted #2/ I'm In Love With Molly, etc. and ends with two duets with the Wilburn Brothers from a single Leave Me and Mister Love.
ERNEST TUBB: (I Know My Baby Loves Me) In Her Own Peculiar Way/ Any Old Time/ Daisy May/ Drunkard's Child/ Farther Along/ Hobo's Meditation/ I Dreamed of an Old Love Affair/ I Knew the Moment I Lost You/ I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now/ I'm Lonely and Blue/ I've Got the Blues for Mammy/ May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You/ Mississippi Gal/ Mother the Queen of My Heart/ My Hillbilly Baby/ Old Rugged Cross/ So Doggone Lonesome/ Stand by Me/ There's No Fool Like a Young Fool/ Thirty Days/ This Troubled Mind O' Mine/ What a Friend We Have in Jesus/ When I Take My Vacation in Heaven/ When a Soldier Knocks and Finds Nobody Home/ Why Did You Give Me Your Love?/ Why Should I Be Lonely?/ Wonderful City/ You're Breaking My Heart/ You're the Only Good Thing (That's Happened to Me)/ ERNEST TUBB & RED FOLEY: Don't Be Ashamed of Your Age/ Double Datin'/ Goodnight Irene/ Hillbilly Fever #2/ I'm in Love with Molly/ It's the Mileage That's Slowin' Us Down/ Kentucky Waltz/ No Help Wanted #2/ Strange Little Girl/ Tennessee Border #2/ Too Old to Cut the Mustard/ When It's Prayer Meeting Time in the Hollow/ You're a Real Good Friend/ERNEST TUBB & THE WILBURN BROTHERS: Leave Me/ Mister Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Awake Productions 3 Awake My Soul/ Help Me To Sing ● CD $21.98
2 CDs, 44 songs, 114 mins, recommended
This is the soundtrack to the 2007 PBS documentary by Matt and Erica Hinton on Sacred Harp singing, a style of Southern origin which consists of singing acapella songs from a specific songbook. On the first disc, are the songs-recorded at all-day singings in Georgia and Alabama-as heard in the movie, in all their hauntingly beautiful glory. The second CD is given over to various rock, folk, and country artists giving their interpretation of songs from the original Sacred Harp songbook. For people who feel that the authentic article is too esoteric or "weird", CD 2 might make for more palatable listening since many of the artists employ instruments for accompaniment, rather than simply relying only on their voices. Of the remakes, Rayna Gellart & John Paul Jones (yes, THAT John Paul Jones), The Innocence Mission, Jim Lauderdale, Mac Powell, John Wesley Harding, Richard Buckner, Doc Watson, Woven Hand, and Murry Hammond capture the spirit of the originals best, while Elvis Perkins and The Good Players make the most accessible recordings. Some interpretations-by All Things Bright & Beautiful and Tenement Hall, for example-are a bit too rock and roll oriented and lose the essence of what makes these songs tick. On the whole, though, these re-dos are sound spiritual listening for the soul and a perfectly acceptable alternative to the real thing, which is also on hand for those so inclined. Bottom line, this a necessary companion to the DVD ("Awake, My Soul", Awake Productions 2 - $25.98). (GMC)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16954 Dim Lights, Thick Smoke & Hillbilly Music, 1949 ● CD $24.98
The fifth volume in this great series features 28 of the most popular country songs of 1949 opening with pop singer Vaughn Monroe's version of Riders In The Sky that was a hit in both the pop and country charts and includes Hank Williams' first Number one hit Lovesick Blues, The Delmore Brothers' classic Blues Stay Away From Me plus sides by Leon McAuliffe, Bill Nettles, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Bob Wills and more.
