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Bulletin - September, 2010
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Rosalie Allen  -> Jimmy Wakely





ROSALIE ALLEN Jasmine 3598/9 The Versatile Rosalie Allen ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 61 tracks, 159 min., very highly recommended
Known as the "Queen of the Yodelers," Rosalie Allen (born Julie Bedra) made quite a name for herself in New York in the 1940s and landed a recording contract with RCA and later with Waldorf Music Hall. This compilation features not just the yodelers such as I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart and He Taught Me How To Yodel, but forays into western swing, country, boogie, and elsewhere. She sings Hank Williams'Your Cheatin' Heart, the cleverly titled Believe Me I'll Be Leaving You/ Honky Tonk Angels/ My Dolly Has A Broken Heart/ Spanish Polka and more. (Don't let the postwar title Hitler Lives raise your blood pressure or eye brows; the chorus is on the order of "Hitler lives if we hurt our fellow men.") Hardcore fans will appreciate that Allen's earliest recordings with Denver Darling (the Tex Grande Band) have been included, as have both versions of Guitar Polka, one of which features the rising star named Chet Atkins. The overall sound is excellent, the sequencing is well thought out, the running time approaches the maximum possible, and the booklet notes are informative if somewhat lacking in session details. Best Rosalie Allen collection ever--a pleasure from start to end. (Inspirational line: "I would rather be spanked than practice my scales.") (JC)

HANK FERGUSON Folk Legacy 13 Behind These Walls ● CD $16.98
18 tracks, very highly recommended
Tennessee singer Hank Ferguson deserved to become a country star - he was a beautiful singer with a disarming honky tonk honesty to his voice. With only his own acoustic guitar accompaniment his performances bring to mind some of those great Hank Williams acoustic demos. Not that I'm suggesting that this Hank was in the same league but there is an underlying honesty to the performances that really brings up goosebumps. Ferguson was found by folklorist Bruce Jackson when he visited the Indiana State Penitentiary in Michigan City, Indiana where Hank was serving a year for an undisclosed crime and Folk Legacy made these recordings shortly after Hank was released in 1963. The first half a dozen songs deal with crime and prison life including three written by Hank himself including the powerful I'm Not Living, I'm Just Lasting/ One Life's As Long As Any Man Can Live and Trouble Just Got In My Way. The rest of the material is country standards and traditional songs and includes truly moving versions of Harlan Howard's Busted ,Long Black Veil and others. This guy was so good it's a shame he wasn't picked up by a commercial label. But, as it stands, this is a release to treasure. (FS)

DALLAS FRAZIER Raven 262 The R&B Sessions: Elvira/ Tell It Like It Is ● CD $19.98
27 tracks, 66 min, highly recommended
Reissuing for the first time on CD Frazier's mid-sixties LPs Elvira and Tell It Like It Is, this release finds the author of Alley Oop and Elvira pushing aside his country credentials in favor of his blue-eyed soul side with success to spare. Sure, a couple of songs start out with the Alley Oop beat, but they quickly move into their own territory, and fertile land it is. Best known as a song writer, Frazier has a fine voice and expressive phrasing on such tracks as Ain't Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves)/ Baby, Ain't That Fine/ Just A Little Bit Of You/ Done Made Up My Mind, and more. Fans of Delbert McClinton and Eddie Hinton should find much to admire here. Includes three bonus tracks (Tennessee Sue/ King Of The Jungle/ Make Believe You're here With Me) not on the original LPs. A find! (JC)

VERN GOSDIN Sims 306 Late & Great - The Voice ● CD $9.98
10 tracks, highly recommended
Vern Gosdin, who died in 2009, was one of the greatest honky tonk singers of the 70s, 80s and 90s with an aching, yearning quality that, at times, brings to mind George Jones in his Epic period. This man puts so much feeling into a song it will raise the hair on your arms. This is a posthumous release of previously unissued material. The origin of these recordings is unclear but it sounds as though it was recorded in the mid 90s featuring Vern in great voice and he is accompanied by a superb band with no extraneous strings or vocal choruses. Six of the ten songs were written by Vern and are a fine selection of heart rending ballads and mid tempo songs. To be perfectly objective, there' not a whole lot of variety in Vern's music, but the man sang with so much soul that objectivity doesn't enter into it! (FS)

