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Bulletin - January/ February 2010
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Roy Acuff  -> Justin Tubb + Books + DVD
 

 

 

NEW BOOKS



MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW My Life And Times by Dr. Ralph Stanley with Eddie Dean ● BOOK $27.50
Hardback, 454 pages, counts as six CDs for shipping
Anyone with a love for Country music, particularly bluegrass music, knows the name Ralph Stanley, and, for the first time, the man is telling his story in his own words: "I'm just an old an old hillbilly, and proud of it, too. Plain as an old shoe, same as a lot of mountain people. I think it's best to try to tell your own life. What people want is to hear the words out of my own mouth, and I'm going to do the best job I can, to tell you what I remember. I talk natural the same way I sing, so I'm gonna give you my story like I was talking to you across the table. I'm a man of few words, but I try to make 'em count.so this here is the memoir of a man who don't much like to talk unless he's got something to say. I've kept my mouth shut more than most, but I've kept my eyes and ears open all the while. I've been close attention." Once you read this fascinating book, you will know that Stanley wasn't kidding.

 
THE OKLAHOMA COWBOY BAND Images Of America by Carla Chlouber ● BOOK $19.95
Paper, 128 pages, counts as three CDs for shipping
Another of Arcadia Publishing's paperbacks celebrating the diverse towns, cities, and neighborhoods of America, this volume takes a slightly different tack in that the book salutes Payne County, Oklahoma through telling the story of The Oklahoma Cowboy Band. The OCB were the first western string band in the nation to broadcast over the radio and appear in vaudeville, drawing crowds throughout the Midwest and Northeast. Carla Chlouber, is a writer and member of the board of the Washington Irving Trail and Museum (located between Ripley - where the band began-and Stillwater), and by using photographs from the collections of the museum and family of the band members, she tells the story of America's first commercially successful western band. Includes hundreds of photos including not only the band but the locale and important local people and events.

 
LINTHEAD STOMP The Creation Of Country Music In The Piedmont South by Patrick Huber ● BOOK $29.95
Hardback, 416 pages, counts as seven CDs for shipping
Contrary to popular belief, American country music did not have its roots solely on southern farms or in mountain hollows. Rather, much of this music recorded before World War II emerged from the bustling cities and towns of the Piedmont South. No group contributed more to the commercialization of early country music than southern factory workers. In Linthead Stomp, the first book-length study of southern millhands' musical culture, Patrick Huber explores the origins and development of this music in the Piedmont's mill villages and chronicles the enduring contributions that the region's millhands made to American popular music. Huber offers vivid portraits of Piedmont textile worker musicians, including Fiddlin' John Carson, Charlie Poole, Dave McCarn, and the Dixon Brothers, and considers the impact that urban living, industrial work, modern technology, and mass culture had on their lives and music. Drawing on a broad range of sources, including rare 78-rpm recordings and unpublished interviews, Huber reveals how the country music recorded between 1922 and 1942 was just as modern as the jazz music of the same era.

 

NEW DVD

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Shout Factory 11461 Country's Greatest Stars Live, Vol. 1 ● DVD $29.98
Two DVD set featuring almost three hours of musical performances drawn from a series that aired on TV in 1978 including performances by Roy Acuff & His Smoky Mountain Boys, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Merle Haggard with Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, Loretta Lynn, The Oak Ridge Boys, Minnie Pearl, Earl Scruggs Revue, Mel Tillis, Enest Tubb, etc.

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
ROY ACUFF Varese 66872 Hand-Clapping Gospel Songs ● CD $11.98
18 tracks, 46 min., recommended
Reissues a 1963 Hickory LP and adds 6 extra tracks, but this album takes its title a little too seriously. The mid-tempo, hand-clapping pre-figures the continuous club mix concept in that every song is the same pace and features the same hand-clapping, such that every song after the first gives the feeling of aural deja vu. Presumably, it is intended to recreate that church-rocking, Sunday morning house of worship feeling, but taken all together, the album is a bit monotonous. That said, it's still Roy Acuff, and the 2 Hank Williams songs (Jesus Died For Me and I Saw The Light)are more than worthwhile. Hardcore fans will also want to pick this up for the extra cuts, which include The Great Speckled Bird (1962), The Precious Jewel (1962), the Acuff original This World Can't Stand Long (1973), Hallelujah Square (1977), Little Moses (1978), and From Cradle To Crown (1978). (JC)

 
THE BROWNS Bear Family BCD 16533 A Country Music Odyssey ● CD $21.98
36 tracks, highly recommended
The Browns are one of those great groups that people just don't seem to appreciate much anymore though they had a a whole mess of great songs in the 1950s - early '60s and as of this writing, Jim Ed Brown is still going strong with his sisters long retired. This collection, personally selected by Maxine Brown, follows this fantastic Country harmony family's work from their twangy roots through their huge Countrypoliton successes. Chet Atkins scored his first number one as a producer with the Browns version of The Three Bells, a hauntingly beautiful track that holds up well to this day. Most of their stuff still holds up well and this has much of their best. You get tracks like the lively Looking Back To See, the vocal dynamics of I Heard The Bluebirds Sing, and a great cover of The Louvin Brothers weeper I Take The Chance. When it comes to their lush crossover hits, besides Bells there's fine renditions of Scarlet Ribbons/ The Old Lamplighter, and Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On. Usual superb Bear Family sound and set comes as a small hard cover book with 80 pages of notes. (JM/ FS)

 
THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Gusto 0958-2 High Lonesome - Complete Starday Recordings ● CD $16.98
Previously available as Starday 3510. Two CD set featuring 51 tracks recorded by this fine and influential bluegrass group for Starday between 1957 and 1965 featuring the talents of John Duffey, Charlie Waller, Eddie Adcock, Bill Emerson and others. This set includes five previously unissued song and a previously unissued alternate take of New Freedom Bell. Includes Backwoods Blues/ It's The Blues/ The Church Back Home/ The Devil's Own/ I'll Never Marry/ The Hills And Home/ Helen/ Red Rockin' Chair/ Willie Roy, The Cripple Boy/ These Men Of God/ Night Walk, etc. Includes 20 page booklet with extensive notes by Gary Reid and full discographical data.