EDDY ARNOLD: I'm Throwing Rice Tennessee/ Then I Turned And Walked Slowly Away/ THE DELMORE BROTHERS: Blues Stay Away From Me/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: Take An Old Cold Tater (and Wait)/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD: Mule Train/ JOHNNIE & JACK: What About You/ PEE WEE KING: Bonaparte's Retreat/ THE MADDOX BROTHERS & ROSE: Philadelphia Lawyer/ LEON MCAULIFFE: Panhandle Rag/ BILL MONROE: The Old Cross Road/ VAUGHN MONROE: Riders In The Sky/ GEORGE MORGAN: Candy Kisses/ BILL NETTLES: Hadacol Boogie/ LEON PAYNE: I Love You Because/ WAYNE RANEY: Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me/ JIMMIE SKINNER: Will You Be Satisfied That Way/ THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS: Room Full Of Roses/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: The White Dove/ HANK THOMPSON: Whoa Sailor/ FLOYD TILLMAN: Slippin' Around/ This Cold War With You/ ERNEST TUBB: Let's Say Goodbye Like We Said Hello/ T. TEXAS TYLER: My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ JIMMY WAKELY: I Wish I Had A Nickel/ HANK WILLIAMS: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/ Lovesick Blues/ BOB WILLS: Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age/ Warm Red Wine

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16955 Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music, 1950 ● CD $24.98
The sixth and final volume (to date) in this series features 28 country recordings from 1950 opening with Red Foley's Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy which topped both the country and pop charts and includes western swing performer Ole Rasmussen's original recording of Sleepy Eyed John which became a hit 10 years later for Johnny Horton, Hank Williams's immortal Long Gone Lonesome Blues, Bob Wills's last hit for 10 years Faded Love plus tracks by Tennessee Ernie Ford & Kay Starr, Hardrock Gunter, Johnnie Lee Wills, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, Hank Snow and many more. As always, sound quality and packaging is exceptional.
GENE AUTRY: Blue Canadian Rockies/ TED DAFFAN: I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: Hillbilly Fever/ FLATT & SCRUGGS: Foggy Mountain Breakdown/ RED FOLEY: Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy/ Sugarfoot Rag/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD & KAY STARR: I'll Never Be Free/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: I Love You a Thousand Ways/ If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time/ HARDROCK GUNTER: Birmingham Bounce/ STUART HAMBLEN: Remember Me (I'm the One Who Loves You)/ SKEETS MCDONALD: Tattooed Lady, The/ BILL MONROE: I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome/ MOON MULLICAN: I'll Sail My Ship Alone/ HANK PENNY: Bloodshot Eyes/ WEBB PIERCE: Drifting Texas Sand/ OLE RASMUSSEN: Sleepy Eyed John/ ARKIE SHIBLEY: Hot Rod Race/ JIMMIE SKINNER: You Don't Know My Mind/ CARL SMITH: I Overlooked an Orchid (While Searching For a Rose)/ HANK SNOW: I'm Movin' On/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: The Fields Have Turned Brown/ BILLY STARR: Steppin' Out/ FLOYD TILLMAN: I've Got the Craziest Feeling/ ERNEST TUBB: Letters Have No Arms/ HANK WILLIAMS: Long Gone Lonesome Blues/ BOB WILLS: Faded Love/ JOHNNIE LEE WILLS: Rag Mop

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 337 30 Steel Guitar Honky Tonk Favorites ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, highly recommended
