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Bulletin - November/ December 2009
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
Gene Autry -> Hank Williams + DVD
 

 

 

NEW DVD

 

THE NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS Arhoolie DVD 204 Always Been A Rambler ● DVD $19.98
58 minute documentary + 30 minutes of bonus features, highly recommended
This superb documentary by filmmaker Yasha Agimsky celebrates the 50th anniversary of the birth of The New Lost City Ramblers, one of the first urban groups to pursue the old-time music traditions of the American south. It is, unfortunately, also a memorial to one of its founders, Mike Seeger, who died in August 2009 after a lengthy battle with cancer. The group was formed in 1958 by Mike, John Cohen and Tom Paley - all multi instrumentalists with a deep love and knowledge of traditional music. Paley left in 1962 to be replaced by Tracy Schwartz. The group brought their love of the music to people all over the world through live performances and numerous recordings for Folkways. Though they split in the 1970s to pursue other projects they frequently would get together again to perform and this DVD includes footage of the group at the 2007 Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival as well as performing at house parties with friends. The Ramblers gave back more to the music more than they took bringing old time musicians out of retirement to perform again and tracking down some great previously unknown performers. The documentary is told mostly through the words of the group itself and includes live footage of onstage performances, rehearsals, a Greenwich Village jam session from the late 50s with Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson as well as footage of some of the many musicians the group worked with and promoted over the years like Dock Boggs, Roscoe Holcomb, Maybelle Carter, Nathan Abshire, The Balfa Brothers Elizabeth Cotton and others. The documentary includes excerpts of more than 50 musical performances. The bonus features includes a 25 minute film from 1969 featuring the group performing 8 songs out in the country and meeting with octogenarian banjo player George Landers plus never before seen 1959 footage of the group when it featured Tom Playe doing two songs. This DVD is a joy from beginning to end. (FS)

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS


 
GENE AUTRY JSP JSPCD 77112 The Early Years Of One Of Country's Biggest Stars ● CD $19.98
Four CDs, 100 tracks, highly recommended
This set features all the issued recordings made by Gene Autry from his first session in October 1929 through April, 1931. Though Autry became best known as a singing movie cowboy, on these early recordings the influence of his idol Jimmie Rodgers is very strong featuring a selection of sentimental songs, blue yodels, blues, Gene Austin style ballads and the occasional risqué song. Autry was a warmer singer than Rodgers, but his records don't have much stylistic diversity since most of the tracks feature just Autry accompanied by his own guitar. About a third of the tracks benefit from the fine steel guitar, harmonica or jews harp playing of his long time associate Frankie Marvin and a handful of tracks feature an unknown mandolin player. There are a handful of covers of Rodgers' songs (Waiting For Train/ California Blues/ High Powered Mama, etc.) but most of rest are Autry's own. He recorded for a number of labels during this period and some of the songs appear than once in slightly differeng versions. Sound quality is generally fine and there are informative notes by Pat Harrison. Real Autry fans will want Bear Family's magnificent box set (BCD 15944 - $239.98) with nine CDs and a hard cover which goes up to 1933 and includes a number of unissued songs and alternate takes but for the rest of us this modestly priced collection provides a fine introduction to this important artist. (FS)

 
THE BAR X COWBOYS B.A.C.M. 282 The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, recommended
The first of two volumes featuring the complete recordings of this group that were among the first western swing groups to record. The 26 tracks here were recorded between 1937 and 1941. The group's performances were fairly tame compared to some of their contemporaries though they did help launch the careers of Ted Daffan who plays steel guitar on 15 of the cuts here and Jerry Irby who sings and plays guitar on two cuts. Sound quality is fairly mediocre but set has good notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
THE BAR X COWBOYS: Blue Bonnet Governor/ Blue Steele Blues/ Drifting And Dreaming/ Hang Over Blues/ Houston Shuffle/ I Donít Think Iíd Care/ I Want Somebody Like You/ Iíd Love To Live In Loveland/ Iím Just An Outcast/ Just For Tonight/ Letís Go Honky-Tonkiní Tonight/ Lies/ Locket Of Gold/ My Dark Eyed Sweetheart/ Only Time Can Tell/ Rockdale Rag/ Smile, Darn Ya, Smile/ South/ Struttiní Around/ Sunset Valley/ There Is A Tavern In The Town/ Underneath The Sun/ When Mama Goes Out The Maid Comes In/ When Your Hair Has Turned To Silver/ Youíre Still My Darling/ Youíve Got To Stop Fussiní At Me

 
DOCK BOGGS/ EMRY ARTHUR B.A.C.M. 274 Old Time Songs From Virginia And Kentucky ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, 69 mins, essential
If you missed out the 1997 Revenant CD of VIrginia singer and banjo player Dock Boggs here's another chance to get the pre-war recordings of of one of the greatest and most unique old time country performers of the era. In addition to the influence of rural white music Boggs was also influenced by black blues and his music draws on elements on both. His intense vocals and powerful banjo give his music a unique dark and haunting quality that brings to mind the music of Skip James - not stylistically but rather in the emotional impact it has on the listener. His material includes incredible original songs like Country Blues and Sugar Baby as well as unique takes on familiar old timey songs like Danville Girl and Pretty Polly. Although this CD doesn't include the unissued alternate takes included on the REvenant CD it does feature all his issued sides and every one is a gem. Boggs was rediscovered by Mike Seeger in 1963 and made a number of appearances on the folk circuit and recorded three fine Lps for Folkways redoing some of his early recordings as well as many songs not recorded before. These have been reissued on a two CD set (Smithsonian Folkways 40108 - $24.98) - while lacking the ferocity of his early sides they are still outstanding. A couple of Boggs's performances feature him accompanied by Kentucky guitarist Emry Arthur and the remaining 10 tracks featuring recordings made by Arthur who is best known for having made the first recording of Man Of Constant Sorrow. His earliest sides from 1928 are particularly fine including a great version of the gospel song Let That Liar Alone and a couple of gospel songs with a group which included a harmonium. His later sides were dominated by unspectacular sentimental songs. But you should get this for the stunning performances by Boggs. (FS)
EMERY ARTHUR: Iíll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ Iím Always Thinking Of You/ Let That Liar Alone/ Look Out For The Window/ Motherís In Heaven Tonight/ No Not One/ Remember The Folks Back Home/ Six Months In Jail Ainít Long/ The Blind Boy/ Why Not Tonight/ DOCK BOGGS: Country Blues/ Danville Girl/ Down South Blues/ False Hearted Lover's Blues/ Hard Luck Blues/ Lost Love Blues/ New Prisoner's Song/ Old Rub Alcohol Blues/ Pretty Polly/ Sammie, Where Have You Been So Long/ Sugar Baby/ Will Sweethearts Know Each Other There

 
THE BROWNS B.A.C.M. 275 Bonnie, Jim Ed And Maxine ● CD $14.98
28 tracks, recommended
This album reissues 28 sides recorded between 1954 and 1957 by this family group before they hit it really big in the pop market with the smooth sound of songs like The Three Bells and Scarlet Ribbons. The earliest sides feature just Jim Ed and sister Maxine who were joined by younger sister Bonnie in 1955. It includes their early hits like the much covered Looking Back To See plus Here Today & Gone Tomorrow/ I Take The Chance and the superb I Heard The Bluebirds Sing. A varied selection of material with fine mountain style harmonies and solid hillbilly accompaniments. (FS)
THE BROWNS: A Man With A Plan/ Do Memories Haunt You/ Don't Tell Me Your Troubles/ Don't Use The Word Lightly/ Draggin' Main Street/ Goo Goo Da Da/ Here Today And Gone Tomorrow/ How Can It Be Imagination/ I Guess I'm Crazy/ I Heard The Bluebirds Sing/ I Take The Chance/ I Will Hold You In My Heart/ It Takes A Long Train With A Red Caboose/ Itsy Witsy Bitsy Me/ Jungle Magic/ Just A Lot Of Sweet Talk/ Just As Long As You Love Me/ Just In Time/ Looking Back To See/ My Isle Of Golden Dreams/ Sky Princess/ The Man In The Moon/ The Table Next To Me/ True Love Goes Far Beyond/ Why Am I Falling/ You Thought I Thought/ You'll Always Be In My Heart/ Your Love Is As Wild As The West Wind

