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NEWSLETTER #138
Country, Bluegrass & Old Timey
eLTON bRITT -> Various Artists
 

 

 
 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
ELTON BRITT Jasmine 3565 Country Music's Yodelling Cowboy Crooner, Volume One ● CD $11.98
Varied 28 track collection of this popular performer including solo tracks with guitar, tracks with various small groups, duets with Rosalie Allen, cuts with The Skytoppers, The Beaver Valley Seethearts and others. No information is provided on the dates of these recordings but as far as I can tell they range from the late 30s to the early 50s. It includes his big hit There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere plus I Hung My Head And Cried/ Why Did You Leave Me Alone/ Just Because You're In Deep Elem/ Thanks For The Heartache/ One For The Wonder/ Maybe I'll Cry Over You/ She Taught Me To Yodel/ Weep No More My Darlin'/ Too Many Tears, etc. Excellent sound, informative notes by Paul Hazell and very little duplication with other Britt reissues.
ELTON BRITT: Acres Of Diamonds (mountains Of Gold)/ Broken Wings/ Buddy Boy/ Close Your Eyes And Dream/ Cowpoke/ Darling I've Loved Much Too Much/ Gotta Get Together With My Gal/ I Get The Blues When It Rains/ I Hung My Head And Cried/ I'm All That's Left Of That Old Quartett/ Just Because You're In Deep Elem/ Maybe I'll Cry Over You/ Merry Maiden Polka/ One For The Wonder/ Put My Little Shoes Away/ Quicksilver/ She Taught Me To Yodel/ Thanks For The Heartache/ There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere/ They're Positively Wrong/ Too Many Tears/ Too Tired To Care/ Weep No More My Darlin'/ Where Are You Now?/ Why Did You Leave Me Alone?/ Will You Wait For Me Little Darlin'?/ You'll Be Sorry For Now On

 
THE CARLISLES Bear Family BCD 15980 Busy Body Boogie ● CD $21.98
34 tracks, 76 minutes, highly recommended
For nearly a half-century, Bill Carlisle jolted Grand Ole Opry audiences with his aggressive, high-energy novelties. Though his recording career stretched back to the early '30s, Carlisle wouldn't discover his true metier until 1951 when he formed "The Carlisles" with Martha Carson and his older brother Cliff. Sounding like the Delmore Brothers on steroids, the Knoxville-based trio was signed by Mercury and quickly notched its first hit, Too Old to Cut the Mustard. Heart problems soon forced Cliff Carlisle's departure, but Carson remained on deck for the Carlisles' second hit, No Help Wanted, before departing for a solo gospel career. The vocalists that followed were all subservient to the hyperkinetic Carlisle, and more hits followed in the same mold, including Knot Hole and Is Zat You, Myrtle?. This collection gathers twenty-two of the Carlisles' barn-burning early Mercurys from 1951-56 (all with hot Chet Atkins guitar leads), plus twelve RCA Victor, Mercury and Columbia tracks from 1957-61, mostly with Hank Garland or Grady Martin. Carlisle pulled songs from some unexpected sources; John Came Home is actually Dave McCarn's Everyday Dirt, while Honey Love closely parallels Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters' original R&B hit. Sitting firmly between country boogies and nascent rockabilly, this is relentless, rhythmic music that some listeners may be unable to absorb in one sitting. The sound is first-rate with first-time stereo mixes on the Columbias. Michael Gray's notes detail the Carlisles' glory years. (DS)
THE CARLISLES: A Mouse Been Messing Around/ Air Brakes/ Bessie Lou/ Busy Body Boogie/ Doggie Joe/ Down Boy/ Dumb Bunny/ Feet Don't Fail Me (this Time/ Female Hercules/ Honey Love/ How Will I Know/ I Don't Want To Run/ I Need A Little Help/ I'm Rough Stuff/ If You Don't Want It/ Is Zat You, Myrtle?/ John Came Home/ Knot Hole/ Ladder Of Love/ Love, Love, Love (that's What It Is/ Money Tree/ Monkey Business/ New Liza Jane/ No Help Wanted/ Old Fashioned Love/ Rattlesnake Daddy/ Shake A Leg/ Something Different/ T'ain't Nice/ Tiny Space Man/ Too Old To Cut The Mustard/ Uncle Bud/ Who's A-gonna Stop Me?/ Woman Driver