Great collection of 30 steel guitar instrumentals from the 1940s and 50s - mostly drawn from radio transcriptions. Much of the material is western swing oriented and almost all of it is hot. There are a few familiar names to country fans - Don Helms (doing an instrumental version of his late boss's Hey Good Lookin'), Noel Boggs (with The Cass County Boys), Leon McAuliffe, Alvino Rey (mostly known as a pop performer he here does Steel Guitar Rag) and Cecil Campbell. Other lesser known but excellent artists include Al Petty, Big Ben Keith (from faron Young's band), Sonny Burnette, Mavin Carroll (from Jimmy Dean's band with four hot sides) and more. The great western swing performer Hank Penny is featured here with Steel Guitar Polka featuring an unknown steel guitarist. Except for a couple of cuts, sound quality is excellent and booklet has brief notes on all the artists. (FS)
LES ANDERSON: This Is Southland/ THE BAR X COWBOYS: Jammin' On The Steel/ NOEL BOGGS: On The Alamo/ Speedin' West/ Stainless Steel/ Steel Guitar Rag/ SONNY BURNETTE: Panhandle Rag/ CECIL CAMPBELL: Steel Guitar Dig/ Steel Guitar Ramble/ Steel Guitar Wiggle/ MARVIN CARROLL: Steel Guitar Stomp/ Sweet Bunch Of Daisies/ Sweet Leilani/ Texas Playboy Rag/ CURLY COLDIRON: Remington Ride/ DICKIE HARRIS: Steel Guitar Stomp/ DON HELMS: Hey, Good Lookin'/ THE HUSHPUPPIES: Texas Playboy Rag/ BIG BEN KEITH: Roadside Rag/ Steelin' Away/ MERL LINDSAY: Slidin' Steel/ DOC MARTIN: Jimmie's Jump/ Steeling The Blues/ LEON MCAULIFFE: Steel Guitar Jubilee/ HANK PENNY: Steel Guitar Polka/ AL PETTY: Al's Steel Guitar Wobble/ Steel Guitar Special/ ALVINO REY: Steel Guitar Rag/ JACK THROCKMORTON: Steel Guitar Bounce/ THE UNIVERSAL COWBOYS: Steel Guitar Honky Tonk

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 338 Country Girls Sing 30 Hillbilly & Western Songs ● CD $18.98
30 tracks, 73 mins, recommended
Fine collection of female country vocalists from the early/ mid 50s - much of it from previously unissued radio transcriptions. The set opens with 10 tracks recorded for Columbia in 1954 and '55 by California based country singer Bonnie Sloan. Undeservedly obscure she was an excellent honky tonk singer accompanied here by the Town Hall Gang (Joe Maphis, Johnny Bond, Dick Stubbs, Fiddlin' Kate, etc.). The great Wilma Lee Cooper is featured a spine chilling version of Tramp On The Street from a radio transcription and June Carter does an excellent version of Merle Travis's Sweet Temptation. Other artists include a mix of well known and obscure performers including Jeannie Ackers, The Little Country Girls, Goldie Hill, Cindy Walker, Judy Hayden, Betty Foley, Dale Evans, Skeeter Davis and others. Fine sound and booklet has brief notes on all the artists. (FS)
JEANNIE ACKERS OF THE COLORADO HILLBILLIES: I Lost You/ In My Adobe Hacienda/ THE BEAVER VALLEY SWEETHEARTS: You Get What You Pay For/ MOLLY BEE: Too Young To Tango/ SALLY BRIGGS: I Couldn't Keep From Crying/ JUNE CARTER: Sweet Temptation/ THE CARTER SISTERS: Poor Old Heartsick Me/ WILMA LEE COOPER: Tramp On The Street/ SKEETER DAVIS: Set Him Free/ DALE EVANS: Cowgirl Polka/ Ragtime Cowboy Joe/ Texas U.s.a./ BETTY FOLEY: Slowly/ JUDY HAYDEN: I'm Going Back To Whur I Come From/ GOLDIE HILL: A Wasted Love Affair/ THE LITTLE COUNTRY GIRLS: Pals Of The Saddle/ RITA ROBBINS: I'm Walking The Floor Over You/ JEAN SHEPARD: He Loved Me Once And He'll Love Me Again/ BONNIE SLOAN: After The Wedding/ Alone I Cry/ Don't Call Me A Tramp/ Hog Tied And Branded/ Honky Tonk World/ Idle Hours/ Nobody But You/ Poor Paper Kite/ Silly Boy/ The Next Waltz With You/ CINDY WALKER: I Love Everything About You/ Put Your Arms Around Me

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 340 Hillbilly Songs & Western Swing By Various Brother Team ● CD $18.98
24 tracks mostly featuring some of the lesser known brother teams from the 1950s - The Colwell Brothers, Andrews Brothers, Britt Brothers, Willis Brothers, Lucky Brothers, Smith Brothers plus three tracks on CD for the first time by the most well known act here - The Wilburn Brothers.