 
FLATT & SCRUGGS/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS JSP JSPCD 77128 Selected Cuts, 1952-1959 ● CD $28.98
Four CD set, 100 tracks, essential
Truly classic bluegrass recorded between 1952 and 1959 by two of the greatest traditional bluegrass groups. Flatt & Scruggs are featured on 50 tracks recorded between 1952 and 1959 including such classic performances as Dim Lights, Thick Smoke/ I'll Go Steppin' Too/ Foggy Mountain Special/ I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open/ Who Will Sing For Me/ Don't Let You Deal Go Down/ No Doubt About It/ Let Those Brown Eyes Smile For Me and other gems with the duo joined by such great musicians and vocalists as "Curly" Seckler, Benny Martin, Paul Warren, Hylo Brown and others. The Stanleys are featured on 50 tracks from between 1954 and 1959 including timeless treasures like Memories Of Mother/ Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ I Hear My Savior Calling/ Lonesome And Blue/ Angel Band/ Cry From The CrossI'll Never Grow Tired Of You/ The Flood/ She's More To Be Pitied and others including their 1959 version of I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow. This is bluegrass at it's finest with excellent sound, informative notes by Pat Harrison and full discographical details. (FS)
FLATT & SCRUGGS: Be Ready for Tomorrow May Never Come/ Before I Met You/ Big Black Train/ Blue Ridge Cabin Home/ Bubbling in My Soul/ Building on Sand/ Crying Alone/ Crying My Heart out Over You/ Dear Old Dixie/ Dim Lights, Thick Smoke/ Don't Let Your Deal Go Down/ Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky/ Foggy Mountain Chimes/ Foggy Mountain Special/ Give Me Flowers While I'm Living/ Give Mother My Crown/ Gone Home/ Ground Speed/ Heaven/ Hundred Years from Now, A/ I Don't Care Any More/ I Won't Be Hanging Around/ I'd Rather Be Alone/ I'll Go Steppin' Too/ I'm Gonna Sleep with One Eye Open/ Is There Room for Me?/ It Won't Be Long/ Jesus Savior Pilot Me/ Joy Bells/ Let Those Brown Eyes Smile at Me/ Mama and Daddy's Little Girl/ Million Years in Glory, A/ Mother Prays Loud in Her Sleep/ No Doubt About It/ Old Fashioned Preacher/ On My Mind/ Pray for the Boys/ Randy Lynn Rag/ Reunion in Heaven/ Shuckin' the Corn/ Six White Horses/ Some Old Day/ Someone Took My Place with You/ That Old Book of Mine/ Till the End of the World Rolls Around/ What's Good for You/ Who Will Sing for Me/ You Can Feel It in Your Soul/ You're Not a Drop in the Bucket/ Your Life Is Like a Flower/ THE STANLEY BROTHERS: Angel Band/ Baby Girl/ Big Tilda/ Blue Moon of Kentucky/ Calling from Heaven/ Clinch Mountain Blues/ Close By/ Could You Love Me (One More Time)/ Cry from the Cross, The/ Daybreak in Dixie/ Fling Ding/ Flood, The/ Gonna Paint the Town/ Harbor of Love/ Hard Times/ Holiday Pickin'/ How Mountain Girls Can Love/ I Hear My Savior Calling/ I Just Got Wise/ I Worship You/ I'd Rather Be Forgotten/ I'll Never Grow Tired of You/ I'm Lost, I'll Never Find the Way/ I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow/ If That's the Way You Feel/ Just a Little Talk with Jesus/ Let Me Walk, Lord, By Your Side/ Life of Sorrow, A/ Little Maggie/ Lonesome Night, A/ Lonesome and Blue/ Love Me Darling Just Tonight/ Loving You Too Well/ Maple on the Hill/ Memories of Mother/ Memory of Your Smile, The/ No School Bus in Heaven/ Nobody's Love Is Like Mine/ Orange Blossom Special/ Say You'll Take Me Back/ She's More to Be Pitied/ So Blue/ That Happy Night/ Tragic Love/ Train 45/ Trust Each Other/ Who Will Call You Sweetheart/ Will He Wait a Little Longer/ You'd Better Get Right/ You're Still on My Mind

 
ART GIBSON B.A.C.M. 289 Featuring The Mountain Melody Boys ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
Fine collection of sides recorded between 1946 and 1954 by this excellent but little known honky tonk singer from Wisconsin. The majority of the sides were recorded for Mercury in 1946 and 1947 along with two sides from a rare single on the Replica label from 1954 and this CD represents almost his entire recorded output. Gibson had a warm easy going style and was usually accompanied by a small group dominated by excellent steel guitar work - often Jerry Byrd. Most of the songs are Gibson originals including titles like I'm Checking Out/ I'm Ashamed Of You/ I'm A Truck Driving Man/ Gambling Blues/ Everybody's Sweetheart/ When I Leave Town Tonight/ Cold Heated Blonde/ Sam Old Thing All The Time, etc. Excellent sound and informative notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
ART GIBSON: A Little Love From You/ Anytime, Any Place/ Cold Hearted Blonde/ Everybody's Sweetheart/ Gallivantin' Woman/ Gambling Blues/ Honky Tonk Mama/ I'm A Cry Cry Baby/ I'm A Truck Driving Man/ I'm A-Walkin' And Talking To Myself/ I'm Ashamed Of You/ I'm Backin' Up/ I'm Checkin' In/ I'm Checking Out/ I'm Free From You/ I'm Looking High And Low For My baby/ I'm Not Lookin' No More For No Woman/ My Memories Of The Past/ No More Records/ One More Waltz With You/ Road Of Regret/ Same Old Thing All The Time/ The Wages Of Sin/ When I Leave Town Tonight/ Who's That Blonde/ Worried About My Girl/ You Lied