 
HENSON CARGILL Omni 130 On The Road, The Mega Years ● CD $17.98
26 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
Henson Cargill is just the kind of Country artist that the Omni record label likes to feature. He's a unique talent: written off by some, an acquired taste by others and adored by a few. Best known for his #1 hit from 1968, Skip a Rope, Cargill was hitting the Country top 40 off and on until 1980. This collection focuses on his early 1970's recordings after leaving Monument records -- home of the Skip a Rope single -- for the more willing Mega records. This period would see the release of his concept album about the Depression era, "On The Road," and much more politically charged and controversial material. 1932/ Naked and Crying/ Oklahoma Hell, and a cover of Merle Haggard's Daddy Frank give you a feel for the depth of this material. It's no wonder Nashville didn't eagerly embrace Cargill; he looked like Tom T. Hall, but came across like a pop Country Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger. A fine, rich baritone delivered the message and should have provided him a few more hits than it did, but I can see Nashville of the time not exactly embracing him. All in all, an interesting collection from an under-rated artist, one that fans of artists like Kris Kristofferson and Bobby Bare really should check out, if they haven't already. Extensive liner notes tell a big part of Henson Cargill's story and should inspire more appreciation (hopefully). (JM)

 
DAVE DENNEY B.A.C.M. 276 It's Nobody's Fault But Your Own ● CD $14.98
27 tracks, recommended
27 tracks recorded between 1945 and 1954 by this fine Western style singer who was originally from Indiana but spent most of his musical career in New York state. The material is a mix of original songs and covers of popular western and hillbilly hits. He is give fine accompaniments by a number of different groups featuring such stellar musicians as Eddie South, Vaughn Horton, Shorty Long, Noel Boggs, Noel Boggs, Joaquin Murphey, Billy Mure, Dale Potter, Chet Atkins, and others. Includes Would You Like To See A Picture Of My Baby/ Silver Dew On The Bluegrass Tonight/ Cheatin' On Your Baby/ You Only Want me When You're Lonely/ Part Of My Heart Is Missing/ There's Two Sides To Every Story., etc. Usual fine notes by Kevin Coffey. (FS)
DAVE DENNEY: A Million Miles Away/ Cheatiní On Your Baby/ Cry Fool Cry/ For Old Times Sake/ Have You Got Someone Else On The String/ Honey, Be My Honey Bee/ I Gotta Have My Baby Back/ I Just Canít Let You Go/ If Thatís The Way You Want It/ If The Truth Were Ever Known/ Itís Nobodyís Fault But Your Own/ Iím Waltzing With A Broken Heart/ Little Brown Jug/ My Bucketís Got A Hole In It/ Out Of Control/ Part Of My Heart Is Missing/ Silver Dew On The Blue Grass Tonight/ Stop, Youíre Breaking My Heart/ The Fate Of A Fallen Rose/ Thereís Two Sides To Every Story/ Weary With Worry/ When Red Grow The Roses/ Who Cares Who Cares/ Would You Like To See A Picture Of My Baby/ You Only Want Me When Youíre Lonely/ Your Big Bouquet Of Roses/ Youíd Better Be Sure Or Youíll Be Sorry

 
DYKES' MAGIC CITY TRIO/ MELVIN ROBINETTE & BYRD MOORE B.A.C.M. 280 Complete Recordings ● CD $14.98
22 tracks, highly recommended
Wonderful collection featuring the complete recordings of two excellent groups. The Dykes Magic City Trio were formed in Virginia by fiddler John Riley Dykes in the mid 20s with Hub Mahaffey on guitar and lead vocal and Myrtle Vermillion on autoharp and harmony vocal on several tracks. They recorded three sessions in 1927 and though most of their material is familiar songs like Frankie/ Poor Ellen Smith/ Free Little Bird/ Golden Slippers, etc. their performances benefit from the superb fiddle playing of Dykes and the expressive vocals of Mahaffey and I always enjoy the musical texture that the presence of an autoharp lends. Melvin Robinette was another superb Virginia fiddler who, in 1930, at the age of 24 beat 60 year old John Dykes in a fiddle contest. In 1929 he teamed up with prolific but obscure singer and guitarist Byrd Moore and recorded eight songs over two days in April 1929. Their material is also mostly drawn from recently popular songs like Birmingham Jail/ Mama Don't Allow No Low Down Hangin' Around and Flop Eared Mule but are splendid performances including a couple as vocal duets. Sound quality varies but is generally excellent and there are informative notes from Tony Russell. (FS)
DYKE'S MAGIC CITY TRIO: Callahanís Reel/ Cotton Eyed Joe/ Far Beyond The Blue Sky/ Frankie/ Free Little Bird/ Golden Slippers/ Hook And Line/ Huckleberry Blues/ Ida Red/ Poor Ellen Smith/ Red Steer/ Shortening Bread/ Tennessee Girls/ Twilight Is Stealing/ MELVIN ROBINETTE & BYRD MOORE: Birmingham Jail/ Favorite Two Step/ Flop Eared Mule/ Good Bye Sweetheart/ Last Days In Georgia))/ Mama Donít Allow No Low Down Hanginí Around/ That Old Tiger Rag/ When The Snowflakes Fall Again

 
JOHNNY HORTON Bear Family BCD 16354 Take Me Like I Am - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight ● CD $21.98
33 tracks, 79 mins, highly recommended Another great entry in this series featuring up tempo hillbilly has 33 tracks from the superb Johnny Horton recorded between 1951 and 1958 drawing on recordings made for Abbot, Mercury and Columbia plus a demo acetate. Eschewing the obvious hits this includes great lesser known numbers like the title song, Tennesse Jive/ Smoky Joe's Barbecue/ The Devil Made A Masterpiece/ Bawlin' Baby/ Shotgun Boogie (originally unissued)/ The Train With The Rhumba Beat/ First Train Headin' South and others. Johnny was alway s a great singer and he has fine honky tonk accompaniments though unfortunately personnell on many of the cuts is unknown. Sound quality is exceptional and 34 page illustrated booklet has notes by Deke Dickerson and discographical info. (FS)
JOHNNY HORTON: Bawlin' Baby/ Big Wheels Rollin'/ Broken Hearted Gypsy/ Candy Jones (acetate vers.)/ Goodbye Lonesome, Hello Baby Doll/ Ha Ha And Moonface/ Hey, Sweet Thing/ I'll Do It Everytime/ In My Home In Shelby County/ It's A Long Rocky Road (overdub vers.)/ Mister Moonlight/ Move Down The Line/ No True Love/ On The Banks Of The Beautiful Nile/ Out In New Mexico/ Rhythm In My Baby's Walk/ Ridin' The Sunshine Special/ S.S. Lureline/ Seven Come Eleven/ Shadows On The Old Bayou/ She Knows Why/ Shotgun Boogie/ Smokey Joe's Barbeque/ Take Me Like I Am/ Talk Gobbler Talk/ Tennessee Jive/ The Devil Made A Masterpiece/ The First Train Headin' South/ The Train With The Rhumba Beat/ Two Red Lips And Warm Red Wine/ You Don't Move Me Baby Anymore/ You're My Baby/ You, You, You

 
CHARLIE LOUVIN Tompkins Square 2127 Sings Murder Ballads And Disaster Songs ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 37 mins, highly recommended
Since Johnny Cash's come back albums in the 1990's with Rick Rubin, there have been a pretty steady stream of old Country artists getting a similar treatment: stripped down production, grittier performance, no doubt hoping for some of the same rewards. One of my favorites to reemerge in this fashion is Charlie Louvin. From the legendary records with his brother to a quite successful solo career, Louvin has had many high-lights in his long career, just not many lately. This outing ranks among his best. Although released last year, it flew under our radar until recently; thankfully we finally got a hold of it. Filled with new recordings of vintage material like Darling Corey/ Wreck of The Old 97/ Dark As A Dungeon/ Mary Of The Wild Moor, etc. this album is a treat through and through. More than a touch of melancholy is added to Louvin's weathered vocals on tracks like Wreck on The Highway and My Brother's Will, where one can't help but imagine the presence of the ghost of the long deceased Louvin Brother Ira. Features accompaniment by a host of fine musicians, Chris Scruggs on steel guitar and Andrew Bird and Billy Contreras on fiddle, to name a few. Also features some fine notes by Holly George-Warren and attractive packaging by the always-artful Tompkins Square record label. (JM)

 
TIM MCNAMARA B.A.C.M. 278 McNamara's Rodeo ● CD $14.98
26 tracks recorded in the early 50s by popular Australian country vocalist and yodeler. Many feature Tim alone with his guitar and some feature him with small groups. He performs a mix of Australian originated material and covers of American hits. Includes Down By the Railroad Track/ My Curly Headed Buckaroo/ Carolina Waltz/ Slippin' Around With Sweet Georgia Brown/ We're Branding A Little Critter/ Down the Trail Of Achin' Hearts, etc.
TIM MCNAMARA: A Girl Without A Sweetheart/ A Strange Little Girl/ Carolina Waltz/ Christmas On The Range/ Down By The Railroad Track/ Down The Trail Of Achiní Hearts/ Heartbreak Trail/ Honeymoon On A Rocket Ship/ I Canít Hide The Tears/ I Wish All My Children Were Babies Again/ Iíve Got Five Dollars And Itís Saturday Night/ Iíve Just Got To Be A Cowboy/ Keep A Light In Your Window Tonight/ McNamaraís Rodeo/ Midnight Train/ Mother The Queen Of My Heart/ Mr. Moon/ My Curly Headed Buckaroo/ My Kind Of Country/ My Precious Memory/ Old Shep/ Slippiní Around With Sweet Georgia Brown/ Swiss Lullaby/ Tell A Woman/ The Old Barn Dance/ Weíre Branding A Little Critter