GEORGE MORGAN B.A.C.M. 313 One Woman Man ● CD $14.98
28 sides recorded between 1949 and 1957 by this smooth voiced country singer whose style was much like that of Eddy Arnold though his arrangements never strayed too far from straight honky tonk. This collection does not include any of his hits but concentrates on lesser known material like Put All Your Love In A Cookie Jar/ Broken Candy Heart/ Love, Love, Love/ Best Mistake/ Send For My Baby/ Our Summer Vacation/ It's A Sin/ White Azaleas, etc.
GEORGE MORGAN: Put All Your Love In A Cookie Jar/ Ring On Your Finger/ My Heart Keeps Telling Me/ Broken Candy Heart/ One Woman Man/ Look What Followed Me Home Tonight/ No One Knows It Better Than Me/ Love, Love, Love/ First Time I Told You A Lie/ Walking Shoes/ Sweetheart/ Best Mistake/ Ever So Often/ Lonesome Record/ Tears Behind The Smile/ Send For My Baby/ Don't Cry For You I Love/ Now You Know/ Our Summer Vacation/ It Always Ended Too Soon/ A Cheap Affair/ It's A Sin/ Mansion Over The Hilltop/ The One Rose That's Left In My Heart/ So Lonesome/ White Azaleas/ You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven/ I'd Like To Know

MOON MULLICAN Gusto 2165 I'll Sail My Ship Alone ● CD $4.98
20 tracks, fair Collection of sides recorded for King and Starday in the 50s and 60s by this fine honky tonk singer and influential player. Some great music but remastering is mediocre and distorted and his big hit I'll Sail My Ship Alone is either a remake or overdubbed version. Also includes Good Time Gonna Roll Again/ Trouble, Trouble/ Triflin' Woman Blues/ Piano Breakdown/ Rheumatism Boogie, etc. (FS)

MOON MULLICAN T-Bird 008 I'll Sail My Ship Alone/ Mister Honky Tonk Man ● CD $18.98
24 tracks, recommended
First ever CD reissue of the great Moon Mullican's last recordings made for the Nashville based Spar label in 1966 and originally issued on two LPs. It includes re-recordings of some of his old favorites like Columbus Stockade Blues/ I'll Sail My Ship Alone (covered twice by Jerry Lee Lewis), You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry and Old Pipeliner, but many of the songs are new material like Mr. Honky Tonk Man/ Man In The Moon/ I Ain't No Beatle (But I Want To Hold Your Hand) and the seriously rockin' I'm On My Way Home. Moon's singing and playing are fine and he is accompanied by a small group with vocal chorus on some tracks. The one drawback is the rather thin, and at times muffled, sound, - I don't know if this is a fault of the original recording or the remastering but it does detract from an otherwise very enjoyable recording. (FS)

DOLLY PARTON Omni 138 The Fairest Of Them All/ My Favorite Songwriter, Porter ● CD $17.98
23 tracks, 62 mins, essential
There is a simple choice to be made here. If you are a Dolly Parton fan, then you need this CD. Don't even bother reading the rest of this review; I 100% guarantee that if you are a Dolly Parton fan you want this CD. If you aren't interested in this CD, than you aren't a Dolly Parton fan, plain and simple. O.K., for those of you that still need convincing, this release puts together two of Dolly's early albums and releases them, plus excellent bonus tracks, for the first time ever on CD. "The Fairest Of Them All" is simply one of Dolly's greatest albums and features some of her strongest songwriting, including the legendary song Down From Dover. In Dover Dolly sings from the perspective of a pregnant woman stuck in a horrible place in life, it's one of Dolly's most graphic and most beautiful compositions. There are other powerful tracks here, like Robert and Daddy Come and Get Me, but Down From Dover is one in a million. The second album here features all Porter Wagoner compositions and is wonderful for all kinds of other reasons. It's clear that the folks at Omni records love what they do and the care that they have taken with the sound, liner notes and presentation of this CD are superb. The only possible down side that I can think of is in the original production where there are needless back-ground vocals that they could have taken out, but were probably left in for continuities sake; but, that's hardly much of a drawback. This is easily the most important Country music re-issue of the year. (JM)

OLA BELLE REED Smithsonian Folkways 40202 Rising Sun Melodies ● CD $16.98
19 tracks, highly recommended
Ola Belle Reed, who died in 2002, was a superb Appalachian born singer, banjo player and songwriter. Ola Belle started performing in the late 30s and in the 40s formed the band The New River Boys with her brother Alex Campbell and recorded an album for Starday in 1963. After Alex retired Ola Belle mostly worked with her husband Bud and their son David and made a number of recordings for Folkways in the 1970s performing traditional and original songs. Ola Belle was a rough hewn and intense vocalist and fine songwriter who forged real life experiences into music styled with determination , family tradition and commanding presence. A number of her songs like I've Endured/ High On The Mountain and My Epitaph (all featured here) have become bluegrass standards. The sides here are drawn from her Folkways recordings and includes eight previously unissued tracks - some from live performances. It addition to the aforementioned songs there are other superb Ola Belle originals like Ola Belle's Blues/ Tear Down The Fences and Fortunes as well as splendid renditions of country and bluegrass standards like Bonaparte's Retreat/ Look Down That Lonesome Road/ Nine Pound Hammer and others. In addition to Bud and David she also occasionally joined by Kevin Roth on dulcimer or John Coffey on fiddle. Superb music with detailed 40 page booklet. (FS)