 
AMBROSE HALEY B.A.C.M. 292 ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, recommended
25 tracks from this St. Louis based performer recorded between 1937 and the mid 50s. Haley was an idiosyncratic singer with a style that owed a lot to older vaudeville techniques and his approach is lively and infectious. His earliest sides from 1937 feature him with a group that including the earliest recordings of the great fiddler Wade Ray and the little known but superb guitarist Mony Rhine. Ray also appears behind him on an eight track session from 1947 with accompaniment by The Prairie Ramblers which included some hot electric guitar from Bernie Smith. The disc also includes nine previously unissued radio air checks. Songs include I'm So Alone With The Crowd/ How's Your Folks, How's My Folks/ Stars And Stripes On iwo Jima/ Old Timey Christmas/ Jelly Roll Blues/ Mammy O'Mine/ Sweet Georgia Brown/ Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon/ Who's Sorry Now, etc. An enjoyable and entertaining selection. (FS)
AMBROSE HALEY: I'm So Alone With The Crowd/ It Looks Like Rain In Cherry Blossom Lane/ I Wouldn't Trade The Silver In Mother's Hair (1)/ How's Your Folks, How's My Folks/ Down The Trail To San Antone/ Kansas City Kitty/ Stars And Stripes On Iwo Jima/ Good Old Turnips Greens/ There'll Be Some Changes Made/ Old Timey Christmas/ Anytime/ I Wouldn't Trade The Silver In Mother's Hair (2)/ Jelly Roll Blues/ Whing Ding Daddy/ Its Time To Sing Sweet Adeline/ Mammy O' Mine/ We've Come A Long Way Together-Put Your Arms Around Me Honey/ Limehouse Blues/ Sweet Georgia Brown-Tweedle `O Twill/ My Blue Heaven/ Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone/ Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon/ Leon's Guitar Boogie/ Who's Sorry Now/ Kansas City Kitty-Down The Trail To San Antone

 
BILL HARRELL Gusto 2121 With Special Guest Don Reno - 20 Bluegrass Greats ● CD $7.98
A fine collection of traditional style bluegrass featuring the excellent singer/ guitarist/ songwriter Bill Harrell. The first 8 tracks features Bill with his own band recorded for Starday in the the late 50s. After Red Smiley retired from performing in 1964, Harrell teamed up with the great banjo player and vocalist Don Reno and they worked together through the 60s and 70s. The last 12 tracks features the team of Harrell and Reno recorded for King in the late 1960s.

 
BOBBY HELMS B.A.C.M. 291 Borrowed Dreams ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, recommended
Although Bobby Helms didn't have a lot of hits the ones he did have were big ones including the multi million selling crossover Christmas song Jingle Bell Rock which has become a seasonal standard. This collection is a cross section of sides recorded between 1955 and 1959 including his earliest sides for the tiny Speed label which were hardcore honky tonk. He first hit it big in 1957 with the fine honky-tonk ballad Fraulein which crossed over into the pop charts and his next hit was the much more pop flavored My Special Angel and many of his subsequent releases were pop oriented with string and vocal choruses though Helms's vocals were always excellent. This collection also includes his hits Jingle Bell Rock/ Just A Little Lonesome and Jacqueline along with other songs like Living In The Shadow Of The Past/ New River Traiun/ No Other Baby (one of the best of his later songs)/ Hurry Baby/ Most Of the Time, etc. (FS)
BOBBY HELMS: A Hundred Hearts/ Borrowed Dreams/ Fraulein/ Freedom Lovin' Guy/ Got A Heartstick Feeling/ Hanging Around/ Hurry Baby/ I Don't Owe You Nothing/ I Love My Lady/ I've Never Seen Anyone (Like You)/ Jacqueline/ Jingle Bell Rock/ Just A Little Lonesome/ Living In The Shadow Of The Past/ Miss Memory/ Most Of The Time/ My Lucky Baby/ My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You/ My Special Angel/ New River Train/ No Other Baby/ Now And Then There's A Fool Such As I/ Soon It Can Be Told/ Standing At The End Of My World/ Tennessee Rock And Roll/ The Fool And The Angel/ Yesterday's Lovin'/ You're No Longer Mine

 
GOLDIE HILL B.A.C.M. 301 Vol. 2 - It's Only A Matter Of Time ● CD $14.98
30 tracks, recommended
Complementing BACM 107 this is another fine collection of 30 songs from this Texas born honky tonk singer recorded between 1954 and 1960. Goldie had a number of hits, most of them on the first volume, - the only hit here is the maudlin Yankee Go Home with narration by Red Sovine. Most of the other songs here are better than that hit including Second Chance/ I'm beginning To Feel Mistreated/ Till I Said It To You/ What's Happend To Us/ Don't Just Stand There and others. Except for the 1960 sessions which have pop arrangements with vocal choruses the rest have straight ahead honky tonk accompaniments with fine fiddle and steel guitar. (FS)
GOLDIE HILL: Second Chance/ Steel Guitar/ Sample My Kissin'/ I'm Beginning To Feel Mistreated/ Footsteps/ New Names New Faces/ Till I Said It To You/ A Wasted Love Affair/ It's Only A Matter Of Time/ Yankee Go Home/ What's Happened To Us/ Honky Tonk Music/ It's Here To Stay/ Don't Just Stand There/ Driftwood On The River/ I Slipped Off My Wedding Ring/ It's A Lovely, Lovely World/ It's So Lonely On My Side Of The Sea/ Living Alone/ Missing Loving Missing Livin' Missing You/ Twice As Blue/ You're Looking For An Angel/ Cleaniin' House/ Waterloo/ Recklessly/ Another Man's Woman