 
THE CARTER SISTERS Country Routes 35 And Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins ● CD $16.98
39 tracks, 75 minutes, essential
Finally - a first-rate collection of eight RadiOzark shows by one of the premier show bands from country music radio's golden age! The Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle with Chet Atkins recorded more than three dozen, fifteen-minute open-ended transcriptions about 1949 or 1950 that were sold to small Southern radio stations. Spunky June Carter was the band's focal figure, singing many leads and bantering with veteran announcer Joe Slattery. Younger sisters Helen (playing accordion) and the angelic Anita (playing bass) also had solo turns, while matriarch Maybelle was often spotlighted on a Carter Family classic. Atkins delivers a dazzling guitar or fiddle solo on each show plus an occasional vocal. The group's blend and range is impressive, shifting from gospel and pop standards to contemporary country and western hits and novelties. Its joyous, spontaneous music couldn't be further removed from that of the original Carter Family, the comparatively few commercial records the group did about this time or the lackluster sides Maybelle and her daughters (not to mention Atkins) made through the 1960s. Transfers were sourced from pristine 16" discs recorded late in the series' run; the brief, uncredited liner notes offer little of value or insight. (Slattery's participation confirms that these ETs were cut in Springfield, Missouri - not Nashville as stated here.) Some themes and superfluous chatter were deleted to create a more listenable disc. Truly a wonderful, welcome release. (DS)

 
FREDDIE HART Bear Family BCD 16727 Juke Joint Boogie ● CD $21.98
Fine selection of 33 tracks recorded between 1953 and 1962 by this excellent singer and songwriter who is best known for his 1971 smooth chart topper Easy Lovin and subsequent songs in a similar vein. A selection of honky tonk, hillbilly boogie and a couple of rockabilly numbers - many of them written by Freddie himself including his original recording of Loose Talk subsequently a hit for Carl Smith. This set includes half a dozen previously unissued cuts including the hillbilly boogie title tune. Includes 36 page illustrated booklet with detailed notes by Deke Dickerson, rare vintage photos and full discography of his Columbi and Capitol recordings.

 
THE HILL BILLIES B.A.C.M. 113 Volume 2 - It's Heaven To Me ● CD $14.98
The second volume from this popular British quartet who performed western flavored songs in the 30s with vocals, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, banjo and accordion. In addition to American favorites this set includes some originals plus Waltzing Matilda.
THE HILL BILLIES: Big Rock Candy Mountains/ Dying Cowboy's Prayer/ Goodbye Bronco Bill, Goodbye/ Headin' Home/ Hobo's Spring Song/ I'm Spending Christmas With The Old Folks/ It Makes No Difference Now/ It's Heaven To Me/ Old Shep/ Pants My Pappy Gave To Me/ Pop Eyed Pete/ Prairie Schooner, Ramble On/ Red River Valley/ Roll Along Covered Wagon/ Rollin' Down The Hilly Billy Trail/ She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain/ Sundown In Peaceful Valley/ Take Ma Boots Off When Ah Die/ There's A Hole In The Old Oaken Bucket/ There's Gold In Them Thar Hills/ Under The Old Pine Tree/ Waltzing Matilda/ When The Moon Hangs High/ You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven

 
THE HILL BILLIES B.A.C.M. 114 Volume 3 - Ole Faithful ● CD $14.98
The third volume includes the title song which was their most popular number selling over 80,000 copies.
THE HILL BILLIES: Carry Me Back To Old Virginny/ Covered Wagon Lullaby/ Cross Eyed Sue/ Daddy's Old Guitar/ Down In Old Santa Fe/ Give Me A Ride On Your Horse, Buddy/ Granny's Old Arm Chair/ Hillbilly Love Song/ I'm Gonna Yodel My Way To Heaven/ Lay Me Down/ Memories Of The Old Homestead Pt. 1/ Memories Of The Old Homestead Pt. 2/ Nobody's Darling But Mine/ Ole Faithful/ Roll Along Prairie Moon/ That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine/ Twilight Yodeling Song/ Wheel Of The Wagon Is Broken/ When Mother Nature Sings Her Lullaby/ When That Harvest Moon Is Shining/ When You Bury Me Six Feet Deep/ With A Banjo On My Knee/ Yip Neddy/ Yodeling Cowboy