 
THE MILO TWINS B.A.C.M. 272 Swamp Woman Blues ● CD $14.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
The Milo Twins were one of the very few twin acts to record and this CD features all their commercial recordings for Decca & Capitol plus a dozen songs from radio transcriptions. The duo were obviously very strongly influenced by The Delmore Brothers and their first session for Decca in 1939 features covers of eight songs originally recorded by the Delmores including Weary Lonesome Blues/ Singing My Troubles Away/The Fugitives lament with sweet harmonies and fine twin guitar work. The radio transcriptions, probably from the mid 40s, find them tackling a wider range of material, including some of their own compositions. Their 12 sides recorded for Capitol in the late 40s find them again emulating their heroes by adding electric guitar and occasional harmonica into the mix but sticking to original material or songs from other writers and including several fine boogies. If you enjoy the music of the Delmores there's a good chance you will also like the Milo twins. (FS)
THE MILO TWINS: A Soldierís Last Letter/ Ainít It Hard/ Baby Buggy Boogie/ Blow Freight Train, Blow/ Blow Your Whistle Freight Train/ Blue Eyed Elaine/ Brushy Mountain/ Coo See Coo/ Down Town Boogie/ Frail Quail/ Homesick For Home/ I Wonder Why You Said Goodbye/ Itís Sinful To Flirt/ Iím Through With You/ Iím Worried Now/ Iíve Got The Rambliní Blues/ Johnson To Jones/ Keep Your Big Mouth Shut/ Love In An Aeroplane/ Pretty Little Miss/ Pretty Mama Boogie/ Quit Treatiní Me Mean/ Sheís A Shady Lady/ Singing My Troubles Away/ Swamp Woman Blues/ Take Me Back And Try Me One More Time/ The Fugitiveís Lament/ This Town/ Truck Driverís Boogie/ Weary Lonesome Blues/ When The World Has Turned You Down/ Yesterdayís Tears

 
BILL MONROE JSP JSPCD 77119 And His Bluegrass Blues, 1950-1958 ● CD $28.98
Four CDs, 97 tracks, essential
The second volume of the classic recordings of the Father Of Bluegrass and his incredible band The Bluegrass Boys. This features all the recordings he made from the time he joined Decca in 1950 until 1958. The classic Flatt- Scruggs- Chubby Wise band had by now disbanded, and Monroe had left Columbia for Decca, but his influence on the music he had fathered was far from over. If anything, the period covered here had consequences as far reaching in the history of bluegrass as the previous eras, for it was at this time that the Bluegrass Boys became the training grounds for such future greats as Jimmy Martin, Vassar Clements, Sonny Osborne, Bobby Hicks, Kenny Baker, and countless others, including such unheralded geniuses as fiddler Red Taylor, banjoist Don Stover, and fiddler Tex Logan. Also included here are the only five selections Carter Stanley recorded with the Bluegrass Boys, including the magnificent Get Down On Your Knees And Pray. There is also the Bluegrass Boy-less session run by Owen Bradley in an attempt to "modernize" Monroe's sound, as well as the eight sides cut in an abortive way to record a Jimmy Rodgers tribute album. Also included here are the original recordings of such classics as Wheel Hoss/ Roanoke/ Uncle Pen/ You'll Find Her Name Written There/ Scotland Big Mon/ Rawhide, and countless others. In addition, this collection illustrates fully how Monroe's music changed to fit the talents and needs of the many musicians who passed through the band during this fertile period. This is very similar in content to Bear Family BCD 15423 ("Blue Moon Of Kentucky" - $84.98) but without the unissued songs, alternate takes or massive booklet. (RP/ FS)
BILL MONROE & THE BLUEGRASS BOYS: Alabama Waltz/ Angels Rock Me To Sleep/ Beautiful Life, A/ Blue Grass Ramble/ Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ Boat Of Love/ Brakeman's Blues/ Brand New Shoes/ Cabin Of Love/ Changing Partners/ Cheyenne/ Christmas Time's A-Coming/ Close By/ Come Back To Me In My Dreams/ Country Waltz/ Cry Cry Darlin'/ Fallen Star, A/ First Whipoorwill, The/ Footprints In The Snow/ Four Walls/ Get Down On Your Knees And Pray/ Get Up John/ Good Woman's Love, A/ Goodbye Old Pal/ Gotta Travel On/ Happy On My Way/ He Will Set Your Fields On Fire/ Highway Of Sorrow/ House Of Gold/ I Am A Pilgrim/ I Believed In You Darling/ I Hope You Have Learned/ I Saw The Light/ I'll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning/ I'll Meet You In The Morning/ I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome/ I'm On My Way To The Old Home/ I'm Sittin On Top Of The World/ I'm Working On A Building/ I've Found A Hiding Place/ In Despair/ In The Pines/ Jesus Hold My Hand/ Kentucky Waltz/ Let The Light Shine Down On Me/ Letter From My Darling/ Life's Railway To Heaven/ Little Girl And The Dreadful Snake, The/ Lonesome Road To Travel, A/ Lonesome Truck Driver's Blues/ Lord Build Me A Cabin In Glory/ Lord Lead Me On/ Lord Protect My Soul/ Memories Of You/ Memories of Mother and Dad/ Mighty Pretty Waltz, A/ Molly And Tenbrooks/ My Little Georgia Rose/ My Little Georgia Rose/ New John Henry Blues/ New Mule Skinner Blues/ No One But My Darlin'/ Old Fiddler, The/ On And On/ On The Old Kentucky Shore/ Out In The Cold World/ Panhandle Country/ Pike County Breakdown/ Poison Love/ Precious Memories/ Prisoner's Song/ Put My Little Shoes Away/ Raw Hide/ River Of Death/ Roane County Prison/ Roanoke/ Rotation Blues/ Sailor's Plea/ Sally Jo/ Scotland/ Sitting Alone In The Moonlight/ Sugar Coated Love/ Swing Low Sweet Chariot/ Travelin' Blues/ Uncle Pen/ Voice From On High, A/ Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus/ Walking In Jerusalem/ Wayfaring Stranger/ Wheel Hoss/ When The Cactus Is In Bloom/ When The Golden Leaves Begin To Fall/ White House Blues/ Wishing Waltz/ Y'All Come/ You'll Find Her Name Written There/ You're Drifting Away

 
OKLAHOMA ED MOODY B.A.C.M. 281 Down The Trail To Home ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, recommended
The complete recordings made between 1945 and 1947 by this fine singer whose music lies somewhere between honky-tonk and western swing. He performs a mix of original and covers of other artists songs accompanied by fine small groups featuring musicians like fiddler Slim Duncan, guitarist Porky Freeman, accordion player Frank Buckley and others. Songs include a fine cover of Jack Guthrie's Oklahoma Hills plus Sittin' Alone On My Doorstep/ Can't Win, Can't Place, Can't Show/ Bad Little Girl/ Don't Hand Me That Line/ You'll Never Change/ Gracy Train, etc. Fine sound and high quality notes from Kevin Coffey. (FS)
OKLAHOMA ED MOODY: Bad Little Girl/ Canít Win, Canít Place, Canít Show/ Careless Darliní/ Donít Hand Me That Line/ Donít Look Down On Me/ Down The Trail To Home/ Forever Is A Long, Long Time/ Gravy Train/ If I Could Go Back/ Iíll Remember You Love In My Prayer/ Iím Still Cryiní Over You/ Mail Order Mama/ No Alibis/ No Kisses For You/ Oklahoma Hills/ Sitting Alone On My Doorstep/ The Devil In Disguise/ Too Many Sweethearts/ What Good Would It Do/ Youíll Never Change