JIMMY SKINNER Deluxe 7814 22 Greatest Hits ● CD $7.98
22 tracks, 55 mins, good
This is just shy of one full hour of nothing but good ol' American music. This CD features solid, though not terribly inspired versions of Country and Bluegrass numbers such as Dark Hollow/ Whoopie Liza, and The Cork and the Bottle. All in all there's not much to write home about here (or write about at all as judged by the complete lack of notes of any sort,) there's some good tracks here and there, and if you are looking for a cheap fix of vintage Country music this might do the trick. (JM)

HOBART SMITH Folk Legacy 17 Traditional Appalachian Songs And Tunes ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, 57 mins, essential
Hobart Smith from Saltville, Virginia is one of my favorite old time musicians and a greatly influential performer. He was a wonderful singer with an emotion charged style and a virtuoso instrumentalist who was adept on banjo, fiddle, guitar and piano though the piano is not featured here. Smith was first recorded by Alan Lomax in 1942 but didn't start performing on the folk circuit until the 1960s and these recordings were made at a radio station in Chicago in 1963 and resulted in his first album. This CD adds three bonus cuts to the original LP. Hobart sings a wide range of traditional songs and tunes including two different versions of Soldier's Joy - one performed on banjo and one on fiddle. Other instrumental pieces include Black Annie/ John Greer's Tune/ Bonaparte's Retreat/ K.C. Blues and others. The songs feature Hobart accompanying himself with guitar, banjo or beautiful modal fiddle work and includes Peg And Awl/ Short Life Of Trouble/ Sitting On Top Of The World/ Cuckoo Bird/ Uncloudy Day etc. Superb music and the 20 page booklet has notes on the performances and lyric transcripts (except for the bonus tracks). Indispensible to any lover of traditional American music. Counts as two CDs for shipping. (FS)

SONS OF THE PIONEERS Varese 67022 Sing The Stephen Foster Songbook ● CD $11.98
14 tracks, recommended
This is certainly an interesting historic document with fine performances by both Rogers and the Sons Of The Pioneers. Whether you enjoy this (or not) might rely on how much Stephen Foster's lyrics bother you (or not). I think if you can look past the racist language and appreciate this as you would any historic collection, like the fine one of minstrel music that came out on Old Hat records a couple years back, then there is a lot to enjoy here. The importance of the Stephen Foster songbook is certain--he pretty much invented American popular music -- and these recordings also capture Roy Rogers and the S.O.T.P. at the height of their powers in the 1930s. With the exception of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, all of the most famous songs in the Foster canon are represented here. You get fine versions of Oh Susanna/ De Camptown Races/ My Old Kentucky Home/ Old Black Joe, a lovely instrumental version of Swanee River, etc. More liner notes and recording information would have been appreciated; you get the basic two pages of notes that you usually get from Varese' releases. (JM)

DICK THOMAS Jasmine 675 Country, Ragtime, Rockin' Hillbilly & Cowboy Music ● CD $18.98
Two CDs with 55 tracks recorded between 1944 and 1953 by Western singer from, of all places, Philadelphia. As you might expect there isn't a whole lot of country twang in his singing though his voice is very engaging. It includes his original 1944 recording of his own composition Sioux City Sue which became a Western standard as well as becoming a pop hit in 1946 by Bing Crosby. With the success of that song it's not suprising that this set also includes Sister Of Sioux City Sue and Beaut From Butte. Arrangements most feature small groups along a few with larger orchestras. Some years ago B.A.C.M. issued the first ever Dick Thomas CD and this set includes many of those songs but is, onviously, much more extensive and with superior sound.
DICK THOMAS: A Broken Down Merry Go Round/ A Stolen Waltz/ Any Time Is Loving Time/ As Long As I Live I Will Love You/ Beaut From Butte/ Broken Heart/ Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie/ Can't You Take It Back And Change It For A Boy/ Charlotte Belle/ Cowboy Jack/ Don't Keep It A Secret/ Down In Old Wyomin'/ Foolish Tears/ Forgetful/ Give Me Back My Heart/ Home On The Range/ Honestly/ I Don't Want A Million Sweethearts/ I'm Goin'/ I'm Gonna Dry Up My Tears/ I've Got A Gal In Laramie/ If Memories Were Money/ Making Excuses/ Memories Of France/ Mistakes/ Moanin' In The Mornin' Grievin' In The Evenin' Blues/ My Daddy Is The Only Picture/ My Guitar Is My Sweetheart/ Old Chisholm Trail/ Ragtime Cowboy From Santa Fe/ Raindrops/ Red River Valley/ Rosalinda/ Roses Have Thorns/ Send This Purple Heart To My Sweetheart/ Seven Years With The Wrong Woman/ Sidetracked/ Sioux City Sue/ Sister Of Sioux City Sue/ Sleepy Head/ Sleepy Old Town/ Take Me Back To My Boots And Saddle/ Tennessee Local/ The Gods Were Angry With Me/ The Last Roundup/ The Little Boy I Knew/ They'll Never Take The Texas Out Of Me/ Tiny Baby Shoes/ Too Soon To Tucson/ Tumbling Tumbleweeds/ Two Car Garage/ Weary Nights And Broken Dreams/ When Uncle Joe Plays The Rag On His Old Banjo/ Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon/ You Never Loved Me