THE ANDREWS BROTHERS: Blue Mississippi/ Hot To Trot/ Store Bought/ What Could I Do/ THE BRITT BROTHERS: Alpine Milkman Yodel/ Swiss Yodel/ THE COLWELL BROTHERS: A Spankin' New Day/ Come On Folks/ It's All Over But The Shoutin'/ Let Me Know/ Morgan Poisoned The Water Hole/ No Down Payment - Easy Terms/ THE LUCKY BROTHERS: I'll Dance At Your Wedding/ It Ain't Quit Hurtin' Yet/ THE MILLER BROTHERS: Alligator Rag (inst.)/ Broken Hearted Girl (voc. Bill Taylor)/ THE SMITH BROTHERS: Kneel At The Cross/ Lost But Not Forgotten/ THE WILBURN BROTHERS: Mister Love/ No See, No Talk, No Hear/ Temptation Go Away/ Till I'm The Only One/ THE WILLIS BROTHERS: Hillbilly Gaucho/ Honey-bee

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Documents 223495 Country & Western #2 ● CD $19.98
10 CDs,200 tracks clocking in at a astounding 8 hours and change, essential
Available again. As always with these 10 CD boxes from Documents, there aren't any frills or extras, just music, music and more music. This collections starts off in the late 1920s with the likes of The Allen Brothers, G.B. Grayson, Jimmie Rodgers, Dock bogs and Ernest Phipps (to name just a few) and then progressively over the course of 10 CDs goes all the way up to the early 1950s where we meet up with Bill Strength, Jesse James, Jerry Irby, Dickie McBride and more. The later CDs have tracks from Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell that most will know, but also has more obscure tracks by Tennessee Ernie Ford and Flatt & Scruggs. In between, you are taken for a ride down the dirt roads, through every Honky Tonk, barn dance, rodeo and jamboree that graced rural America in these pivotal years of Country music. Along the way you will see a lot of old friends like Gene Autry, Light Crust Doughboys, Sons Of The Pioneers, Ernest Tubb, Spade Cooley etc. and meet some that you might not have heard of before, like Ocie Stockard, Molly O'Day, Walker's Corbin Ramblers, Renfro Valley Boys and dozens more. As stated above, this is essential stuff, I grabbed the first one out of the box when we got them and it hasn't left my CD player since. (JM)
ROY ACUFF: Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain/ DUB ADAMS: Income Tax/ THE ALLEN BORTHERS: Ain't That Skippin' & Flyin/ SHELLY LEE ALLEY: The Big House Blues/ SHELLEY LEE ALLEY: Women, Women, Women/ JESSE ASHLOCK: My Bank Account Is Gone/ GENE AUTRY: Blueberry/ Down Mexico Way/ El Rancho Grande/ Gaucho Serenade/ In Old Capistrano/ Melody Ranch/ Rhythm Of The Range/ Ride Ranger Ride/ Ride Tenderfoot Ride/ DEFORD BAILEY: John Henry'/ THE BAR X COWBOYS: When Mama Goes Out/ DR HUMPHREY BATE: Ham Beats All Meat/ How Many Biscuits Can You Eat/ SHORTY BATES: You're There/ DOCK BOGGS: Country Blues/ JOHNNY BOND: Heart And Soul/ Mexicali Rose/ Ridin' Down To Santa Fe/ So Long To The Red River