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NEWSLETTER #130
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey

Rex Allen -> Various Artists

THE CROOKED JADES
BILL HALEY & FRIENDS
THE HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN
JIM & JESSE
JOHNNIE & JACK
GEORGE JONES

BILL MONROE
WILLIE NELSON
CHARLEY PRIDE
JIM REEVES
ROY ROGERS
DAVID GRISMAN, PETER ROWAN, CLARENCE WHITE & RICHARD GREENE
HANK SNOW
THE STANLEY BROTHERS
MERLE TRAVIS
VARIOUS ARTISTS
 

 

THE CROOKED JADES Copper Creek 2005 The Unfortunate Rake, Vol. 2 - Yellow Mercury ● CD $13.98
23 tracks, 67 mins., recommended.Twenty-three tracks? Well, this rollicking California quintet rips through old-time and ragtime tunes like their lives depended on it. Determinedly deadpan retro la Gillian Welch but rougher around the edges, there's a self-conscious sparkle to the performances. Guitarist Jeff Kazor's original mournful songs blend perfectly with the genuine oldies, from Shady Grove to False Hearted Lover Blues. Arrangements include Dobro, guitar, various banjos, fiddles, bass, and vocals with other weird stuff like mortar and pestle thrown in. (DC)

 
BILL HALEY & FRIENDS Hydra 27120 Vol. 2 - The Cowboy Recordings ● CD $21.98
29 tracks, 80 mins, highly recommended. Fine and invaluable collection featuring tracks recorded for Philadelphia country label Cowboy Records between 1946 and 1950. The label was run by local entrepreneur Jack Howard and Jack E. Myers. Myers was also a songwriter and musician using the name Jimmy DeKnight and was co-composer of Rock Around The Clock. The Cowboy label is best known for releasing some of the first recordings of Bill Haley and this collection features all ten recordings made for the label by him (four of them originally unreleased). Haley explored several styles in country including straight ahead country, cowboy songs and western swing and was a decent if not exceptional performer but he always had that distinctive voice and a few years later was to find the sound that he was looking for. There were other fine artists featured on the label including veteran western performer Ray Whitley and old time performers Whitey & Hogan. Most of the other performers were very obscure but all are worthwhile and I particularly like the old time gospel of Willis Meyers on You Can't Be A Millionaire. This is a high quality production with excellent sound and a wonderful 36 page booklet with extensive notes, discographical info and loads of great vintage photos and other memorabilia. (FS)

 
THE HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN Hightone 8147 Ghost Train ● CD $15.98

 
JIM & JESSE Starday KSCD 120 Dixie Hoedown - Their Complete Starday Recordings ● CD $9.98
14 cuts, 32 min, recommended. Most welcome reissue featuring all 14 sides recorded by Jim & Jesse for Starday in 1958 and 1959. The brothers are in top form vocally, and the instrumental work is quite impressive, with lots of Jesse's patented mandolin crosspicking style and accompaniments featuring two of the finest instrumentalists in the history of bluegrass in addition to Jesse in banjo player Bobby Thompson and fiddler Vassar Clements. Songs and tunes include pardon Me/ Border Ride/ Hard Hearted/ I'm Changing The Words To My Love Song/ I'll LOve Nobody But You/ Kneel By The Altar/ Let The Spirit Descend and more. Includes 8 page booklet with excellent notes by Gary Reid and full discographical info. (RP/FS)

 
GEORGE JONES Acrobat ACRCD 105 Some Of The Best Live! ● CD $10.98
10 tracks, 26 mins, very good. The greatest living honky tonk singer recorded live on the T.V. show "Church Street Station" in the late 80s. George is in fine form, accompanied by his road band, doing soulful versions of some of his Epic hits plus his early hit The Race Is On. Includes Bartender's Blues/ He Stopped Loving Her Today/ No Show Jones/ The One I Loved Back Then/Who's Gonna Fill their Shoes and others. 10 tracks in all including an instrumental from his band.+

 
GEORGE JONES Proper Pairs 135 Jones, By George ● CD $12.98
Two CD, 40 track compilation of George's United Artists and Musicor recordings from the 60s. Includes hits, album tracks, covers, etc. - White Lightning/ Back In My Baby's Arms Again/ Once A Day/ Least Of All/ My Favorite Lies. Just A Girl I used To Know/ I Can't Change Over Night/ She Thinks I Still Care/ A Good Year For The Roses/ Tender Years/ Tarnished Angel/ Things Have Gone To Pieces/ The Selfishness In Man/ On The Banks Of The Pontchartrain, etc.