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus CDABB 1 Abbott Records Hillbilly ● CD $15.98
31 tracks, 79 mins, recommended
Fabor Robinson & Sid Abbott's Abbott label, founded in 1951, helped launch the career of such important country stars as Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves and Floyd Cramer. This fine collection of recordings made between 1951 and '57 has cuts by Horton and Reeves but mostly features lesser known but fine artists like Smiley Burnette, Billy Barton, Buddy DeVal, Myrna Lorrie, Carolyn Bradshaw (her Flower Of the Rio is particularly fine), Wink Lewis, Danny Dixon, Bob Stegall and others. It also includes early country sides by rockabilly hero Rudy Grayzell and one of the earliest solo sides by Dorsey Burnette - the forgettable Jungle Magic. (FS)
BILLY BARTON: What's The Matter With Me/ HILLBILLY BARTON: Strange Affection/ BILLY BARTON & WANDA WAYNE: That Word Called Love/ CAROLYN BRADSHAW: A Man On The Loose/ Baby Then You're Catchin On/ Flower Of The Rio/ DORSEY BURNETTE: Jungle Magic/ SMILEY BURNETTE: Chuggin' On Down "66"/ Lazy Locomotive/ That Long White Line/ ALVADEAN COKER: SugarDoll/ SANDY COKER: Toss Over/ T. TOMMY CUTRER: Mexico Gal/ BOB DAVIS: My Gal Comes From Heaven/ BUDDY DEVAL: Mate Of The Wind/ DANNY DIXON: Sweater Girl/ FREDDIE FRANK: 12,000 Texas Longhorns/ RUDY GRAYZELL: Bonita Chiquita/ I'm Gone Again/ HERB HENSON: The Birds & The Bees/ Out Of Line/ JOHNNY HORTON: Rhythm In My Baby's Walk/ Bawlin' Baby/ CURTIS KIRK: Oh, So Lonesome Blues/ WINK LEWIS: Sahw Bessie/ MYRNA LORRIE: Listen To My Heart Strings/ You Bet I Kissed Him/ Are You mine/ I'm Your Man/ JIM REEVES: My Rambling Heart/ BOB STEGALL: Strong Coffee

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 055 MGM Hillbilly, Vol. 5 - Cryin' In Your Beer Honky-Tonk ● CD $15.98
31 tracks, 77 mins, very highly recommended
Maybe it's because MGM was the home of country music's greatest honky tonk singer but this collection of honky tonk ballads is one of Cactus's best. The influence of Hank can be heard in several of the artists here and I suspect that members of the Drifting Cowboys appear on some of the sides here. Whatever, this collection has some truly great tearjerkers including sides by Bob Gallion, George McCormick, Jimmie Williams, Red Sovine, Charlie Carson, Jimmy Swan (an exceptional singer!), and others. Most Cactus CDs have a few duds but this one is superb from start to finish. (FS)
TOM ANDERSON: My Heart Couldn't See/ THE ANDREWS BROTHERS: Sundown/ AL BRITT: Blue Water/ CHARLIE CARSON: The Ache In My Heart/ VIC CLAIBORNE: No Letter Today/ PAUL DAVIS: I Must Turn My Face To The Wall/ What A Fool I've Been/ BUD DECKELMAN: I Love You/ I'd Only Be Acting A Fool/ DAVE DENNY: Cry Fool Cry/ RUSTY GABBARD: It Hurts Too Much To Cry/ BOB GALLION: Out Of A Honky Tonk/ Your Wild Life's Gonna Get You Down/ BUD HOBBS: Last Dance Tonight/ BOB JENNINGS: I'd Be The Last To Know/ MARY ANN JOHNSON: Blue Teardrops/ Lend Me Your Handkerchief/ JOE CANNONBALL LEWIS: Only In Dreams/ GEORGE MCCORMICK: I Guess You Don't Care/ MARVIN RAINWATER: I Feel Like Leaving Town/ JESSE ROGERS: I Never Knew I Needed You/ You're Sorry For Yourself/ RED SOVINE: A Quarter's Worth Of Heartaches/ JIMMY SWAN: The Way That You're Living/ Why Did You Change Your Mind/ FRED WAMBLE: Since My True Love Said Goodbye/ TED WEST: An Angel's Face (& A Devil's Heart)/ JIMMIE WILLIAMS: These Blues Over You/ Throwing My Life Away/ BILLY JACK WILLS: Four Beers & Forty Tears/ SKEETS YANEY: If It Was A Teardrop