 
WANDA JACKSON CMH 8708 Heart Trouble ● CD $17.98
16 tracks, 48 min., good
For the Queen of Rockabilly, who earned her crown with wildness and a certain lack of adherence to musical orthodoxy, Jackson comes off here as a bit tame, despite the company of Rosie Flores, Elvis Costello, The Cramps, The Cadillac Angels, Dave Alvin, and others. That's not to say Jackson doesn't still have some orneriness in her voice (e.g., Riot In Cellblock #9 or Hard Headed Woman), or that she can't deliver the wistfulness necessary to bring off Anytime You Wanna Fool Around convincingly. And certainly Heart Trouble is a good album, but it's no use pretending that the sexagenarian is 17 years old, as the song selection might indicate. Perhaps more straight ahead country material and less rockabilly (where Jackson sounds forced and wildness is not exuded) would have played to her strengths better. (JC)

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS BGO BGOCD 658 Country Songs For City Folk/ Memphis Beat ● CD $17.98
Two mid 60s Smash LPs. The first LP is Jerry Lee's interpretations of country hits like Green Green Grass Of Home/ Funny How Time Slips Away/ The Wild Side Of Life/ Ring Of Fire/ King Of The Road, etc. and the other is rock 'n' roll and rhythm & blues - Memphis Beat/ Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee/ Just Beacuse/ Lincoln Limousine/ Big Boss Man, etc.

 
THE LILLY BROTHERS & DON STOVER Smithsonian Folkways 40158 Bluegrass At The Roots ● CD $15.98
Reissue of Folkways 2433 with two previously unissued tracks. Wonderful old time singing and traditional bluegrass from this superb duo. The first eight tracks features just the duo accompanying themselves on guitar and mandolin in the style of earlier brother teams like The Blue Sky Boys and The Monroe Brothers. On the remaining tracks they are joined by Don Stover on banjo, Herb Hooven on fiddle or bass annd occasionally Mike Seeger on bass on a wonderful selection of traditional bluegrass.

 
MAC AND BOB B.A.C.M. 116 Songs For Country Home Folks, Vol. 2 ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 64 minutes, highly recommended
A beloved, highly successful close-harmony duet of the '20s and '30s, Lester McFarland and Robert Gardner recorded dozens of sides for Brunswick and ARC that have long eluded reissue. Accompanying themselves on guitar, mandolin and sometimes harmonica, this Knoxville (later Chicago-based) duo favored sentimental, sacred and morality tales of yesteryear, appealing to older listeners who had little tolerance for the hotcha music of the Jazz Age. Mac and Bob weren't reluctant to take on novelties like Women's Suffrage, and their takes on familiar songs like The Girl I Loved in Sunny Tennessee are often startlingly different. Their most immediate disciples were Karl & Harty, Doc Hopkins, Gene Autry & Jimmie Long, and the Blue Sky Boys. Mac Wiseman later drew upon their repertoire for his early Dot sessions. Listening from a modern perspective, the duo opens a window to country music's genesis in popular 19th century parlor music. A worthy successor to B.A.C.M's first Mac and Bob set, ("Songs for Country Home Folks, Vol. 1," B.A.C.M. 067, $13.98). Generally excellent sound; brief notes by Brian Golbey. (DS)
MAC & BOB: A Picture No Artist Can Paint/ Birmingham Jail/ Bright Sherman Valley/ Go And Leave Me If You Wish To/ I Heard My Mother Call My Name In Prayer/ I Love You Best Of All/ I Wish I Had Died In My Cradle/ I've Nothing To Live For Now/ Just A Kerosene Lamp/ Keep A Light In Your Window Tonight/ Out In This Cold World/ Paint A Rose On The Garden Wall/ Please Let Me Broadcast To Heaven/ Rocky Mountain Rose/ Songs My Mother Used To Sing/ Sunny Tennessee/ Take Up Thy Cross And Follow Me/ The Orphan Boy/ Under The Old Sierra Moon/ Under The Old Umbrella/ When The Candle Lights Are Gleaming/ Woman Suffrage