 
TOMMY HILL B.A.C.M. 293 The Life That I'm Living ● CD $14.98
Fine collection of 26 tracks by this excellent honky tonk singer from Texas who had his greatest fame as a songwriter (he wrote Slowly for Webb Pierce), producer and record company owner but made some fine records under his own name. The recordings here are from a number of different labels including Hickory - he was the first artists to record for that label. Songs include Until Heaven Come Along I'll Take Texas/ More I Give The More You Take/ The Life That I'm Living/ Bright Lights Is Your Heaven/ The Blues Are Back Again/ Honky Tonk Romance, etc.
TOMMY HILL: Until Heaven Comes Along I'll Take Texas/ I'm Gonna Shoo The Blues Away/ I Ain't Settin' Where I Was/ More I Give The More You Take/ Love Me For A Lifetime/ The Last Letter/ The Life That I'm Living (1)/ What Is It Darling/ The Life That I'm Living (2)/ Bright Lights Is Your Heaven/ Love Me Baby/ Say It Now/ The Blues Are Back Again/ I Must Leave You Now/ End Of The Stairway/ In The Middle Of The Morning/ Honky Tonk Romance/ I Wanta Show My Baby Off/ Collision With Love/ Although I'm Second Hand/ Six Feet Of Earth/ Diddle Diddle Dumpling/ Mr Jukebox/ Sugar Nanner/ Walls Of Stone/ Oil On My Land

 
ADOLPH HOFNER B.A.C.M. 297 Swing With The Music ● CD $14.98
A collection of 28 tracks recorded between 1938 and 1955 by this fine, popular and prolific group led by Czech-German singer/ guitarist Adolph Hofner. This CD features both aspects of his recording - fine jazzy western swing as well as polkas sung in Czech. Includes The Tickle Toe Song/ South Texas Swing/ South Of The Border In Laredo/ Night Time Down South/ I Guess You Forgot/ Cerveny Satacheck/ There's A Palace Down In Texas, etc.
ADOLPH HOFNER: Alamo Rag/ Baruska (Barbara) Polka/ Cerveny Satachek (Red Handkerchief)/ Country Fair Polka/ Dis Syme Odpustik Prahu (Farewell To Prague)/ Happy Go Lucky Polka/ I Guess You Forgot/ I'm Blue And Lonely/ Julida Polka/ Night Time Down South/ Our Little Romance Is Through/ Please Don't Take That Bottle From Me/ Someday Soon/ South Of The Border In Laredo/ South Texas Swing/ Sveskova Alej (The Prune Song)/ Swing With The Music/ Texas Is My Home/ The Blue Bonnet Polka/ The Tickle Toe Song/ There's A Palace Down In Dallas/ Tickle Toe/ Training Camp Shuffle/ Twilight Waltz/ U Studenky Sedela (At The Spring)/ Wabash Blues/ Westphalia Waltz/ With You Still In My Heart

 
TOMMY JACKSON B.A.C.M. 294 The Legendary Session Fiddler ● CD $14.98
A collection 26 tracks recorded for Dot in the early 1950s by this famed session fiddler who recorded and performed with hundreds of country performers from the late 40s through early 70s. The recordings were intended for square dancing and are performed straight with very little ornamentation with Tommy accompanied by a small group with mandolin, guitar and bass. Since the music was intended purely for dancing it doesn't make for particularly compelling listening though it is quite pleasant. Tunes include East Tennessee Blues/ Ragtime Annie/ Rystraw/ Polk County Breakdown/ Flop eared Mule/ Arkansas Traveler/ Soldier's Joy/ Mississippi Sawyer/ Rickett's Hornpipe, etc.
TOMMY JACKSON: East Tennessee Blues/ Uncle Joe/ Cripple Creek/ Ragtime Annie/ Leather Britches/ Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/ Ricestrow (aka Ryestraw)/ I Don't Love Nobody/ The Girl I Left Behind Me/ Polk County Breakdown/ Bill Cheatham/ Liberty/ Flop Eared Mule/ Sugar In The Gourd/ Golden Slippers/ Arkansas Traveler/ Boil Them Cabbage Down/ Chinese Breakdown/ Soldier's Joy/ Fiddlin' Rag/ Katy Hill/ Mississippi Sawyer/ Here And There/ Sally Goodin/ Rickett's Hornpipe/ Sally Ann

 
GEORGE JONES Time Life 25466 The Great "Lost" Hits ● CD $19.98
Two CDs, 34 tracks, highly recommended First - the "lost" part of the title is pure marketing bullshit. This two CD includes 22 tracks from Musicor that reached the Billboard country charts and have been reissued several times. The rest features some LP tracks and non hit singles plus one side that was not originally issued but appeared on one of the recently issued Bear Family box sets. In spite of the deceptive title the music is consistently superb featuring recordings made for Musicor between 1965 and 1971 including such great sides as Walk Through This World With Me/ Love Bug/ Take Me/ Say It's Not You/ As I Long As I Live/ A Good Year For The Roses and others including his great duet with Melba Montgomery on We Must Have Been Out Our Minds. The LP songs are equally good including tracks like World Of Forgotten People/ Burn Another Honky Tonk Down and Never Grow Cold. The originally unissued song is a superb Dallas Frazier composition The Honky Tonk Downstairs which is certainly as good as the issued material. Sound is superb and the 16 page booklet has informative notes by compiler Colin Escott. (FS)