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 063B MGM Hillbilly, Vol. 6 ● CD $15.98
31 tracks, highly recommended
The sixth volume brings us back to mostly uptempo numbers starting off in fine form with the risque country boogie Keep You Motor Hot by Sam Nichols and continuing with more fine sides from Sheb Wooley, Benny Martin (the excellent Midnight Flyer with fine fiddle and harmonica), Jimmy Williams (hot bluegrass gospel), Joe "Cannonball" Lewis, Zeke Clements (the bluesy Louisiana with hot guitar), Ernie Lee, Arthur Smith (a humorous song about green stamps), Jimmie Allen, Smiley Wilson, Tom Anderson, George McCormick, Skeets Yaney and others. Many tracks are making their first appearance on CD.
JIMMIE ALLEN: I Was A Fool To Fool Around/ The Pain Of Love/ You Upset My Apple Cart/ TOM ANDERSON: My Worried, Troubled Mind/ Our Love Goes On Just Like A Ballgame/ The Moon & I/ THE ANDREWS BROTHERS: I Got Shook/ JACK BOLES: Rockin' Chair Blues/ Runnin' Round/ ZEKE CLEMENTS: Louisiana/ PAUL DAVIS: That Ain't Hard To Take/ BOB GALLION: Baby Love Me/ BUD HOBBS: Louisiana Swing/ ERNIE LEE: How Come You Never Answer/ JOE (CANNONBALL) LEWIS: I Wonder If I Can Lose The Blues/ BENNY MARTIN: Midnight Flyer/ GEORGE MCCORMICK: The Blues Moved In This Morning/ DON MEEHAN: Iím Gonna Tell Your Conscience On You/ SAM NICHOLS: Keep Your Motor Hot/ Who Puts The Cat Out/ JINNIE RODGERS: Everything You Do To Me/ AL ROGERS: I'm Getting' Nowhere Fast/ ARTHUR SMITH: Stamps/ JIMMIE WILLIAMS: Don't Come Knockin' At My Door/ JIMMY WILLIAMS: Alpha & Omega/ BOB WILLS: The End Of The Line/ HAPPY WILSON: The Haunted House Boogie/ SMILEY WILSON: Mister Big/ SHEB WOOLEY: Country Kisses/ Hoot Owl Boogie/ SKEETS YANEY: Paper To Burn

VARIOUS ARTISTS Country Stars 55532 Will There Always Be Yodelers In Heaven ● CD $10.98
24 tracks, 67 min., very highly recommended
A lot of country fans will be surprised at the number of major artists who pressed into service the vocal register-shifting technique known as yodeling. For a time, the record buying public had a real appetite for yodeling, but that hunger has fallen off sharply over the last 60 or so years. This collection opens with the extremely influential Jimmie Rodgers, singing The Yodeling Ranger. There and else where it is hard to miss the connection between the blues and the country yodel. Other practitioners represented include Rosalie Allen, Sons Of The Pioneers, Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe & HIs Blue Grass Boys, Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys, The Delmore Brothers, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hank Snow, Slim Whitman, Roy Acuff The Carter Family, and more. Sometimes the yodel expresses joy, sometimes sorrow. For single disc collections, it doesn't get much better. (JC)
ROY ACUFF: Mule Skinner Blues/ ROSALIE ALLEN: Wide Rolling Plains/ EDDY ARNOLD: Cattle Call/ GENE AUTRY: A Yodeling Hobo/ ELTON BRITT: Give Me a Pinto Pal/ CLIFF CARLISLE: That Nasty Swing/ WILF CARTER: A Little Old Log Shack I Can Always Call My Home/ THE CARTER FAMILY: My Clinch Mountain Home/ THE DELMORE BROTHERS: Lonesome Yodel Blues/ RED FOLEY: Yodeling Radio Joe/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD: Anticipation Blues/ THE GIRLS OF THE GOLDEN WEST: Will There Be Any Yodelers in Heaven?/ REX GRIFFIN: You Got to Go to Work/ BILL MONROE & HIS BLUEGRASS BOYS: Blue Yodel, No. 4/ PATSY MONTANA: I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart/ JIMMIE RODGERS: The Yodeling Ranger/ ROY ROGERS: Cowboy Night Herd Song/ HANK SNOW: Lonesome Blue Yodel/ THE SONS OF THE PIONEERS: The Devil's Great Grand Son/ ERNEST TUBB: Married Man Blues/ RAY WHITLEY: Blue Yodel Blues/ SLIM WHITMAN: I'm Casting My Lasso Towards the Sky/ HANK WILLIAMS: Long Gone Lonesome Blues/ BOB WILLS AND HIS TEXAS PLAYBOYS: Blue Yodel, No. 1

VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 77131 Classic Field Recordings - Landmark Country Sessions ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
The title of this fine four Cd set is a bit misleading as "field recordings' generally refers to non commercial recordings made by institutions - the tracks here are all commercial tracks recorded for Bluebird in locations away from their head office in North & South Carolina, Louisiana, Illinois & Texas. Most of the tracks here were cut between 1936 and 1940 with one session by singer/ guitarist Louisiana Lou from 1933. The heyday of the exciting string bands is in the past and here we mostly have solo artists, duets and trios along with some larger groups. Among the highlights are 12 tracks by the superb Georgia singer/ guitarist Johnny Barfield who was the first country singer to record a song with the words "boogie woogie" in the title and his recording of this bluesy gem was so popular that he recorded The New Boogie Woogie six months later. Other fine songs by him include his reworking of Railroad Bill called Ain't That Right and a cover of Rex Griffin's Everybody's Trying To be My Baby which is best known from the Carl Perkins 1956 reworking. The four tracks by The Tennessee Ramblers are early examples of western swing and a couple of their tracks feature fine trumpet by Jack Gillette. There are two charming sides by The Pine Valley Boys featuring the vocal and guitar of Ernie Cornlison with steel guitar by Jerry Byrd (as Gerry Byrd) - the first recordings of this steel guitar legend. There are eight very fine and varied sides by J.H. Howell - vocal duets, vocal trios and a couple of harmonica solos. Other artists includes George Wade & His Caro-Ginians, Smith's Carolina Crackerjacks (fine old-timey gospel with an early appearance of Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith on mandolin), Grady & Hazel Cole, The Hill Brothers with Willie Simmons (wonderful old time gospel with autoharp and guitar), The Blind Fiddler (not in the country discography!), Jack Pierce (white blues influenced by Blind lemon Jefferson), The Rouse Brothers (their frequently reissued original recording of Orange Blossom Special and their previously unreissued version of Will The Circle Be Unbroken) and others. Sound is excellent and there are informative notes by Pat Harrison (FS)
JOHNNY BARFIELD: Ain't I Right?/ Boogie Woogie/ Desert Lullaby/ Don't Take My Memories/ Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby/ Heartaches And Tears/ It AIn't No Good/ Long Tongue Woman/ Love Me Only/ My Poodle Doodle Dog/ That Little Shirt My Mother Made For Me/ The New 'Boogie Woogie'/ DEWEY & GASSIE BASSETT: Back Water Blues/ Blue Moon/ No Deep True Love/ One Year Ago Today/ The Great Final Agreement/ There's A Grave In The Wilderness/ LESTER "PETE" BIVENS: Back In My Home Town/ Big Fat Girl/ Home With Mother And Dad In The West/ Knocking On The Hen House Door/ Married Life Blues/ Minor Blues/ THE BLIND FIDDLER: Maggie/ Slim Girl/ GRADY & HAZEL COLE: Forbidden Love/ Precious Thoughs Of Mother/ Shattered Love/ What A Change One Day Can Make/ WALTER CROUCH & THE WILKS RAMBLERS: Cheasapeake Bay/ Fourteen Days In Georgia/ I Want My Baby Back/ GWEN FOSTER: How Many Biscuits Can I Eat?/ Side-Line Blues/ THE FOUR PICKELD PEPPERS: Bungalow Big Enough For Two/ I'll Remember You, Love In My Prayers/ I'm Not Angry With You Darling/ When I Was A Baby/ THE HAPPY VALLEY BOYS: Homecoming Time In Happy Valley/ I'll Never Leave Old Dixieland Again/ THE HILL BROTHERS WITH WILLIE SIMMONS: I Am On My Way To Heaven/ I'm Glad I Counted The Cost/ Just Over In The Glory Land/ HINSON, PITTS & COLEY: Farmer Grey/ Whoa, Mule, Whoa/ J.H. HOWELL: Burning Of Cleveland School/ Girl That Worries My Mind/ Howell's Railroad/ Lonesome Life Of Worry/ Lost John/ Mollie Married A Travelin' Man/ My Sweetheart Has Gone And Left Me/ Rock City Blues/ WALTER HURDT: Fiddle And Guitar Running Wild/ Fox Hunter's Luck/ JULIAN JOHNSON & LEON HYATT: Little Paper Boy/ T.B. Killed My Daddy/ LOUISIANA LOU: A Package Of Love Letters/ Go 'Long Mule/ Sinful To Flirt/ The Export Gal/ With My Banjo On My Knee/ THE MCCLENDON BROTHERS: Goodbye Baby, Goodbye/ Love Hunting Blues/ Free As I Can Be/ Gamblin' On The Sabbath/ Heaven Bound Gold/ Keep Your Love Letter, I'll Keep Mine/ My Little Mountain Lady Queen Of Alabam/ Red Roses, Sweet Biolets So Blues/ The Story Of Love Divine/ JACK PIERCE: Rabbit Blues/ Soap Box Blue/ THE PINE RIDGE BOYS: Farther Along/ You Are My Sunshine/ PETE PYLE: It's So Hard To Be Just A Pal To You/ Little Blue Eyed Blonde, Goodbye/ THE ROUSE BROTHERS: My Family Circle (Will The Circle Be Unbroken)/ Orange Blossom Special/ ROY SHAFFER: Bury Me Out On The Prairie/ Coupon Song/ Cowboy Jack/ Disappointed In Love (I Wish I Had Never Met Sunshine)/ Rocking Alone In An Old Rocking Chair/ The Answer To 'Disappointed In Love'/ SMITH'S CAROLINA CRACKERJACKS: There Are No Disappointments In Heaven/ Your Soul Never Dies/ THE SOUTHERN MELODY BOYS: Down In Baltimore/ I'll Remember You, Love, In My Prayer/ If You See My Saviour/ Sweet Lucust Blossom/ Tribulation Days/ Wind The Little Ball Of Yarn/ THE TENNESSEE RAMBLERS: All My Natural Life/ Don't Put A Tax On Beautiful Girls/ Four Or Five Times/ I'll Keep On Loving You/ GEORGE WADE & THE CARO-GINIANS: He Turned Around And Went The Other Way/ Long And Bony