 
THE MADDOX BROTHERS AND ROSE King 0126 A Collection Of Standard Sacred Songs ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, 31 mins, highly recommended
Previously on King 669. From an album first released in 1956, probably from 4-Star material, the Maddox Bros. and Rose give these mostly traditional shout-style gospel numbers their inimitible treatment. Their rawness and exuberance is toned down very little here. Steel guitar and country harmonica are joined by Fred Maddox's slap bass and wild mandolin to make some of the most raucous gospel music you're ever likely to hear. Great stuff if this is what you like- I love it. Songs include Tramp On The Street/ Farther Along/ I'll Fly Away/ Dust On The Bible/ I'll Be No Stranger There, a.o. (RP)

 
JIMMY MARTIN Music Mill 70053 This World Is Not My Home ● CD $11.98
12 tracks, 32 tracks, essential
Reissue of Decca 73460 from 1963 featuring bluegrass gospel at it's very best. Jimmy (who recently passed away) was one of the greatest of all bluegrass singer with his beautiful and expressive high tenor voice. Like most of his Decca recordings he is accompanied by superb musicians like Paul Williams/ mandolin, Bill Emerson or Paul Craft/ banjo, Joe Zinkan, Junior Huskey or Lightnin' Chance/ bass and others who also provide tight vocal harmonies. Although most of the composer credits are to Martin & Williams, many of the songs are traditional or old favorites. Among the highlights are a spellbinding version of one of my favorite songs Lord, I'm Coming Home, the exquisite voice Of My Savior and the always topical God Guide Our Leader's Hand but there's not a track here that's less than superb. (FS)

 
JIMMY MARTIN & RALPH STANLEY Gusto 3002 First Time Together ● CD $6.98
10 tracks, recommended
Previously on Hollywood 175. A meeting of two great bluegrass musicians which could have been a classic except that the twerps at King emphasized or added a metronome like rhythm track that tends to overwhelm the rest of the music. If you can tune that out (not easy) there is some fine singing and playing on songs like I'm Going Down The Road/ Stone Walls & Steel Bars/ Footprints/ Darling Brown Eyes and others including a terrific version of Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die which is obviously from a different session with Ralph absent. In addition to Ralph's fine banjo work there's also some excellent fiddle playing (who?) and, of course, the glorious vocals of two great bluegrass singers. (FS)

 
GEORGE MORGAN ASV CDAJA 5496 Candy Kisses ● CD $11.98
28 sides recorded between 1948 and 1952 by this smooth voiced country singer whose style was much like that of Eddy Arnold though he never went pop. Includes all his early hits like his 1949 #1 Candy Kisses plus Rainbow In Heart/ Room Full Of Roses/ I Love Everything About You/ Lover's Quarrel and others as well as no hits like All I Need Is Some More Lovin'/ Why, In Heaven's Name?/ Somebody Robbed My Beehive/ Tennessee Hillbilly Ghost/ Stranger In the Night/ Whistle My Love and more.

 
JOHNNY PAYCHECK Koch 9849 The Gospel Truth - The Complete Gospel Sessions ● CD $12.98
The first 15 tracks features the original "Gospeltime" LP issued in 1966 featuring some fine honky tonk gospel with the outlaw doing a mix of traditional and contemporary gospel songs accompanied by Lloyd Green, Pete Wade, Buddy Spicher and other Little Darlin' house musicians. The remaining eight tracks features eight of the same songs with strings added plus vocals by The Jordanaires that were issued in 1978. Includes I'm On My Way Home/ Every Minute I Want Jesus/ Almost Persuaded/ Just A Closer Walk With Thee/ Old Time Religion/ The Old Rugged Cross, etc.

 
JACKIE PHELPS & JIMMIE RIDDLE Gusto 0556 Stars Of Hee Haw & The Grand Ole Opry ● CD $7.98
12 tracks, highly recommended
A most enjoyable collection featuring two fine musicians who first worked together in Roy Acuff's band and worked again together on the TV Show "Hee Haw". Phelps is an outstanding electric guitarist in the Merle Travis mould - he does six numbers including a couple of pleasing vocals and is joined by harmonica wizard Riddle on a couple of them along with a fine group including an excellent steel guitarist. Riddle does some fine harmonica instrumentals as well as a couple of vocals including the talking blues Huntin' Blues which also features him doing some "eefing." Most entertaining. (FS)