Valley/ Tomorrow Never Comes/ Tumbling Tumbleweeds/ Twilight On The Trail/ When The Work's All Done/ BILL BOYD: Jitterbug Jive/ BILLY BRIGGS: XIT Song/ WOODIE BROTHERS: Chased Old Satan/ MILTON BROWN: Hesitation Blues/ CLIFF BRUNER: When You're Smiling/ THE BUCHANAN BROTHERS: High Tempered Mama/ NOLAN BUSH: Until You Went Away/ CLAUDE CASEY: Pine State Honky Tonk/ HARRY CHOATES: Louisiana Boogie/ BEN CHRISTIAN: Texas Cowboy Rag/ ELMER CHRISTIAN: A Rainy Sunday Night/ HOMER CLEMONS: Operation Blues/ SPADE COOLEY: Three Way Boogie/ THE CROOK BROTHERS: My Wife Died Friday Night/ TED DAFFAN: Born To Lose/ DAVE & HOWARD: My Bones Gonna Rise Again/ JIMMIE DAVIS: Honky Tonk Blues/ THE DELMORE BROTHERS: Barnyard Boogie/ Boogie Woogie Baby/ Hillbilly Boogie/ AL DEXTER: New Broom Boogie/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: A-Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed/ Country Boy/ Take An Old Cold 'Tater/ LESTER FLATT & EARL SCRUGGS: Don't Get Above Your Raisin'/ THE FLOYD COUNTY RAMBLERS: Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD: Kissin' Bug Boogie/ Rock City Boogie/ Taylor Made Woman/ Tennessee Border/ THE FORT WORTH DOUGH BOYS: Nancy Jane/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: I Love You A Thousand Ways/ If You've Got The Money/ My Baby's Just Like Money/ LONNIE GLOSSON: Lonnie's Fox/ G.B. GRAYSON: Omie Wise/ GRAYSON & WHITTER: Train 45/ REX GRIFFIN: The Last Letter/ ART GUNN: Boogie Woogie Blues/ BILL HALEY: Behind The Eight Ball/ SONNY HALL: Better Make Up Your Mind/ STUART HAMBLEN: Remember Me/ KELLY HARRELL: My Name Is John Jo Hannah/ JIMMY HART: Teeny Weeny/ JIMMY HEAP: Dessau Waltz/ JOHNNY HICKS: Get Your Kicks On Route 66/ ALEX HOOD: L And N Rag/ PAUL HOWARD: Cotton Picker's Special/ Rootie Tootie/ PEE WEE HUGHES: Country Boy Blues/ LOUIS INNIS: Jug Band Boogie/ JERRY IRBY: Too Many Women/ Trouble I Nmind/ JESSE JAMES: Rag Mop/ JOE'S ACADIANS: Ammend La Nouville A Mamere/ ANN JONES: Give Me A Hundred Reasons/ THE JUBILEERS: Boogie Woogie Johnson/ ALFRED KARNES: Called To The Foreign Field/ I Am Bound For The Promised Land/ We Shall Be Reunited/ Where We'll Never Grow Old/ THE KENTUCKY RAMBLERS: Do Not Wait/ The Unfortunate Brakeman/ With My Mother/ PEE WEE KING: Ten Gallon Boogie/ THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Pussy Pussy Pussy/ THE LONE STAR PLAYBOYS: Banjo Boogie/ KEITH LOYD: My Western Union Baby/ BUSTER MARTIN: Herbie's Steel Guitar/ LOUISE MASSEY: Squeeze Box Polka/ LEON MCAULIFFE: Blue Guitar Stomp/ Panhandle Rag/ Take It Away Leon/ DICKIE MCBRIDE: I Don't Get No Lovin'/ Tulsa Twist/ DON MCCORD: Can't Live Without You/ JOE MCCOY & MEMPHIS MINNIE: Let's Go To Town/ EDDIE MILLER: Release Me/ MODERN MOUNTAINEERS: Mary Jane/ BILL MONROE: Mollie & Tenbrooks/ Rocky Road Blues/ THE MONROE BROTHERS: Sinner You Better