 
EDDIE NOACK B.A.C.M. 277 Have Blues Will Travel ● CD $14.98
29 tracks, recommended
This is the third Eddie Noack CD to appear in the past year and though not as strong as the two Cactus CDs ($15.98 each) this is certainly worth your attention. 11 of the tracks here duplicate tracks on the Cactus Cds and those are the best tracks here (Have Blues Will Travel/ Walk 'em Off/ Don't Look Behind, etc) but this does include Eddie's very first recordings for Houston's Gold Star label in 1949 and 1950 and although his style hadn't matured yet they are nice to hear and he does a very nice version of the old favorite Greenback Dollar with fine bluegrass harmonies. Many of Eddie's recordings were made for the legendary "Pappy" Dailey who roped him into doing pseudonymous sound alike covers of current hits by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Don Gibson and others. This was work for hire and although Eddie's singing is fine it lacks any real conviction on these tracks. The set is rounded out with a handful of tracks from the mid/ late 50s that didn't make it to the Cactus CDs and are good without being great. Sound is fine and, unlike the Cactus Cds this has notes by Marin Hawkins. (FS)
EDDIE NOACK: A Thinkiní Manís Woman A Loving Manís Girl/ Alone With You/ As The Band Played Paul Jones/ Blue Blue Day/ Curtain In The Window/ Donít Look Behind/ First And Last Thing/ Frown On The Moon/ Green Back Dollar/ Have Blues Will Travel/ How Does It Feel To Be The Winner/ I Donít Live There Anymore/ I Love You/ I Need You/ I Want You/ Iíll Be So Good To You/ Man On The Wall/ Nothing/ Oh Lonesome Me/ Price Of Love/ Pride/ Relief Is Just A Swallow Away/ Stairway Of Love/ There You Go/ Too Hot To Handle/ Train Of Love/ Trifliní Mama Blues/ Twenty Feet Of Muddy Water/ Unlucky Me/ Walk ĎEm Off/ Wanderiní Okie

 
JOHNNY PAYCHECK Bear Family BCD 16738 aka Donny Young ● CD $21.98
29 Tracks, recommended
Johnny Paycheck was not born with that name (no surprise), nor was he born Donny Young (that was just his first stage name). I'm not gonna tell you his real name; you can get that and much more from the extensive liner notes. Much like Waylon, Willie, and so many more, he spent a lot of time in music's minor leagues before he really hit the big time. This collection gathers up the best of his earliest work under his earliest names and features a lot of real good stuff. Reminds me a lot of early Hank Jr. and directions he took on the way to Outlaw Superstardom. I Guess I Had It Coming/ The Old Man and The River/ Big Swamp Land, and Accidentally on Purpose, are some of the stand out tracks, and I think you Country fans out there will enjoy those and find a few more that they didn't know were so good as well if you check this out. Features an outstanding production job as usual from Bear Family. (JM)

 
DEUCE SPRIGGINS B.A.C.M. 279 Down The Trail To San Antone ● CD $14.98
26 tracks from commercial recordings, radio transcriptions and film soundtracks by singer/ bandleader Deuce Spriggins (George Braunsdorf) between 1945 and 1947. Spriggins was an alumnus of the Spade Cooley band and most of his material is Western Swing oriented - much of it of a novelty nature. He is accompanied by various different bands with musicians like Cactus Soldi/ fiddle, Smokey Roger/ guitar, Joaquin Murphey/ steel guitar, Rex Call/ fiddle, Hank Penny/ guitar & vocal, Tex Achison/ fiddle and others. Tracks include Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)/ Ten More Miles Down The Road/ She's A Real Gone Oakie/ The Hep And The Square/ I Learned To Love You Too Late/ Down The Trail To San Antone/ Wabash Cannonball/ I'd Love To Be A Cowgirl/ Cachita, etc.
DEUCE SPRIGGINS: Cachita/ Down The Trail To San Antone/ I Learned To Love You Too Late/ Idaho-Ho/ Idaho-Ho/ If You Ever Come To Texas/ Iíd Love To Be A Cowgirl/ Little Rock Getaway/ Loaded Pistol Ė Loaded Dice/ Missouri/ Oh I Went And Got A Bucket For My Tears/ Peekin-Peekin-Peekin (The Keyhole Song)/ Rosetta/ Sheís A Gone Oakie/ Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)/ Ten More Miles Down The Road/ Texas With A Capitol T/ The Hep And The Square/ The Peanut Polka/ Wabash Cannonball/ Wave To Me My Lady/ Whatís The Matter With You/ When Payday Rolls Around/ When Payday Rolls Around/ Who Broke The Lock On The Hen House Door/ Who Broke The Lock On The Henhouse Door

 
RALPH STANLEY Rebel 7520 Old-Time Pickin' ● CD $9.98
18 tracks, 39 mins, highly recommended
Ralph Stanley is not only one of the greatest bluegrass performers he is also one of the finest living exponents of the traditional style of banjo playing known as clawhammer. Even today with his hands arthritic after years of playing he still usually includes a clawhammer banjo medley in each performance. Ralph's record label for 30 years Rebel has delved into its vaults to present this superb collection of songs and tunes featuring an emphasis on his banjo playing drawing from recordings made between 1971 and 2001 in the company of members of his great Clinch Mountain including nine previously unissued tracks. The material is a mix of vocal and instrumental pieces ranging from the first tune he learned from his mother Lucy when he was a child Shout Little Lulie to instrumental jams like Battle Ax. Other tracks include Cripple Creek/ Shady Grove/ Little Birdie/ Bound To Ride/ Black-Eyed Susie/ True Blue Bill, etc. (FS)

 
MERLE TRAVIS Raven 299 The Merle Travis Guitar/ Walkin' The Strings.. Plus ● CD $19.98
39 tracks, essential
If there was any doubt that Merle Travis was one of the greatest guitarists of all time this great collection should put those doubts to rest. Travis, whose refinement of the thumb and finger style picking favored by his fellow Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, guitarists Mose Rager and Ike Everly made him world famous and among the most influential country instrumental stylists ever. "Travis style" guitar is universally understood to identify the uniquely syncopated, loping style which influenced generations of country and other guitarists. This set focuses almost exclusively on his instrumental recordings featuring two complete Capitol LPs plus bonus tracks from singles and LPs. "The Merle Travis Guitar" from 1955 features Merle on solo electric guitar on a selection of original tunes, jazz and pop standards. "Walkin' The Strings" from 1960 features 22 solo acoustic guitar transcriptionsl produced by Cliffie Stone and also includes a wide variety of material including oldies like Bicycle Built For Two/ My Old Kentucky Home and a slew of original tunes including a tribute to fellow Muhlenberg guitar wizard Ike Everly (The Everly Brothers father) Everly Rag. The five bonus tracks are all vocal performances with great guitar solos including Turn My Picture Upside Down/ A Too Fast Past and So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed. (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS B.A.C.M. 273 Canadian Country - Lynn Russwurm's 2nd Selection ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
Complementing BACM 199 this is another fine and varied collection of country music from North of the border compiled by Lynn Russworm. Some of the material is covers of American country favorites while others are distinctively Canadian and the influence of Canada's two most popular country stars Hank Snow and Wilf Carter. Among the artists included are The Hillbilly Jewels (superb bluegrass style harmonies), Dixie Bill Hilton, Carl Lofstrom & Aubrey Hanson (the lovely Castle Of Cards), Eddie Mehler & The Rustic Ramblers, The Mighton Brothers (more fine harmonies on the gospel song Walkin', Walkin'), Barry Nesbitt & His Alter Ego "Rog Dodunk", Marge Osburne, The Prairie Rangers, Johnny Six (actually Orval Prophet), Terry Roberts (a great cover of Don Gibson's Oh LOnesome Me with hot rockabilly style guitar solo), Fiddlin' Red Crawford, Slim Wilson, Big John Ford, etc. (FS)
FIDDLINí RED CRAWFORD WITH STU DAVISí COWTOWNERS: Queen Elizabeth Special/ ANDY DEJARLIS & THE EARLY SETTLERS: Nobodyís Business/ BIG JOHN FORD: It Never Is Too Late/ KING GANAM & THE SONS OF THE WEST: Ridiní The Fiddle/ GABY HAAS: Moonlight Waltz/ THE HILLBILLY JEWELS: I Told My Pillow/ DIXIE BILL HILTON & THE CALGARY RANGE RIDERS: What A Waste (Of Good Corn Likker)/ THE HOMETOWNERS: Miss Molly/ BILL LAUGHY: Cowboyís Memories/ CARL LOFSTROM & AUBREY HANSON: Castle Of Cards/ MYRNA LORRIE: Lifeís Changing Scene/ EDDIE MEHLER & THE RUSTIC RAMBLERS: Just A Weary Traveler/ THE MIGHTON BROTHERS WITH THE RODEO ALL STAR: Walkiní, Walkiní/ GLENN MITCHELL & THE MAINSTREETERS: Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes/ BARRY NESBIT & HIS ALTER EGO ďROG GODUNKô: Old Age/ GEORGE OLIVER: Wabash Cannonball/ MARGE OSBURNE WITH DON MESSERíS ISLANDERS: Bookworm/ HOD PHARIS: Call Of The Mountain/ THE PRAIRIE RANGERS: Iím Just Tired Of Dreaming For Tomorrow/ ORVAL ďREXô PROPHET: Goodbye Katie, Bar The Door/ DONN REYNOLDS: If Iíd Only Seeíd You/ TERRY ROBERTS: Oh, Lonesome Me/ THE ROUND-UP TRIO WITH JIMMY MORRIS: Swinginí Down The Lane To See My Gal/ ORAL SCHEER WITH CAMMIE HOWARD AND THE WESTER: My Blue Ridge Mountain Home/ JOHNNY SIX AKA ORVAL PROPHET: The Tennesseanís Rolling Home/ SLIM WILSON & THE PRAIRIE SONS: The Red We Want Is The Red Weíve Got