 
JACK KINGSTON B.A.C.M. 296 The Canadian Playboy ● CD $14.98
28 tracks recorded between 1951 and 1957 by this fine singer, yodeler and square dance caller from St. Catherines, Ontario. Joined by a small group he performs a selection of mostly original songs including A Love That's True/ How Far Is She Now/ I'm Just A Fool When It Comes To Loving You/ Go Away And Leave Me/ The Road Of Broken Hearts/ C.N.R. Spacial and others. It also includes fine covers of Tommy Collins' If You Ain't Lovin, You Ain't Livin and The Everly Brothers' Bye Bye Love. There are also a couple of topical songs including the Sprinhill Mine Disaster about an explosion at a mine in Cumberland, Nova Scotia.
JACK KINGSTON: A Dream Of A Miner's Child/ A Love That's True/ A Pickin' And A Singin'/ Alabama Jubilee/ Bye Bye Love/ C N R Special/ Castle Of Cards/ Dear Mother/ Go Away And Leave Me/ Hey There Baby/ How Far Is She Now/ I Got The Blues/ I'm Just A Fool When It Comes To Loving You/ If You Ain't Lovin' You Ain't Livin'/ In Daddy's Footsteps/ Letter Edged In Black/ Mama Don't Cry At My Wedding/ Picture Of You/ Singing The Blues/ Snug As A Bug/ Springhill Mine Explosion/ Tell Me Darling/ The Road Of Broken Hearts/ There's No Room In My Heart/ Two Hearts One Love/ Unwanted And Unclaimed/ When The Bright Lights Grow Dim/ Yodeling Cowboy No. 2

 
THE LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS Gusto 2130 Starday Collection ● CD $7.98
14 tracks, recommended
CD issue of Starday 222 from 1963. The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers were one of the great pioneering bluegrass group originally formed in 1938 by brother Ezra (vocal and bass) and Curly Ray Cline (vocal and fiddle). Over the years the group featuring numerous other musicians but Ezra and Curly remained at the core. On these sides from the early 60s they are joined by Mevin Goins (vocal and guitar) and Ray Goins (banjo and vocal). On some tracks they are joined by Dobroist Jack Lindemann and a few tracks feature Mac Wiseman on guitar on harmony vocals. A fine collection of traditional style bluegrass featuring traditional songs like death Come Creeping In My Room and old Reuben, bluegrass version of country favorites like Too Hot To Handle and What Makes A man Wonder and more. The opening cut is the moving Coal Dust Blues that tell the trials of a coal miner complete with naration. Fine singing and playing and excellent harmonies. (FS)

 
THE LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS Gusto 2131 Bluegrass Collection ● CD $6.98
Complementing Gusto 2130 this is another fine collection of traditional style bluegrass from this long lived group recorded in the early 60s. This is a reissue of Starday 155 and includes songs like I'm All Alone/ Lost In The World/ Eatin' Out Of Your Hand/ What Can I Tell My Heart/ He Showed Me The Way, etc.

 
J.E. MAINER JSP JSPCD 77124 Classic Sides, 1937-1941 ● CD $28.98
Just arrived - the second volume of seminal country recordings from J.E. Mainer and his brother Wade is another four CD set with 100 sides recorded between 1937 and 1941, often in the company of guitarist Zeke Morris and fiddler Steve Ledford. In addition to sides by Mainer's Mountaineers we have solo sides by wade Mainer and tracks by The Sons Of The Mountaineers, The Happy-Go-Lucky Boys and The Morris Brothers.
THE HAPPY-GO-LUCKY BOYS: Come Back, Sweetheart/ Darling I'm Still in Love with You/ Happy-Go-Lucky Breakdown/ I Hope She's Satisfied/ No Letter in the Mail Today/ What-Cha Gonna Go with the Baby?/ STEVE LEDFORD & THE MOUNTAINEERS: Bachelor Blues/ Happy or Lonesome/ Only a Broken Heart/ Since I Met My Mother-in-Law/ WADE MAINER & HIS LITTLE SMILIN' RANGERS: Companions Draw Nigh/ Don't Forget Me Little Darling/ I Want to Be Loved/ Memory Lane/ Mountain Sweetheart/ Ramshackle Shack/ What Are You Going to Do Brother?/ Wild Bill Jones/ WADE MAINER & THE SONS OF THE MOUNTAINEERS: A Little Love/ All My Friends/ Another Alabama Camp Meetin'/ Anywhere Is Home/ Can't Tell About These Women/ Crying Holy/ Dear Loving Mother and Dad/ Don't Get Too Deep in Love/ Don't Leave Me Alone/ Drifting Through an Unfriendly World/ Farther Along/ He Gave His Life/ Heaven Bells Are Ringing/ Home in the Sky/ I Can Tell You the Time/ I Left My Home in the Mountains/ I Met Her at a Ball One Night/ I Won't Be Worried/ If I Had Listened to Mother/ Life's Ev'nin' Sun/ Lonely TombS/ Look on and Cry/ Mama Don't Make Me Go to Bed/ Mansions in the Sky/ Mitchell Blues/ More Good Women Gone Wrong/ Mother Still Prays for You Jack/ North Carolina Moon/ Not a Word of That Be Said/ Old Reuben/ One Little Kiss/ Pale Moonlight/ Precious Memories/ Ramblin' Boy/ Shake My Mother's Hand for Me/ She Is Spreading Her Wings for a Journey/ Sparkling Blue Eyes/ Sparkling Blue Eyes No. 2/ That Kind/ The Gospel Cannonball/ The Great and Final Judgement/ The Poor Drunkard's Dream/ The Precious Jewel/ The Same Old You to Me/ We Will Miss Him/ Were You There?/ What a Wonderful Saviour Is He/ Where Romance Calls/ Why Not Make Heaven Your Home/ You May Forsake Me/ You're Awfully Mean to Me/ MAINER'S MOUNTAINEERS: Garden of Prayer/ J.E. MAINER'S MOUNTAINEERS: Answer to Greenback Dollar/ Back to Johnson City/ Carry Your Cross with a Smile/ Concord Rag/ Country Blues/ Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind/ Don't Go Out/ Drunkard's Hiccoughs/ Floating Down the Stream of Time/ Great Reaping Day/ I Once Loved a Young Man/ I'm Living the Right Life Now/ I'm in the Gloryland Way/ If I Lose, Let Me Lose/ Just Over in the Glory Land/ Kiss Me Cindy/ Lamp Lighting Time in Heaven/ Miss Me When I'm Gone/ Oh Why Did I Ever Get Married/ Somebody Cares/ Swing the Door of Your Heart Open Wide/ There's a Green Hill Far Away/ When the Light's Gone Out in Your Soul/ Your Best Friend Is Always Near/ THE MORRIS BROTHERS: Dream of the Miner's Child/ Gabriel's Trumpet/ It's Blues/ Little Nellie/ One Little Word/ Wabash Cannon Ball No. 2