Get Ready/ GEORGE MORGAN: Room Full Of Roses/ BILL MOUNCE: Kickin' It Off/ MOLLY O'DAY: Poor Ellen Smith/ The Tramp On The Street/ When God Comes/ HANK PENNY: Big Fat Papa/ Get Yourself A Red Head/ Hillbilly Jump/ I'm Counting The Days/ I'm Singing The Blues/ Now Ain't You Glad Dear/ Steel Guitar Stomp/ Talkin' 'bout You/ Tearstains On Your Letter/ When You Cry/ ERNEST PHIPPS: A Little Talk With Jesus/ I Want To Go/ DAN PICKETT: Baby Don't You Want To Go/ THE RADIO COWBOYS: Mississippi Muddie/ WAYNE RANEY: Pan American Boogie/ THE RENFRO VALLEY BOYS: Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Feet/ JIMMIE REVARD: Fox And Hounds/ Holdin' The Sack/ ANDY REYNOLDS: Beer Bottle Mama/ THE RIVERSIDE RAMBLERS: Drifting Along/ BUCK ROBERTS: Big Beaver/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Any Old Time/ Ben Dewberry's Final Run/ Down On The Old Road To Home/ Let Me Be Your Side Track/ Mississippi Delta/ My Good Gal's Gone/ B.F. SHELTON: Darling Cora/ Oh Molly Dear/ Pretty Polly/ THE SHELTON BROTHERS: Aura Lee/ CARL SMITH: Let Old Mother Nature/ SONS OF THE PIONEERS: Song Of The Bandit/ THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS: Cigareetes, Whusky & Wild, Wild Women/ Riders In The Sky/ W.M. STEPP: Bonaparte's Retreat/ Callahan/ Silver Strand/ The Way Of The World/ The Old Hen/ Mud Fence/ OCIE STOCKARD: Nobody Cares/ O.P.A. Blues/ Twin Guitar Polka/ CLIFFIE STONE: Peepin' Through The Keyhole/ Silver Stars/ BILL STRENGTH: Black Coffee Blues/ THE TEXAS TOP HANDS: You Can't Have Your Cake/ COTTON THOMPSON: How Long/ HANK THOMPSON: Humpty Dumpty Heart/ The Wild Side Of Life/ FLOYD TILLMAN: Drivin' Nails In My Coffin/ I Love You So Much It Hurts/ This Cold War With You/ ERNEST TUBB: I Ain't Honky Tonkin' Anymore/ JOHNNY TYLER: Two Can Play Your Game/ T. TEXAS TYLER: My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ JIMMY WAKELY: Oklahoma Blues/ One Has My Name/ W. WALKER & G. SULLIVAN: When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again/ WALKER'S CORBIN RAMBLERS: Ruffles And Bustles/ THE WALKER'S CORBIN RAMBLERS: Ned Went-A-Fishin'/ SMILEY WHITLEY: West Wind/ JIMMIE WIDENER: I'll Be Satisfied/ Shuffletown/ CURLEY WILLIAMS: Georgia Boogie/ CURLY WILLIAMS: Southern Belle/ HANK WILLIAMS: (i Heard) That Lonesome Whistle/ Cold Cold Heart/ The Blues Come Around/ Why Don't You Love Me/ TEX WILLIAMS: Artistry In Western Swing/ THE WILLIAMSON BROTHERS: Gonna Die With My Hammer/ FOY WILLING: Texas Blues/ BOB WILLS: Brain Cloudy Blues/ Cowboy Stomp/ Take Me Back To Tulsa/ LUKE WILLS: The Texas Special/ BOOTS WOODALL: Rattlesnakin' Daddy/ Since You've Been Gone/ THE WOODIE BROTHERS: Like Likker Better Than Me/ RED WOODWARD: Cowboy Boogie/ JIMMY WYBLE: Huntin' Business All The Time/ YELLOW JACKETS: Huskin' Bee

 

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