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Bear Family BCD 16632 Songs, Of Love, Loss And Longing ● CD $24.98
28 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Here's another loosely themed compilation from the Family of Bears, this one full of broken-hearted and broken down Cowboys and Country folk, spilling out their trials and tribulations in the studio in front of the microphone. If the old adage is true that "Happy songs sell records and sad songs sell beer," then this collection is worth a few kegs of what made Milwaukee famous. They must have sold a lot of beer in 1960 especially, because each and every one of these tear-jerkers comes from that magic year. You don't get a whole lot of rare records here, just ones that are rarely compiled, done so in fine fashion with complete discographal info and track by track features that have full lyrics, accompanied by rare and candid artist photos. You'll be enjoying such gems as: Echoes by Tompall Glaser, All of me Belongs to You by Hank Cochran, She Thinks I Still Care by George Jones, Let Me Talk to You by Wanda Jackson, Did She Mention my Name by Gordon Lightfoot, Come in Stranger by Johnny Cash, What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana by Merle Haggard, plus many more, 21 more to be exact. This is a truly fine collection, with not a single mis-step in the whole compilation. (JM)
EDDY ARNOLD: You Don't Know Me/ JOHNNY CASH: Come in Stranger/ I Still Miss Someone/ PATSY CLINE: There He Goes/ HANK COCHRAN: All of Me Belongs to You/ If She Could See Me Now/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: We Could/ DON GIBSON: I May Never Get to Heaven/ Just One Time/ TOMPALL GLASER: Echoes/ THE GLASER BROTHERS: How Are You Brown Eyes/ BONNIE GUITAR: If You See My Love Dancing/ Letter from Jenny/ MERLE HAGGARD: What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana/ BILL HALEY: I Almost Lost My Mind/ FERLIN HUSKY: Gone/ WANDA JACKSON: Let Me Talk to You/ Tip of My Fingers/ GEORGE JONES: She Thinks I Still Care/ GORDON LIGHTFOOT: Did She Mention My Name/ MARVIN RAINWATER: Then I'll Stop Loving You/ JIM REEVES: Am I Losing You/ HANK SNOW: Hello Love/ I Don't Hurt Anymore/ Someone Mentioned Your Name/ KITTY WELLS: Just When I Needed You/ HANK WILLIAMS: I Can't Help It/ FARON YOUNG: Miss You Already

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus MERCD 1 Mercury Hillbilly, Volume 1 ● CD $15.98
31 tracks, highly recommended
Originally on Official 5055. A terrific collection of honky tonk country recorded for the Mercury label in the early and mid 50s. A mix of familiar and obscure artists. A number of tracks have been on CD before but usually on single artist collections. Most of the music is uptempo and a number of tracks border on rockabilly and some have appeared on rockabilly collections. Includes sides by Eddie Hill (his classic Hot Guitar), James O'Gwynn (two great sides including the rockabilly Easy Money and a terrific rendition of Mule Skinner Blues), Jimmie Skinner, The Carlisles, Tibby Edwards, Joe Carson, Johnny Horton (a couple of his earliest sides), Mac O'Dell (beautiful acoustic country with fine Dobro and harmonica), Tiny Hill (another contribution to the Hot Rod Race Saga), Jimmy Dean, George & Earl, Tibby Edwards, Paul & Roy (two excellent bluegrass numbers), Hank Noble, Ernie Lee and others. Sound is excellent. (FS)
THE CARLISLES: I'm Rough Stuff/ Tain't Nice/ JOE CARSON: I'm Not Allergic To Love/ l'll Do The Dishes/ LEW CHILDRE: Ridin' On The Elevated Railroad/ JIMMY DEAN: I Found Out/ TIBBY EDWARDS: C'est Si Tout/ Shift Gears/ There Ain't No Better Time/ GEORGE & EARL: Can I?/ Got Anything Good/ CURTIS GORDON: So Tired Of Crying/ EDDIE HILL: The Hot Guitar/ TINY HILL: Hot Rod Race No.2/ JOHNNY HORTON: First Train Headin' South/ The Devil Made A Masterpiece/ RED KIRK: Suger Coated Love/ ERNIE LEE: If You Got The Money, I Got The Time/ No, No, Joe/ DUDE MARTIN: Pistol Boogie/ KEN MARVIN: Let's Take The Long Way Home/ COUNTRY JOHNNY MATHIS: One Life/ HANK NOBLE: Wa-Ha-Ne-Na/ MAC O'DELL: The Redball Rocket Train/ JAMES O'GWYNN: Easy Money/ Mule Skinner Blues/ PAUL & ROY: Every Dog Must Have His Day/ You're All Alone Tonite/ JIMMIE SKINNER: Born To Be Wild/ How Low Can You Feel?/ Just Ramblin' On

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus OKCD 1 OKeh Hillbilly ● CD $15.98
28 tracks, highly recommended
Okay it's now the OKeh's label's turn with 28 up tempo gems recorded between 1952 and '54. There are a few familiar names here like Carl Butler with a couple of his earliest songs done in a quasi bluegrass style, Joe & Rose Lee Maphis with a couple of forgettable novelties, several fine sides by the always excellent and distinctive Onie Wheeler and several by Louisiana favorite Link Davis. Mother Maybelle's daughter Helen is here with two songs which are far away from the Carter Family style but are fine. Most of the other artists are obscure but most are excellent including Ace Ball (two songs including the odd One Armed Love - what is he singing about), Sammy Barnhart, Bill Morgan (the dullest performer here), Billy Ray (very bluesy), The Webster Brothers (fine old time brother duet singing) and others. Another winner. (FS)
ACE BALL: Lost/ One-Armed Love/ There'll Be a New Day/ SAMMY BARNHART: Get Off My Telephone/ Hi-Dee, Da-Dee/ I'm Wishing I Had You/ CARL BUTLER: I Wouldn't Change You If I Could)/ I'll Go Steppin' Too/ HELEN CARTER: I Like My Lovin' Overtime/ Like All Get Out/ LINK DAVIS: Crawfish Crawl/ Fallin' for You/ Mama Say No/ JIMMY HAYNIE: Johnny On the Spot/ My Mind Goes Blank/ The Fast Silver Meteor/ JOE & ROSE LEE MAPHIS: Henhouse Serenade/ The Go 'Fer Song/ BILL MORGAN: Follow the Leader/ Someone Like You/ BILLY RAY: I Couldn't Sleep Last Night/ She Buys & Buys & Buys/ You Gotta Pet Me Baby/ THE WEBSTER BROS.: It's All Left Up to You/ Till the End of the World Rolls 'Round/ ONIE WHEELER: Closing Time/ I'll Swear You Don't Love Me/ Little Mama