VARIOUS ARTISTS T-Bird 0010 Rare Bluegrass From Nashville - The 1960s ● CD $18.98
28 tracks, 68 mins, very good
A collection of sides recorded for the Spar and Sur-Speed labels in the mid 60s. The most familiar name here is Carl Story with his fine band The Rambling Mountaineers on 10 tunes from 1966. Although best known as a bluegrass gospel pioneer the tracks here find him performing a fine selection of secular material including original songs like Action Speaks Louder Than Words and Who's That Man I Saw You With and instrumentals - mostly old favorites like Blackberry Blossom and Orange Blossom Special

VARIOUS ARTISTS Tee-Vee 0768 Road Music Two ● CD $9.98
20 tracks, 55 mins, fans only
Gusto's "Road Music Vol. 1" was a huge seller and a pretty fine collection of truck driving classics. The label presents this as the long awaited sequel, a present for the fans of the first one. Far than a present, though, this is a pretty mediocre cash in that is only for hardcore trucker fans at most. You get strong artists like David Allen Coe, Red Sovine, etc, with some of their lesser tracks, or weak artists like David Frizzell and Charlie Craig doing what they do. A few good tracks like Roving Gambler by Billy Walker, and Trucker's Rag by Moon Mullican help out the compilation, but can't really save it. Only for the most hardcore truck driving song collectors. (JM)
BETTY AMOS: 18 Wheels A Rolling/ DAVID ALLAN COE: White Line Fever/ CHARLIE CRAIG: I Married Your Sister/ Only Light On The Road/ JOHNNY DOLLAR: Truck Driver's Lament/ DAVID FRIZZELL: California Turn Arounds/ Home, Home On The Road/ TINY HARRIS: King Of The Highway/ MIKE LUNSFORD: Movin' On/ FRANKIE MILLER: Truck Driving Buddy/ MOORE & NAPIER: This Truck And Me/ GEORGE MORGAN: Man Behind The Wheel/ MOON MULLICAN: Trucker's Rag/ SANDY POSEY: 18 Wheels Hummin' Home Sweet Home/ BILLY JOE ROYAL: Lay Me Down A Truck Driving Man/ RED SIMPSON: Don't Fall Asleep At The Wheel/ RED SOVINE: 10 Days Out, 2 Days In/ Woman Behind The Man Behind The Wheel/ BILLY WALKER: Roving Gambler/ COLEMAN WILSON: Radar Blues