 
BILL MONROE And More Bears 25001 Two Days At Newport ● CD $21.98
Recordings of Bill Monroe's first appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in July, 1953 with his band which at the time included Del McCoury, Bill Keith, Bessie Lee Mauldin, Billy Baker & Ralph Rinzler - a group that never recorded together in the studio.

 
BILL MONROE JSP JSPCD 7712 All The Classic Releases, 1937-1949 ● CD $28.98
This is essentially a condensed version of Bear Family 16399 leaving out the alternate takes and the stupendous book and much cheaper. The first two CDs feature all 60 duets recorded for Bluebird between 1936 and 1938 by Bill and his brother Charlie. The other two CDs feature all 16 of his seminal recordings from 1940 and '41 with his first band called The Bluegrass boys plus all his classic Columbia sessions from 1945-49 with sidemen like Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and other great musicians.

 
WILLIE NELSON Bear Family BCD 16664 It's Been Rough & Rocky Travelin' ● CD $87.98
Three CD set featuring Willie's earliest recordings including his first recording for Sarg in 1954, his 1957 recordings for his own label, his "D" recordings, the rare first version of Nite Life recorded for Rx and all his Liberty recordings. 79 tracks in all recorded between 1954 and 1963 including several alternate takes and some duets with Shirley Collie. Includes 68 page hard cover book with notes by Rich Kienzle, rare photos and complete discographical info.

 
CHARLEY PRIDE RCA 53227-2 Anthology ● CD $23.98
Two CD set featuring 40 tracks recorded between 1966 and 1982 by this fine singer including many big hits - includes Just Between You And Me/ The Easy Part's Over/ Kaw-Liga/ All I have To Offer You Is Me/ Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone/ I Can't Believe That You've Stopped Loving Me/ Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'/ She's Too Good To Be True/ Amazing Love/ Then Who Am I/ She's Just An Old Love Turned Memory/ Someone Loves You Honey/ You Win Again, etc. Includes 16 page illustrated booklet with informative notes by Rich Kienzle.

 
JIM REEVES And More Bears 25002 The Jim Reeves Radio Show, February 24, 1958 ● CD $21.98
Previously unreleased live show.

 
DAVID GRISMAN, PETER ROWAN, CLARENCE WHITE & RICHARD GREENE DBK Works 503 Muleskinner ● CD $15.98
Finally on CD. Originally released on Warner Bros. in '74 "Muleskinner" documents some of Clarence White's (Byrds, Kentucky Colonels) last session work. Subtitled "A Potpourri Of Bluegrass Jam," this collection of talented musicians blows the bluegrass tag to smithereens. There's Grisman's Opus 57 In G Minor, some chilling lead electric guitar by maestro White on the opening Mule Skinner Blues as well as Richard Greene's jazzy left-of-center violin excursions. Peter Rowan can play it & sing it either way, the traditional - Blue & Lonesome, Dark Hollow, Footprints In The Snow or the cosmic cowboy - Runways Of The Moon , at which he's very adept. The four part harmony, stellar musicianship, infectious brotherly spirit, and Rowan's vocal chops combine to make this album one joyous, swinging affair from the get-go. (SG)

 
THE STANLEY BROTHERS King KG 0950 The KIng Years, 1961-1965 ● CD $56.98
The long awaited second volume of The Stanley Brothers great Starday/ King recordings. This one is another four CD box set featuring 111 songs complete with 28 page color booklet. More details next time but it should be a must have.