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus TRUCD 1 Trumpet Hillbilly ● CD $15.98
29 tracks, 78 mins, highly recommended
Although best known for it's blues and gospel recordings the Trumpet label out of Jackson, Mississippi also issued a fair number of hillbilly releases between 1952 and 1955 - and as this release many of them were very good indeed. The best known artist here is Lucky Joe Almond with his proto rockabilly classic Gonna Roll & Rock and his great cover of bluesman Pianos Red's Rockin' With Red. The blues is also present in the music of Jimmy Swan who is obviously influenced by the more bluesy recordings of Hank Williams - his six tracks here are exceptional. Werly Fairbun is another fine honky tonker who also made some fine rockabilly records. The Hodges Brothers perform in a more old time style with beautiful harmonies and fine fiddle and mandolin work. Luke McDaniels has two fine songs here including the moving A Tribute To Hank Williams, My Buddy. Other artists include Bill Blevins, Tag Williams (about the only dull artist here), Tex Dean, Kay Kellum (a fine male singer) and Don "Red" Barry (the topical White Cross In Korea. Excellent stuff. (FS)
LUCKY JOE ALMOND: Every Day Of The Week/ Gonna Roll & Rock/ Hickory Nut Boogie/ Rock Me/ Tanglewood Waltz/ DON 'RED' BARRY: Give Me Back The Love I Gave/ White Cross In Korea/ BILL BLEVINS: An Hour Late & A Dollar Short/ Honeymoon Waltz/ TEX DEAN: Naponee/ WERLY FAIRBURN: Camping With Marie/ Letís Live It Over/ ROY HARRIS: No One Else/ THE HODGES BROTHERS: It Wonít Be Long/ My Heart Fell At Her Feet/ KAY KELLUM: Love Stay Away From My Heart/ When I Get Back/ LUKE MCDANIEL: A Tribute To Hank Williams, My Buddy/ Whoa Boy!/ JIMMY SWAN: I Had A Dream/ Juke Joint Mama/ Lonesome Daddy Blues/ Losers Weepers/ Mark Of Shame/ One More Time/ Trifliní On me/ TAG WILLIAMS: By & By/ I Wouldnít Change A Thing/ One-Sided Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus SPECD 1 Specialty Hillbilly ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, highly recommended
Although best known for it's great R&B blues, rock 'n' roll and gospel recordings the Specialty also issued a handful of country recordings between 1952 and 1953 and this superb disc features about 2/3 of them. Although the label didn't record much hillbilly, what is featured here is very good indeed - a mix of honky tonk and Western Swing and features some of the earliest recordings of artists who went on to more extensive careers. The most well known artist here is probably Claude King is had a slew of hits for Columbia in the 1960s. His five tracks are solid honky tonk and includes the splendid Got The World By The Tail which he later recorded for Columbia. Shot Jackson became a much in demand Dobroist and steel guitar player but here he is featured on four honky tonk ballads including the great If The Truth Was Known. Other artists include Johnny Tyler (western swing oriented), Biff Collie, Bruce Trent, Joyce Lawrence & Earney Vandergriff, Jerry Green, Leon Stancil and others. Many of the artists were from Texas and Louisiana so I supect that they were recorded there (maybe by Stan Lewis in Shreveport?). An unexpected delight. (FS)
BIFF COLLIE: Don't Talk About Love/ JOHNNY CROCKETT: Just A Minute/ JERRY GREEN: Are You Going My Way?/ Naggin' Women & Braggin' Men/ SHOT JACKSON: Grandad He's Not Old/ If The Truth Was Known/ You Can't Get The Country Out Of The Boy/ l'm Trading You In On A Later Model/ CLAUDE KING: Got The World By The Tail/ I Think Of You & Me/ She Knows Why/ She's My Baby/ Take It Like A Man/ BILLY LEE: I Don't Know Why I Love You/ JOYCE LOWRANCE & EARNEY VANDAGRIFF: Hush Money/ EARL NUNN: Double Talkin' Woman/ LEON STANCIL: Why Don't You Quit Hangin' Around/ SMOKEY STOVER: Because I Loved Her So/ What A Shame/ BRUCE TRENT: Alimony/ River Blues/ JOHNNY TYLER: A Sinner's Song/ Hillbilly Preacher/ Take Your Blues & Go/ EARNEY VANDAGRIFF: Wishing

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus MERCD 2 Mercury Hillbilly, Volume 2 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Another great collection of up-tempo honky tonk and country boogie recorded for Mercury in the early/ mid 50s including some artists returning from the first volume and many not. It opens in great style with Bill Carlisle's hot blues Rattlesnakin' Daddy, a song he originally recorded in 1933 and then continues with Eddie Hill's answer to his own Hot Guitar (on volume 1) with Cold, Cold Woman (& The Hot Guitar) featuring more of his guitar pyrotechnics and includes fine sides from Tibby Edwards, Joey Gills, Bill Nettles (the risque Push & Pull Boogie), Clyde Beavers, Jimmie Skinner (his great One Dead Man Ago), Dude Martin, Chuck Reed, Paul & Roy, Roger Miller (his early recording Poor Little John), George Jones (the great and infrequently reissued uptempo gospel song Take The Devil Out Of Me), George & earl (superb honky tonk), Betty Amos, Joe Carson, Jerry Byrd (the fine steel guitar instrumental Texas PLay Boy rag), Benny Barnes and others. No notes but great sound. (FS)
BETTY AMOS: Gotta Have Some Lovin'/ Yes Mam' Mama/ BENNY BARNES: No Fault Of Mine/ CLYDE BEAVERS: Crying For My Baby/ JERRY BYRD: Texas Play Boy Rag/ BILLY CARLISLE: Rattlesnake Daddy/ JOE CARSON: I Could Love The Devil Out Of You/ Show Me Now/ JIMMY DEAN: Freight Train Blues/ TIBBY EDWARDS: Flip Flop & Fly/ You Made A Believer Out Of Me/ ALLEN FLATT: Chills & Fever/ JIMMIE FLETCHER: I'm Changin' Business/ GEORGE & EARL: Cry Baby Cry/ ART GIBSON: L'm A Truck Driving Man/ JOEY GILLS: My Name Is Joe/ CURTIS GORDON: Play The Music Louder/ EDDIE HILL: Cold Cold Woman (& The Hot Guitar)/ TINY HILL: Diesel Smoke Dangerous Curves/ JOHNNY HORTON: Tennessee Jive/ LOUIE INNIS: Stomp That Thing/ GEORGE JONES: Take The Devil Out Of Me/ RED KIRK: Knock Out The Lights & Call The Law/ BENNY MARTIN: (i Can) Read Between The Lines/ DUDE MARTIN: Tennessee Wedding/ KEN MARVIN: I've Got My Love/ ROGER MILLER: Poor Little John/ BILL NETTLES: Push & Pull Boogie/ PAUL & ROY: The Way You Lied To Me/ LEON PAYNE: Lumberjack/ CHUCK REED: Cry Like A Baby/ JIMMIE SKINNER: One Dead Man To Go

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus MERCD 3 Mercury Hillbilly, Volume 3 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, 75 mins, highly recommended
Another fine selection of mid 50s up tempo honky tonk including sides by Eddie Hill, Louie Ennis, Tibby Edwards (two great sides including the Cajun flavored Come On Chere), Chuck Reed (obscure but fine performer), Red Kirk, Benny Martin (two particularly fine sides), Curtis Gordon, Art Gibson, Betty Amos, Allen Flatt (his name describes his voice!), Paul & Roy (great bluegrass with fine harmonies and mandolin work), Denver Duke & Jefferey Null (the fine bluegrass tune All Washed Up Over You by this unique sounding duo), Roy King, Country Johnny Mathis (much funkier than the pop Johnny Mathis), Johnny Horton, Buz Butler, Lulu Belle & Scotty (their classic piece of bluegrass paranoia I'm No Communist - Rush Limbaugh would be proud), etc. (FS)
BETTY AMOS: Cheater Cheater/ BUZ BUTLER: Chew Tobacco Rag/ Rubber Ball Bounce/ BOUNDING BILLY CARLISLE: Doggie Joe/ THE CARLISLES: Woman Driver/ DENVER DUKE & JEFFERY NULL: All Washed Up With You/ TIBBY EDWARDS: Come On Chere/ Play It Cool, Man, Play It Cool/ ALLEN FLATT: No Love, No Worries Anymore/ Triflin' Girl/ GEORGE & EARL: Don't, Don't, Don't/ Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes/ ART GIBSON: Honky-tonk Mama/ CURTIS GORDON: Baby, Please Come Home/ EDDIE HILL: Buckshot/ JOHNNY HORTON: Big Wheels Rollin'/ You, You, You/ LOUIE INNIS: Honky-tonk Man/ LOUIS INNIS: Better Back Up Mama/ ROY KING: Story Of Shelly Liles/ RED KIRK: Walking Round In Circles/ LULU BELLE & SCOTTY: I'm No Communist/ BENNY MARTIN: Ice Cold Love/ That's What I'll Do To You/ KEN MARVIN: I'd Like To/ COUNTRY JOHNNY MATHIS: You Don't Care/ BILL NETTLES: When I Pick Another Wife/ HANK NOBLE: Tell Me The Reason Why/ PAUL & ROY: Don't Ever Tell Me/ CHUCK REED: It's Better To Be A Has Been/ Love, Love, Love/ JIMMIE SKINNER: Want You For My Baby