 
BENNY MARTIN B.A.C.M. 298 Just Me & My Fiddle ● CD $14.98
Benny Martin was one of the giants of bluegrass and country fiddle who lent his expertise on his unique eight string strings to hundreds of sessions by artists like Kitty Wells, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Don Reno, Johnnie & Jack, The Stanley Brothers and many others. This collection features 25 tracks recorded under his own name as a vocalist in the 50s. Martin was a pleasing, if unexceptional, vocalist and many of his recordings are original compositions. Includes his theme song Just Me And My Fiddle plus If I Can Stay Away Long Enough/ Yes It's True/ You're Guilty Darling/ The Thirteenth Of May/ I'm Chcekin' Out/ To Cry The Blues Each Day, etc.
BENNY MARTIN: Border Baby/ By The Law Of My Heart/ Coming Attractions/ Do Me A Favour/ Girls, Girls/ Goin' Down The Road/ Hoebe Snow/ I'm Checkin' Out/ I'm Right And You're Wrong/ If I Can Stay Away Long Enough/ If I Didn't Have A Conscience/ Just Me And My Fiddle/ Little Darlin' Give Me One More Chance/ My Fortune/ So Blue To Cry/ Take My Word/ That's What I'll Do To You/ The Thirteenth Of May/ To Cry The Blues Each Day/ Top Gun/ Tryin' To Chase These Blues Away/ Untrue You/ Who Put Those Tears In Your Eyes/ Yes It's True/ You're Guilty Darlin'

 
LOU MILLET Cactus 102 Louisiana Hillbilly ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 65 min, highly recommended
Lefty Frizzell gave Millet his big break in country music, although he was recording before he signed to Columbia. This welcome release samples Millet's early career across multiple labels, including Ace, Feature, Ekko, Republic, Go, Trace, Columbia, and one on Conservative Records as by Colonel Lou. Nothing here holds a candle to the pair of hillbilly boogie sides (Slip Slip Slippin' In and Shorty The Barber) cut for Republic, although the early Ace sides are pretty spunky, certainly more so than the Feature material. The 78 and 45 rpm sources make for less-than-audiophile sound once in a while, but it's nothing serious. In fact, the Columbia sides sound great and actually draw attention to what's lacking in the others. The Columbia material is generally strong, but That's How I Need You sure bears a striking resemblance to the Feature side That's Me Without You. And Weary, Worried & Blue makes me think of Worried, Lonesome & In Love. Still, a treasure trove of hard-to-find sides from a neglected talent. (JC)
LOU MILLET: A Broken Heart/ Accidents Can Happen/ Bayou Pigeon/ Chapel Of My Heart/ Get A Grip On Your Heart/ God Only Knows/ Heart Of Stone/ Hummingbird/ I Was Only Teasing You/ Johnny Reb/ Just Me, My Heart & You/ Just You & Me/ Memories From Your Cedar Chest/ My In-laws Made An Outlaw Out Of Me/ Shorty The Barber/ Since The Devil Moved In/ Slip Slip Slippiní In/ Thatís How I Need You/ Thatís Me Without You/ Uncle Earl/ Weary, Worried & Blue/ When I Harvest My Love/ When Iím Out Honky-Tonkiní With You/ Whisper Of Doubt/ Worried, Lonesome & In Love/ Your Own Heart You Must Mend

 
LEON PAYNE B.A.C.M. 295 The Lang-Worth Transcriptions ● CD $14.98
Fine collection of 27 tracks by this excellent Texas singer and songwriter from previously unreissued radio transcriptions made in the late 40s and early 50s. Though most of his commercial recordings feature him doing almost exclusively his own songs these sides feature not only his own songs but his own distinctive versions of hits by other artists like Moon Mullican (I'll Sail My Ship Alone), Ernest Tubb (Letters Have No Arms), Bill Monroe (Kentucky Waltz), Hank Williams (COld, Cold Heart) and others as well as his own take on pop standards like Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Ramona. Payne his backed by his band of the time which included fine fiddle by Ernie Hunter or Earl Carruthers and steel by Frankie Juracek. He recorded around 80 sides for the Lang-Worth Transcription Co. and more reissues are from these recordings are in the works.
LEON PAYNE: Afraid/ Because You Love Me/ Cold, Cold Heart/ Down In The Little Green Valley/ Empty Saddles/ I Couldn't Do A Thing Without You/ I Want To Be With You Always/ I'll Sail My Ship Alone/ I'm Drifting Back To Dreamland/ If I Could Only Live My Life Over/ If You Want Some Lovin'/ Kentucky Waltz/ Let Me Call You Sweetheart/ Let's Live A Little/ Letters Have No Arms/ Mississippi/ My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean/ Poison Love/ Ramona/ Sick, Sober And Sorry/ Take Me In Your Arms/ The Waltz You Saved For Me/ There's Been A Change In Me/ They'll Never Take Her Love From Me/ Tie Me To Your Apron Strings Again/ Unfaithful One/ When It's Lamp Lightin' Time In The Valley