VARIOUS ARTISTS Trailer-Park 004 Twisted Tales From The Vinyl Wastelands, Vol. 4 ● CD $15.98
31 songs + 2 spoken interludes, highly recommended
Our wild and crazy friends at the trailer park are at it again. This time they have turned their attention to the "hippy revolution" of the 1960s with 31 (mostly country) songs dealing with hippies and all that word implies including long hair, love-ins, marijuana, LSD, protesting and more. If you though that Merle Haggard's Okie From Muskogie was pretty scathing stuff, wait until you hear Place For Them Called Hell by Smokey Harless. No collection of hippie songs would be complete without Red RIver Dave's amazing account of the Manson murders - The California Hippie Murders and we also get Hippie In A Blunder by Johnny Bucket, Barber Hair Blues by Wayne Satkamp and Chesney Carroll's tongue in cheek response to Merle Hippie From Mississippi. Autry Inman is here with two ultra patriotic songs The Ballad Of two Brothers and Vietnam Blues, Don Hinson pokes fun at The Protest Singer, Don Bowman fills us in on The San Francisco Scene and Lester Flatt Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls. More songs - serious and comical from Guy Drake, Wild Bill Cooksy, Ben Colder, Wendell Austin and more. The only slightly out of place song is The Evil Dope by Phil Phillips which is about drug use in the hood but it's such an all time classic that if you don't already have it is worth the price of admission. No notes but you'd probably be too stoned to read 'em anyway! (FS)
WENDELL AUSTIN: LSD/ MOE AVERICK: Middle Age Hippie Blues/ JIMMY D. BENNETT: Sapadelic/ DON BOWMAN: The San Francisco Scene/ JOHNNY BUCKETT: Hippie In A Blunder/ CHESNEY CARROLL: Hippie From Mississippi/ LINDA CASSADY: Is Santa Claus A Hippy/ WILD BILL COOKSY: Mississippi Hippie/ FREDDY COUNTRYMAN: Cocaine Blues/ GUY DRAKE: The Marching Hippies/ LESTER FLATT: I Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls/ BUD FREEMAN: Because Of LSD/ SMOKEY HARLESS: Place For Them Called Hell/ DON HINSON: The Protest Singer/ HOMER & JETHRO: Hill Billy Hippie/ AUTRY INMAN: Ballad Of Two Brothers/ Vietnam Blues/ INTRO: The Hippie Revolt/ BUCK JONES: A Box Of Grass/ LARRY KIRBY: Country Western Hippy/ STU MITCHELL: Acid/ BEN OLDER: The Love-In/ PHIL PHILLIPS: The Evil Dope/ JOHNNY PRICE: Marijuana, The Devil Flower/ LEON RAUSCH: Hanoi Jane/ BILLY RAY: The Story Of Suzie/ RED RIVER DAVE: California Hippie Murders!/ WAYNE SATKAMP: Barber Hair Blues/ ALVIE SELF: Hippieville/ SKIT: What The Bible Says About Drug Addiction/ HARRY SNYDER: The Needle/ BILL WOODS: The Story Of Suzy/ VIC WOODWARD & CLAUDIA: Hippie Yippie

PORTER WAGONER Omni 137 What Ain't To Be, Just Might Happen ● CD $17.98
30 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended
Personally, I've never thought that Porter Wagoner had that great of a voice, but he was a great Country artist anyway. What he lacked in pipes, he more that made up for in earnest conviction, style, and passion for the art. Always a fan of recitations, Porter took that dramatic format to a whole new level starting in the mid 1960's. Mix religious parables and an awareness of changing times, and such oddball wonders like The Rubber Room/ Brother Harold Dee, and Waldo The Weirdo, happen. Story songs are certainly nothing new to Country music, but I get the impression the '60s and '70s Porter Wagoner albums owed as much to Jack Chick as they did to Hank Williams. Not everything on this collection is quite so maudlin (although the maudlin tracks are some of the best,) and there are such up-beat gems like Albert Erving/ Late At Night, and You Gotta Have A License. Fans of Merle Haggard also might want to check this out for its rare duet recording of I Haven't Learned A Thing. Porter Wagoner was one of a kind artist and Omni records has given us all a real treat with this collection of Porter at the peak of his solo creativity in the early 1970's. Package also includes excellent liner notes and some fantastic pictures. (JM)

JIMMY WAKELY Bygone Days 77033 1942-1952 ● CD $9.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
A particularly nice collection tracks recorded between 1942 and 1952 by this popular and prolific western star who also had great crossover success. It includes many of his big hits like I'm Sending You Red Roses/ One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)/ Till The End Of The World/ Telling My Troubles To MY Old Guitar/ The Gods Were Angry With Me and others as well as lesser known titles including a couple that have not been on CD before. Arrangements range from small western groups to full orchestras and it includes Jimmy duetting with Velma Williams, Margaret Whiting and others. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes by Peter Dempsey. (FS)
JIMMY WAKELY: A Bushel And A Peck/ At The Close Of A Long, Long Day/ Beautiful Brown Eyes/ Broken-Down Merry-Go-Round/ Dust/ I Don't Want To Be Free/ I Love You So Much It Hurts/ I Wish I Had A Nickel/ I'll Never Slip Around Again/ I'm Sending You Red Roses/ Let's Go to Church Next Sunday Morning/ Mine, All Mine/ My Heart Cries For You/ One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)/ Rainbow At Midnight/ Slippin' Around/ Someday You'll Call My Name/ Standing Outside Of Heaven/ Telling My Troubles To My Old Guitar/ The Gods Were Angry With Me/ There's That Same Old Lovelight In Your Eyes/ Till The End Of The World/ Too Bad, Little Girl/ Wedding Bells/ When I Say Goodnight/ When It's Harvest Time, Sweet Angeline/ When You And I Were Young, Maggie/ Why Do You Say Those Things (That Hurt Me So)?


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