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus CAPCD 4 Capitol Hillbilly, Vol. 4 ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended
Another terrific selection mixing familiar artists with obscure names including Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan, Lee Bonds (the outstanding Done Gone Crazy), Boots Faye & Idaho Call, Texas Bill Strength (a fine cover of Johnny Cash's Cry Cry Cry), Wynn Stewart, Jack Guthrie, Werly Fairburn (a fine cover of Al Terry's great Good Deal Lucille), Billy Strange, Bob Atcher, Cliffie Stone (not much of a vocal but fine guitar from Jimmy Bryant), Ann Jones, Leon Payne, etc. (FS)
ROY ACUFF: Rushing Around/ BOB ATCHER: Smoke Comes Out My Chimney/ FRED BAKER: I Gotta Do What I Gotta Do/ LEE BONDS: Done Gone Crazy/ HYLO BROWN: The Wrong Kind Of Love/ CARL BUTLER: Plastic Heart/ JOE CARSON: Take Me In Your Arms/ TOMMY COLLINS: All Of The Monkey's Ain't In The Zoo/ RAMBLIN' JIMMIE DOLAN: Hot Rod Mama/ WERLY FAIRBURN: Good Deal Lucille/ BOOTS FAYE & IDAHO CALL: Grinnin' Like A Possum/ JACK GUTHRIE: When The Cactus Is In Bloom/ JIMMY HEAP: Cat'N Around/ ANN JONES: Doin' Fine/ JIMMY LEE: Knocking On Your Front Door/ IRA & CHARLEY LOUVIN: Plenty Of Everything But You/ SKEETS MCDONALD: Remember You're Mine/ MERRILL MOORE: Snatchin' & Grabbin'/ ROD MORRIS: Cold Cold Cornbread/ GENE OíQUINN: I Get The Blues/ LEON PAYNE: Poke Salad Green/ OLE RASMUSSEN: Sleepy Eyed John/ AL ROGERS: All Alone All Alone/ JIMMIE SKINNER: Your Flyin' Days Are Through/ WYNN STEWART: Why Do I Love You So/ CLIFFIE STONE: Jump Rope Boogie/ BILLY STRANGE: Catsup & Honey/ TEXAS BILL STRENGTH: Cry Cry Cry/ HANK THOMPSON: Hangover Tavern/ MERLE TRAVIS: Turn My Picture Upside Down/ BOOTS WOODALL: I Might Have Been/ FARON YOUNG: It's A Great Life

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus COLCD 4 Columbia Hillbilly, Vol. 4 ● CD $15.98
Another great collection of up-tempo hillbilly from Columbia recorded in the 50s including a few familiar names and lots of obscurity. Includes sides by Johnny Hicks (the goofy Hamburger Hop), Jimmy Johnson, Don Gibson, Billy Walker, Oakie Jones, Neal Burris, Riley Crabtree, Riley Crabtree, Andy Reynolds, Little Jimmy Dickens, Dusty Owens, JOhnny Bond, Johnny Ragsdale, etc.
CHARLIE ADAMS: You've Wounded The Heart/ JOHNNY BOND: All I Can Do Is Cry/ Sale Of Broken Hearts/ BILLY BROWN: Tight Wad/ NEAL BURRIS: River Of Love/ Start The Music/ THE CARTER SISTERS: He Went Slippin' Around/ RILEY CRABTREE: Maybe It's You Or Maybe It's Me/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: Me & My Big Loud Mouth/ DON GIBSON: Ice Cold Heart/ JOHNNY HICKS: Hamburger Hop/ Pick Up Blues/ PAUL HOWARD: I'm Drinking All My Troubles Away/ STONEWALL JACKSON: (You're Right) I Need You Real Bad/ OAKIE JONES: Love Fever/ Warm Warm Kisses/ BOBBY LORD: Ain't Cha Ever Gonna?/ Hawkeye/ MADDOX BROTHERS & ROSE: I've Got Four Big Brothers/ SMILEY MAXEDON: Until Then/ BILL MORGAN: The Mucher We Do It/ GEORGE MORGAN: A Shot In The Dark/ DUSTY OWENS: Give Me A Little Chance/ POLLY POSSUM & JOE WOLVERTON: Save The Pieces/ RAY PRICE: I've Got To Hurry, Hurry, Hurry/ JOHNNY RAGSDALE: Come Right In & Set A Spell/ ANDY REYNOLDS: Beer Bottle Mama/ JACK RHODES FEAT. JIMMY JOHNSON: I've Lived A Lot In My Time/ THE TUNESMITHS: Baby, I'm Ready/ BILLY WALKER: Mexican Joe/ Whirlpool/ TOMMY WARREN: I'm Gonna Fall Out Of Love With You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus RCACD 4 RCA Hillbilly, Vol. 4 ● CD $15.98
Another 32 fine up tempo hillbilly sides from the RCA label with perhaps a few too many novelty items for my liking. Includes The Oklahoma Wranglers (their Country Kisses is particularly nice), Hank Penny, Eddie Kirk, Johnny & Jack (the great I Never Can Come Back To You), Jesse Rogers, Ken Marvin, Eddy Arnold, Tom James, Minnie Pearl, Charline Arthur, Jimmy Murphy (his classic We Live A Long Time To get Old), Jim Boyd, etc.
ROSALIE ALLEN & CHET ATKINS: Dream Train/ EDDY ARNOLD: Two Kinds Of Love/ CHARLINE ARTHUR: Soft Hearted Gal/ LEE BELL: Let Me Love You/ JIM BOYD: The Big 'D'Boogie/ ELTON BRITT: Jackass Blues/ THE DIAMOND BROTHERS: Hickory Stick/ Sugar Coated Lemon/ RED GARRETT: Moon Tan/ JERRY GLENN (KENNEDY): Too Young to Cut The Mustard/ EDDIE HILL: Knock It Off/ TOM JAMES: Sample Of Your Love/ JOHNNY & JACK: I Never Can Come Back to You/ EDDIE KIRK: Hit & Run Lover/ Wanderin' Eyes/ KENNY LEE: It's Tit for Tat/ EDDIE MARSHALL: Honky Tonk Blues/ KEN MARVIN: How About A Dale/ JIMMY MURPHY: We Live A Long Time to Get Old/ THE OKLAHOMA WRANGLERS: Country Kisses/ MINNIE PEARL: Huntin' Season/ HANK PENNY: You're Bound to Look Like a Monkey/ WADE RAY: The Fiddlin' Rag/ RITA ROBBINS: If You Don't Somebody Else Will/ TEXAS JIM ROBERTSON: l'm Gonna Be Long Gone/ JESSE ROGERS: But I'll Go Chasin' Women/ HANK SNOW: The Gold Rush Is Over/ JACK TURNER: Shoot, I Reckon I Love You/ l'm Getlin' Married Tonight/ PORTER WAGONER: Takin' Chances/ BOBBY WILLIAMSON: I Need Everything/ JOHNNIE LEE WILLS: Sold Out Doc

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus COLCD 5 Columbia Hillbilly, Volume 5 - Crying In Your Beer ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, highly recommended Subtitled "Crying In Your Beer Honky Tonk Special" this volume slows down the tempo to give us a great selection of honky tonk ballads, waltzes and shuffles including sides Billy Walker, Bobby Lord, Dusty Owens, Jimmy Dickens, Neal Jones, Stonewall Jackson (his classic Don't Be Angry), Werly Fairburn (a fine cover of Tommy Collins' I Guess I'm Crazy), Johnny Hicks (the fine bluesy Rainy Night Blues), Onie Wheeler, Smiley Maxedon, Lee Emerson, Earl Peterson, Neal Burris and others. (FS)
CHARLIE ADAMS: They Can't Make A Devil Out Of My Angel/ NEAL BURRIS: Poison Kisses/ You're Stepping Out (To Be With Me)/ JIMMY DICKENS: I Never Thought It Would Happen To Me/ Take Me As I Am/ LEE EMERSON: A Pair Of Broken Hearts/ WERLY FAIRBURN: I Guess I'm Crazy/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: Your Tomorrow's Never Come/ FREDDIE HART: Blue/ JOHNNY HICKS: Rainy Night Blues/ STONEWALL JACKSON: Don't Be Angry/ JIMMY JOHNSON: Throwing My Life Away/ NEAL JONES: Two Wrongs/ BOBBY LORD: I'm The Devil Who Made Her That Way/ Something's Missing/ ROSE MADDOX: When The Sun Goes Down/ SMILEY MAXEDON: You've Lost Too Much/ FRANKIE MILLER: What You Do From Now On/ LOU MILLET: Your Own Heart You Must Mend/ DUSTY OWENS: The Life You Want To Live/ EARL PETERSON: The Heart You're Gonna Break/ ROCKY PORTER: I Knew It All Along/ POLLY POSSUM: Don't Talk To Me About Men/ MARTY ROBBINS: This Broken Heart Of Mine/ BONNIE SLOAN: Don't Call Me A Tramp/ CARL SMITH: There's A Bottle Where She Used To Be/ BILLY WALKER: The Record/ TOMMY WARREN: Fading Away/ CHUCK WELLS: The Barroom Girl/ ONIE WHEELER: A Beggar For Your Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus DECCD 5 Decca Hillbilly, Vol. 5 ● CD $15.98
Subtitled "Crying In Your Beer Honky-Tonk Special" this volume in this great series features 30 waltzes, shuffles and barroom ballads. It opens with four songs on the perils of booze including Webb Pierce's classic There Stands the Glass and Billy Mize's fine Who Will Buy The Wine? (with the great line "Last night you held the baby's bottle/ Tonight you have a different kind) that was also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis. There are other fine weepers from Vernon Claud, Autry Inman, Jimmy Logsdon, Glenn Douglas, Ernest Tubb, Gene Stewart and others.
CHARLIE ADAMS: I Hope Youíre Happy Now/ CHARLIE ALDRICH: I Saw My Old Flame Last Night/ REX ALLEN: Thatís What Makes The Juke Box Play/ BILLY BROWN: Drunk, Drunk Again/ High Heels But No Soul/ VERNON CLAUD: Foolish Pride/ Jungle Of Cement & Stone/ ALVADEAN COKER: Insufficient Love/ MARGIE COLLIE: Dim Lights, Thick Smoke/ GLENN DOUGLAS: You Sure Look Lonesome/ ARLIE DUFF: So Close & Yet So Far/ JIM EANES: When The One That You Love Is In Love With You/ RED FOLEY: Stranded In Deep Water/ STAN HARDIN: Hungry Heart/ GOLDIE HILL: Liquor And Women/ AUTRY INMAN: It Hurts Too Much To Cry/ Reality/ WANDA JACKSON: Tears At The Grand Ole Opíry/ JIMMY & JOHNNY: Imagination/ HANK LOCKLIN: Let Me Confess/ JIMMY LOGSDON: These Lonesome Blues/ BILLY MIZE: Who Will Buy The Wine?/ JOHNNY NELMS: Iíve Been Lonesome Before/ LEON PAYNE: A Lifetime To Regret/ You Havenít Got A Heart/ WEBB PIERCE: Donít Throw Your Life Away/ There Stands The Glass/ REX PROPHET: Wild Fire/ GENE STEWART: Someday Youíll Know/ ERNEST TUBB: Iím With A Crowd But So Alone