 
RENO & SMILEY Gusto 0959-2 The Early Years, 1951-1959 : Collector's Box Set ● CD $24.98
4 CD's, 115 tracks, 4 hrs, 56 min, highly recommended
Reissue of long out of print box set Starday 7001 but this time in a more compact pacakage. Another exemplary reissue of an important first generation bluegrass group from the King Records archives, overseen by Gary Reid. Reno & Smiley were unlike the first tier of founding bluegrass bands in several ways. Their vocal approach was not so intense as that of Monroe, the Stanleys, or Flatt & Scruggs, depending more on the easy-going baritone lead vocals of Red Smiley, and less on tightly knit harmonies and soaring tenors. Also, most of their material came from the pen of banjo-guitarist Don Reno, whose unique, jazzy banjo style also set the group's sound apart. They did excel on four-part gospel harmonies, many of which are featured on the first two CD's here. By 1955 the classic band, featuring fiddler Mac Magaha and bassist John Palmer recorded such classics as Country Boy Rock And Roll/ I Know You're Married/ No Longer A Sweetheart Of Mine/ Remington Ride and many others included here. Also included are four cuts recorded with Tommy Magness' band The Tennessee Buddies, for whom Reno & Smiley worked before forming their partnership, and such classics from their early studio career as I'm Using My Bible As A Roadmap/ There's Another Baby Waiting For Me Down The Line/ Maybe You Will Change Your Mind/ Drifting With The Tide. A 1959 session consists of 12 selections from the King catalog featuring Reno's wonderful lead guitar - this date yielded several gems, among them a reworking of the Delmore Bros.' Freight Train Boogie, a wonderful East Bound Freight Train, classic versions of 8 More Miles To Louisville/ I'm Blue And Lonesome, and perhaps their biggest hit, a version of Jim Eanes' Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die. Includes a 32-page booklet with extensive notes by Gary Reid, a detailed discography and an appreciation by Bill Vernon of Don Reno. A very nice job. (RP)

 
CHARLIE RICH Bear Family BCD 16516 The Ballads Of Charlie Rich ● CD $24.98
33 tracks, 85 mins, highly recommended
Many know Charlie Rich as a rockabilly man, but this collection of early ballads should come as no surprise to anyone who remembers his early-70's "countrypolitan" hits cut with Billy Sherrill. Comprising of recordings made for Charlie's first three labels-Sun, RCA, and Smash-between 1958 and 1966, the revealing thing about this collection is the fact that many of these sides were either never a hit, unreleased, or had their original release tampered with. The jazzed up piano style and piercingly soulful vocals that were the hallmarks of those 70's recordings are present here in tracks like My Heart Cries For You/ Time and Again, and Tomorrow Night, meanwhile, he gets down and dirty on Now Everybody Knows and There Won't Be Anymore, and even manages to make a song I've never found palatable (Unchained Melody) likable. As usual, Bear Family has done a bang up job on the packaging and notes; if all you know of Charlie Rich is his Sun rockabilly or his 70's work, do your self a favor and check this one out. (GMC)
CHARLIE RICH: Ain't It a Shame/ Apple Blossom Time/ Best Years/ Cloud Nine/ Don't Put No Headstone on My Grave/ Every Day/ Field of Yellow Daisies/ How Blue Can You Be/ I Don't See Me in Your Eyes Anymore/ I Need Your Love/ I Said Baby/ I'm Making Plans/ It Hurt Me So/ It's Too Late (Undubbed)/ Juanita (Undubbed)/ Let Me Go My Merry Way/ Loneliest Days (vocal/piano only)/ My Heart Cries for You (Undubbed)/ No Home/ Now Everybody Knows/ River, Stay Away from My Door/ School Days (Undubbed)/ Share Your Love with Me/ Sittin' and Thinkin'/ Stay/ Stay/ There Won't Be Anymore/ Time and Again/ Tomorrow Night/ Unchained Melody/ We Belong to Each Other/ Who Will the Next Fool Be/ Why, Oh Why

 
RUDY SOOTER B.A.C.M. 290 Won't You Be My Buckaroo ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, 69 mins, recommended
Enjoyable selection of western songs, western swing and novelty material featuring singer/ songwriter/ guitarist/ fiddler and western film star Rudy Sooter who composed the 1948 hit Dear Okie. The tracks here were recorded between 1936 and 1950 and are mostly drawn from radio transcriptions. It includes his first recording from 1936 - the risque Up The Alley With Sally with guitar and mandolin accompaniment and originally issued as "party" record on the Racy label. The remaining tracks find him various groups - mostly small with guitar, fiddle, accordion and bass. The earliest cuts are particularly nice with some exceptional fiddle work - a couple of them featuring Spade Cooley though the fiddler on the rest is unknown. They also feature some fine electric guitar work by Jack "Curly" Hogg who was one of the first West Coast exponents of the instruments. The later tracks feature more novelty material and are somewhat less interesting. Many of the songs were written by Sooter and songs include Happy Go Lucky/ The Desert Riders/ She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain (with basson!)/ Headin' For My Home In Oklahoma/ I'm Through wastin' Time On You/ Trouble Keeps Hangin' Round My Door/ Who Dug This Hole I'm In/ The Rooster And The Osctrich, etc. Decent sound and informative notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
RUDY SOOTER: A Million Daisies Told Me/ Back Home In Indiana/ Cleaniní My Rifle/ Donít Count Your Chickens/ Fool That I Am/ Get A Wiggle On/ Happy Go Lucky/ Headiní For My Home In Oklahoma/ Horseflesh And Candles/ I Can Tell By The Look On Your Face/ I Cry Alone/ I Throw The Bull/ Ida Red/ Iím Thru Wastin Time On You/ Let My Shake Your Old Cowhand/ Old Boy/ Old Joe Parker/ Panhandle Swing/ Please Donít Leave Me Anymore/ Sheíll Be Cominí Round The Mountain/ The Desert Riders/ The Hills Of Idaho/ The Rooster And The Ostrich/ Trouble Keeps Hanginí Round My Door/ Up The Alley With Sally/ Wa-Hoo Kiss Me Again/ Who Dug This Hole Iím In/ Whoa Baldy/ Wonít You Be My Buckaroo

 
CARL STORY Gusto 0548 Angel Band - Early Starday Recordings ● CD $7.98
Beautiful collection of traditional bluegrass gospel singing and playing from Carl Story - "The Father Of Bluegrass Gospel" featuring his earliest recordings made for Starday in 1958 and '59. 20 tracks presented in chronological order. Includes 12 page illustarted booklet with extensive notes from bluegrass scholar Gary Reid. Includes Who Will Sing For Me?/ Angel Band/ A Beautiful City/ Life's Evening Sun/ Life Boat/ Hide Me (Rock Of Ages)/ Be Kind To Mother, etc.