 
MERLE TRAVIS Vestapol DVD 13034 The Songs & Guitar Of Merle Travis, Vol. 2 ● CD $23.98
Now on DVD.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Ace CDCHD 893 Swingbillies ● CD $16.98
28 tracks, 76 mins, highly recommended. Though best known for its recordings of blues and R&B, the Modern group of labels also recorded some excellent hillbilly and western swing as this superb collection. 28 tracks recorded between 1947 and 1952 for Modern, Colonial and Flair including several unissued tracks. This is the first time most of this material has been reissued. This set includes recordings made in California and in the South and features the first recordings of country guitar legend Jimmy Bryant plus Jimmie Dolan, Homer Clemons & His Texas Swingbillies, Rocky Morgan and His Triple R Boys, Tommy Little & The Sunrise Rangers, Bill Woods & His Orange Blossom PLayboys, Chuck Guillory & His Rhythm Boys (Cajun flavored hillbilly featuring a young Jimmie C. newman in the band), Louie Hooks & His Rhythm Five, Cliff Bruner & His Texas Wanderers (with a great vocal by Link Davis on San Antonio Blues). Excellent sound and 12 page booklet has extensive notes by country expert Kevin Coffey. (FS)
JOE BEAN AND HIS SAN ANTONIANS: Those Wonderful Days With You/ CLIFF BRUNER AND HIS TEXAS WANDERERS: San Antonio Blues/ JIMMY BRYANT AND THE SONS OF THE SADDLE (VOCAL: Boogie Barn Dance/ JIMMY BRYANT AND THE SONS OF THE SADDLE: Holiday For Guitar/ PAPA CAIRO AND HIS BOYS: Big Texas #2/ Kooche Kooche/ HOMER CLEMONS AND HIS TEXAS SWINGBILLIES: Little Beaver Aka Big Beaver/ HOMER CLEMONS AND HIS TEXAS SWING BILLIES: Operation Blues/ JIMMIE DOLAN AND HIS TEXAS RAMBLERS: Baby Did You Lie To Me/ Blue Yodel (t For Texas)/ I Knew That You Were Foolin' All Along/ If You Care Again/ One Million Railroad Ties From Home/ Tennessee Baby/ Walkin' The Floor Over You/ CHUCK GUILLORY AND HIS RHYTHM BOYS : You Just Wait And See/ LOUIE HOOKS AND HIS RHYTHM FIVE: Pine Club Boogie/ TOMMY LITTLE AND THE SUNRISE RANGERS: High Geared Daddy/ ROCKY MORGAN AND HIS TRIPLE R BOYS: Life's A Funny Proposition (after All)/ Turn That Gun Around/ You Can't Rope A Steer In A Taxi/ TED SHELTON AND HIS BRYAN COUNTY BOYS: Lover Boy/ My Heart Lied To Me/ JACK TUCKER AND DUSTY RHODES: Dusty Road Boogie/ Mind Your Own Business/ JODY WEBB AND HIS ROUND UP BOYS: The Honey Jump (part 1)/ BILL WOODS AND HIS ORANGE BLOSSOM PLAYBOYS : Have I Got A Chance With You/ Trusting You

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS County 3528 Old Time Mountain Blues, Rural Classics: 1927-1939 ● CD $14.98
19 tracks 58 mins, recommended. Some wonderful music here though this could have been thought out a bit better. Back in the 70s County put out an LP called "Mountain Blues" which featured many of the tracks here - this was a true revelation to blues and country fans giving us a rare opportunity to hear for the first time rare recordings of old time country performers putting their own spin on the blues. Now some 30 years later with a glut of reissues out there this is less of a unique release with more than half the titles available on other reissues including some with the same theme - one track is even duplicated on another County reissue! That coupled with County's stinginess in number of tracks make this less appealing to the diehard fan. However this is still a superb collection featuring some truly wonderful performances from artists like Sam McGee, "Dock" Boggs, Frank Hutchison, Narmour & Smith, Cliff Carlisle, Lester McFarland, Byrd Moore & Jess Johnston, Jimmie Tarlton, Burnett & Rutherford, Clarence Green and others. Sound quality is superb and there are informative notes from Kerry Blech. If you don't have too many old time country reissues then this is indispensable - otherwise you might want to think about it. (FS)
DOCK BOGGS: Down South Blues/ BURNETT & RUTHERFORD: Curly Head Woman/ CLIFF CARLISLE: Trouble Minded Blues/ GWEN FOSTER: Side Line Blues/ CLARENCE GREEN: Johnson City Blues/ LARRY HENSLEY: Match Box Blues/ FRANK HUTCHISON: Cannonball Blues/ DICK JUSTICE: Brown Skin Blues/ LEAKE COUNTY REVELERS: Leake County Blues/ LESTER MCFARLAND: K.c. Whistle Blues/ SAM MCGEE: Easy Rider/ Railroad Blues/ DAVID MILLER: Cannon Ball Rag/ BYRD MOORE & JESS JOHNSTON: My Trouble Blues/ NARMOUR & SMITH: New Carroll County Blues No. 1/ FIDDLING DOC ROBERTS TRIO: Cumberland Blues/ SOUTH GEORGIA HIGHBALLERS: Bibb County Grind/ LOWE STOKES & HIS NORTH GEORGIANS: Left All Alone Agin Blues/ JIMMIE TARLTON: Careless Love