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cactus 101 Hot Rod Race - Hillbilly Style ● CD $15.98
32 tracks, highly recommended
Arkie Shibley's 1950 Gilt Edge recording about a race between two cars was not only a big hit but launched an industry of cover songs and songs based around the same theme and no doubt inspired such 50s rock 'n' roll hits as Maybelline by Chuck Berry and Beep Beep by The Playmates. This CD features no less than 32 country versions! It includes Shibley's original plus his four sequels, covers by Bob Williams (who also did several sequels included here) plus covers by Ramblin' Jimmie Dolan, Bob Sandy, Dorse Lewis, Jack Rivers, Chris Clay and more. After a fallow period in the mid/ late 50s Johnny Bond revitalized the genre in 1960 with his reworking of the songs as Hot Rod Lincoln which hit the pop charts and Johnny had to rerecord it as Hot Rod Jalopy for it's U.K. release since Auntie BBC wouldn't allow songs to played that mentioned any commercial product. Both versions are included here along with the sequel X-15. Charlie Ryan also had a hit with the song and followed it up with a whole LP devoted to variations on the song and the final 12 tracks on the Cd features all the tracks from that LP including Hot Rod race/ Side Car Cycle/ Burlington Chase/ The Dart & the Lincoln and more. There's not a whole lot of musical variety on this collection but it's fascinating to hear all the variations on the theme and load of fun to boot. (FS)
JOHNNY BOND: Hot Rod Jalopy (Made For UK Version)/ Hot Rod Lincoln/ X-15/ CHRIS CLAY: Shot Rod Lincoln/ RAMBLINí JIMMIE DOLAN: Hot Rod Race/ RED FOLEY: Hot Rod Race/ DORSE LEWIS: Hot Rod Boogie/ JACK RIVERS: Navy Hot Rod/ CHARLIE RYAN: Burlington Chase/ Hot Rod Guitar/ Hot Rod Hades/ Hot Rod Harley/ Hot Rod Lincoln/ Hot Rod Race/ I Married The Gal/ Rocket Race/ Side Car Cycle/ The Dart & The Lincoln/ BOB SANDY: Hot Rod Race/ ARKIE SHIBLEY: Hot Rod Race/ Hot Rod Race #2/ Hot Rod Race #3 (Arkie Meets The Judge)/ Hot Rod Race #4 (The Guy In The Mercury/ Hot Rod Race #5 (The Kid In The Model A/ ARTHUR SMITH: Hot Rod Race/ DELBERT TRAPPER: Hot Rod Race/ REX TURNER: Hot Rod Race/ BOB WILLIAMS: Hot Rod Race #2/ Hot Rod Race #3/ Hot Rod Race (Cumberland Version)/ Hot Rod Race (Tennessee Version)/ MICK WOODWARD: Hot Rod Race Navy Style

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Old Hat 1007 Gastonia Gallop - Cotton Mill Songs & Hillbilly Blues ● CD $16.98
24 tracks, very highly recommended
Another fabulous collection of old timey music from Old Hat - this one featuring recordings made between 1927 and 1931 by North Carolina artists from Gaston County, home of the booming textile industry in the 1920s and 30s with many textile mills in the city of Gastonia. Many of the artists on this collection were mill workers and a number of the songs have cynical commentary about life as a textile mill worker - in particular those of the superb singer, guitarist and harmonica player David McCarn who is featured on seven tracks including the guitar and harmonica instrumental which gives this album its name. There are also seven songs by the superb singer and banjo player Wilmer Watts - most of them with group The Lonely Eagles and one a duet with steel guitarist Frank Wilson, His songs include his wonderful version of the traditional ballad Duncan And Brady which he calls Been On The Job Too Long and was a particular favorite of my dear departed friend Archie Green. He is also featured on the topical Cotton Mill Blues. There are five tracks from a duo featuring the brilliant singer and harmonica player Gwin Foster with guitarist David Fletcher. Three of these were issued as The Carolian twins and the other two as Fletcher & Foster. Other artists include The Three 'Baccer Tags and George Wade & Francum Braswell. Music is consistently fine, sound quality is superb and the 16 page, copiously illustrated booklet, has detailed notes by Patrick Huber. (FS)
THE CAROLINA TWINS: A Change in Business All Around/ Gal of Mine Took My Licker from Me/ I Want My Black Baby Back/ Southern Jack/ DAVE & HOWARD: Bay Rum Blues/ Serves 'Em Fine/ FLETCHER & FOSTER: Charlotte Hot Step/ Red Rose Rag/ DAVID MCCARN: Cotton Mill Colic/ Everyday Dirt/ Gastonia Gallop/ Poor Man, Rich Man [Cotton Mill Colic No. 2]/ Take Them for a Ride/ THE THREE 'BACCER TAGS: Ain't Gonna Do It No More/ Get Your Head in Here/ GEORGE WADE & FRANCUM BRASWELL: Think a Little/ When You Go a Courtin/ WILMER WATTS & THE LONELY EAGLES: Been on the Job Too Long/ Bonnie Bess/ Cotton Mill Blues/ She's a Hard Boiled Rose/ Sleepy Desert/ Working for My Sally/ WATTS & WILSON: Walk Right in Belmont

 
HANK WILLIAMS Time Life 24922 Hank Williams Revealed ● CD $38.98
Hallelujah! Just arrived! The second box set of recordings drawn from the previously unissued radio transcriptions made by Hank in 1951 for the Mother's Best Flour Company. Hank was at his peak and was accompanied by his great band with Jerry Rivers on fiddle, Don Helms on steel guitar and Sammy Pruett on guitar. Hank performed many of his hits as well as songs he had not recorded commercially and covers of others artists' hit which Hank made entirely his own. The first volume (Time Life 80024 - $39.98) was primarily devoted to just Hank's performances - for this volume Time-Life has responded to the requests by Hank's fans and each disc includes one complete 15 minute complete with an instrumental by The Drifting Cowboys, commercials and chat between Hank, announcer Louis Buck and members of the band and really gives one a lot insight into Hank's character. Apart from the shows disc 1 features live performances of 12 of Hank's hits like Cold Cold Heart/ Long Gone Lonesome Blues/ Hey, Good Looking and others. The second disk features 11 gospel songs - many not recorded commercially - (That Beautiful Home/ Lord, Build Me A Cabin In The Corner Of Gloryland/ Jesus Died For, etc) and the third disk features performances Hank had recorded as Luke The Drifter as well as songs in a similar vein (Everything's O.K./ Where The Old Red River Flows/ Deck Of Cards, etc.) THree CDs with 34 songs plus three complete radio shows.

 

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