 
MEL STREET Gusto 2101 Don't Let Me Cross Over ● CD $7.98
10 more great honky tonk songs of heartache and heartbreak from the late, great Mel Street. It includes a great cover of the old favorite Don't Let Me Cross Over and two songs Tonight Let's Sleep On It Baby and Slip Away that were posthumous hits.

 
THE TENNESSEE RAMBLERS B.A.C.M. 288 Vol. 2 - The Jack Gillette Years, 1939-1946 ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
The first volume (BACM 259) was issued under the name of Dick Hartman who founded the Tennessee Ramblers. When Hartman left the band in 1938 it was taken over by their manager Jack Gillette and this selection recorded between 1935 and 1946 is another fine selection of jazzy swing time numbers often with a western flavor with vocals by Gillette (who also played trumpet, fiddle and various novelty instruments), guitarist Harry Blair, Tex Martin or Curley Collins. Many tracks feature the fine steel guitar work of Cecil Campbell who had a lengthy career that extended into the 1980s. Songs include Trumpet Talking Blues/ Four Or Five Time/ Doug Ain't Doing The Jitterbug/ Hard Hearted Love/ Blue Eyed Baby/ Come Swing With Me/ Oh Mary, Don't You Weep/ Timber Trail/ I'll Pray You'll Be Mine Bye And Bye, etc. Good sound and detailed notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
THE TENNESEE RAMBLERS: Blue Eyed Baby/ Can't Win, Can't Place, Can't Show/ Carry Me Back To Carolina/ Come Swing With Me/ Coquette/ Don't Put A Tax On The Beautiful Girls/ Doug Ain't Doin' The Jitterbug/ Four Or Five Times/ Grab Your Saddle Horn And Blow/ Hard Hearted Love/ Hoochie-Koochie-Koo/ I Love Hawaii/ I'd Love To Be A Cowboy/ I'll Never Let You Cry/ I'll Pray You'll Be Mine Bye And Bye/ I'm Through Wishing On Stars/ In The Same Old Way/ My Sweet Little Blue Eyed Baby/ Nothing To Lose/ Oh Mary, Don't You Weep/ Steel Guitar Swing/ Sweet Mama Tree Top Tall/ The Washboard Man/ Timber Trail (Opening Theme)/ Trouble In Mind/ Trumpet Talking Blues/ Yum Yum Blues

 
HANK THOMPSON Raven 300 The Quintessential Hank Thompson, 1948-1979 ● CD $19.98
30 tracks, 75 min., essential
Could knock this set for including only one cut from the great out-of-print-again LP Songs For Rounders from 1959, but that wouldn't be fair. Thompson owned the country charts during the period represented here and one listen will tell why. Hits everywhere: Humpty Dumpty Hart/ Wild Side Of Life/ Honky Tonk Girl/ Don't Take It Out On Me/ Breakin' In Another Heart/ Rockin' In The Congo/ A Six Pack To Go/ Hangover Tavern/ Anybody's Girl and on and on. In fact, almost everything here was at least in the Top 30 of the country charts, most in the Top 10. Thompson's lyrics tend to be just a little grittier than those of his contemporaries, and his favorite subjects are cheating women and cheating on women, and drinking before. during and after, but there's not the usual bragging or annoying posturing. He liked to record with his touring band, the Brazos Valley Boys, instead of the usual practice of hiring studio talent to make albums, and in doing so, Thompson managed to avoid the sterility of technically talented musicians who specialize in bloodless performances. So, here it is, modern country music invented and perfected and collected by Australians and waiting for your ears. Nice multi-label (Dot, MCA, Capitol), career overview that should send all sensible listeners scrambling for more. (JC)
HANK THOMPSON: Anybody's Girl/ Blackboard of My Heart/ Breakin' in Another Heart/ Breakin' the Rules/ Cocaine Blues/ Don't Take It out on Me/ Fooler, A Faker/ Hangover Tavern/ Honky-Tonk Girl/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ I Hear the South Callin' Me/ I've Come Awful Close/ I've Run out of Tomorrows/ Most of All/ New Green Light/ Oaklahoma Hills/ Older the Violin, The Sweeter the Music/ On Tap, In the Can, Or in the Bottle/ Rockin' in the Congo/ Rub-A-Dub-Dub/ Six Pack to Go/ Smoky the Bar/ Squaws Along the Yukon/ Waiting in the Lobby of Your Heart/ Wake Up Irene/ We've Gone Too Far/ Who Left the Door to Heaven Open/ Whoa Sailor/ Wild Side of Life/ Wildwood Flower - Hank Thompson, Merle Travis

 
JUSTIN TUBB Bear Family BCD 16859 Pepper Hot Baby ● CD $21.98
32 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Justin Tubb had the mighty long shadow of his father to live under and unfortunately doesn't get the credit he deserves as the fine performer he was. With a sound that comes off as a cross between Faron Young, Hank Williams and '50s era Conway Twitty and a good ear for material, ole J.T. can easily fill up a 32-track collection that will get a Highly Recommended rating from me. Fantastic takes on Sugar Lips/ Looking Back To See/ Pepper Hot Baby/ Sure Fire Kisses (with Goldie Hill) and many more. (JM)

 

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