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Crossroads 4242 Close Harmony - A History Of Southern Gospel Quartet ● CD $16.98
Interesting compilation of 13 white gospel quartets plus The Golden Gate Quartets recorded between 1920 and 1955 compiled by James R. Goff based around his book "Close Harmony, A History Of Southern Gospel Music". Besides the Golden gates it includes tracks by The Lefevres, Homeland Harmony Quartet, The Rebels Quartet featuring Big Jim Waits, Chuck Wagon Gang, Vaughan Sand Mountain Qt., Stamps-Baxter Quartet, The Speer Family, etc. Sound on some tracks shows overuse of digital noise reduction but is generally good. Includes detailed notes by Goff.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS El Toro H 100 Gravy Train - Hillbilly Meets R&B Before Elvis ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, highly recommended. Great collection of 27 tracks featuring country artists covering black R&B tracks - mostly from the late 40s and early 50s including Link Davis' cover of Roy Brown's Good Rockin' Tonight (retitled Have You Heard The News?), The York Brothers cover Tiny Bradshaw's Gravy Train, Hardrock Gunter & Roberta Lee do a graet cover of The Dominoes' Sixty Minute Man, Zeb Turner does Peppermint Harris's I Got Loaded and there's more from Hank Penny, Bill Haley, Homer & Jethro, T Texas Tyler and others. Excellent sound and 8 page booklet with informative notes by dave Penny and some photos. (FS)
TINY COLBERTS & HIS ENTERTAINERS: Outskirts Of Town/ LINK DAVIS: Have You Heard The News?/ TOMMY DUNCAN: Who Drank My Beer/ TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD: I Don't Know/ HARDROCK GUNTER: Boogie Woogie On A Saturday Night/ Sixty Minute Man/ BILL HALEY & THE SADDLEMEN: Rock The Joint/ Rocket 88/ HANK THE COWHAND: Fan It/ JACK HARDY & THE RANCH BOYS: Oh Babe!/ HOMER & JETHRO: I Feel That Old Age Creepin' On/ RED KIRK: Teardrops From My Eyes/ MERRILL MOORE: Corrine Corrina/ MOON MULLICAN: Grandpa Stole My Baby/ Well Oh Well/ CHUCK MURPHY: Nosey Joe/ HANK PENNY: Catch'em Young, Treat'em Rough, Tell'em Nothin'/ MELVIN PRICE & HIS SANTA FE RANGERS: For You My Love/ KENNY ROBERTS: Choo Choo Ch'boogie/ BILLY STARR: Hound Dog/ COTTON THOMPSON: How Long?/ ZEB TURNER: I Got Loaded/ T. TEXAS TYLER: Red Light/ THE YORK BROTHERS: Chicken Blues/ Gravy Train/ Tremblin'

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Krazy Kat KKCD 26 Tarheel Swing ● CD $16.98
Terrific collection of hillbilly and Western Swing recorded by artists from the Carolinas in the late 40s and early 50s. Apart from Cecil Campbell and Clyde Moody most of the artists are obscure but fine including Glen Thompson & His Dixie Playboys, Preston Miller, Tommy Little, Gene Ray, Jim Hall and others.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Lenox 1014 Hillbilly Rock, Vol. 2 ● CD $16.98
Available again. 16 track collection of rockin' country and hillbilly boogie. Some fine stuff - only a few tracks available elsewhere. Includes Don Windle, Carl Utah, Homer Zeke Clemons, Salty Homes (fine country harmonica with vocal by Mattie O'Neal), The Turner Brothers (fine duo with hot guitar), Uncle Hrny, Paul Howard and others.
HOMER ZEKE CLEMONS: Dallas Limited/ Oklahoma Bound/ JOHNNY HICKS: Hey Now Honey/ EDDIE HILL: Cold, Cold Woman (And The Hot Guitar)/ Steamboat Stomp/ SALTY HOLMES: Harmonica Boogie/ PAUL HOWARD: Boogie's Fine Tonight/ EARL SONGER: Whoopie Baby/ BILLY STARR: Hound Dog/ THE TURNER BROTHERS: Boog-Boog-Boogie/ Honky-Tonk Mama/ T. TEXAS TYLER: My Bucket's Got A Hole In It/ UNCLE HENRY: Red Headed Woman/ UTAH CARL: Sometimes/ EARNEY VANDAGRIFF: Hush Money/ DON WINDLE: When My Baby Gets Home

 

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