 
RILEY PUCKETT B.A.C.M. 115 Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight ● CD $13.98
22 tracks, 64 minutes, completists only
One of prewar country music's most prolific recording artists, Riley Puckett was featured on a half-dozen superb LP compilations during the '60s and '70s. Outside of his work with the Skillet Lickers and sideman efforts with various Atlanta-based fiddlers, Puckett's music has largely eluded reissue on compact disc. As with B.A.C.M's first Puckett anthology, this set largely avoids duplication with the tracks on those now highly collectable LPs. For collectors, this is a plus. But it's disadvantageous to anyone seeking a decent sampler of this blind singer/guitarist's finest moments on record. Many tracks here amplify the guitarist's sporadic weaknesses, breaking meter and playing wrong chords. Not surprisingly, this compilation's best cuts have been reissued before; the magnificent Rodgeresque Waiting for the Evening Mail was the title track for County's Puckett LP. Other previously reissued tracks feature Puckett backing Skillet Lickers fiddlers Clayton McMichen and Lowe Stokes. Puckett's vocal duets with McMichen are absolutely painful; Stan and Ollie have nothing to fear from their The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. When Maple Leaves Are Falling with its McMichen lead vocal could well be the worst record in Columbia's 15000-D series. Sound is generally good, though B.A.C.M. failed to correct dragging speeds on the earliest sessions. Brian Golbey provides a brief appreciation. (DS)
RILEY PUCKETT: Billy In The Low Ground/ Black Eyed Susie/ Burglar Man/ Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight/ I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again/ I Wish I Was Single Again/ I'm Drifting Back To Dreamland/ Ida Red/ It's Simple To Flirt/ Jesse James/ Long Tongued Woman/ Sally Gooden/ Sleep Baby Sleep/ Somebody's Waiting For You/ Swanee River/ Tell Me/ The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine/ Waiting For The Evening Mail/ We'll Sow Righteous Seed For The Reaper/ When The Maple Leaves Are Falling/ Won't You Come Over To My House/ You'll Never Miss Your Mother Til She's Gone

 
JEANNIE C. RILEY Koch 9830 The Songs Of Jeannie C. Riley ● CD $12.98
12 tracks, 30 min., recommended
Jeannie C. Riley, for better or worse, is best remembered for her massive 1968 hit Harper Valley P.T.A., but shortly before she cut that song, she was recording for Aubrey Mayhew at Little Darlin' Records. After Riley's split with LD and her hit with PTA, Mayhew leased the master tapes to Capitol Records. Producer Kelso Herston filled out the sound with strings and dobro, and this CD is a reissue of that Capital release. (Why not issue the original recordings unadorned?) For all that, Riley's performances are generally noteworthy and deserving of reissue, especially since these recordings pre-date her commercial success. Riley sings a pair she penned (I'll Be A Woman Of The World and How Can Anything So Right be So Wrong) and a pair composed by Johnny Paycheck (before he wanted his job to be shoved): You've Got Me Singing Nursery Rhymes and The Heart He Kicks Around, among others. So what we've got here is another Nashville album that clocks in at just under half an hour. But this one's pretty good. (JC)

 
ROY ROGERS Collector's Choice 1069 King Of The Singing Cowboys ● CD $9.98
15 tracks from 40s radio transcriptions - Cowboy Wedding/ Spell Of The Indian Magic/ I'm An Old Cowhand/ My Little Buckaroo/ Cool Waters/ Yippi, Ki, Yi, Ya Buy A Bond Today, etc.

 
RED SOVINE Ace CDCHD 1052 Honky Tonks, Truckers & Tears ● CD $18.98
A collection of 24 songs recorded between 1961 and 1980 by this popular performer - 21 of them hitting the country cahrts. Includes honky tonk country, trucker songs and maudlin recitations - I Didn't Jump The Fence/ Class of '49/ Little Rosa/ Phantom 309/ Giddy-Up Go/ Daddy/ The Days Of Me And You/ It'll Come Bear/ Teddy Bear, etc.

 
THE STANLEY BROTHERS Rounder 1110 Earliest Recordings: The Complete Rich-R-Tone 78s ● CD $15.98
14 tracks, 35 minutes, highly recommended
If you're a major fan of Carter and Ralph Stanley, chances are you have Revenant's 1997 CD reissue of the brothers' Rich-R-Tone sides. So do you need this new Rounder edition? If that earlier issue is something you play often or if the Revenant's fatiguing, overprocessed sound leaves you dissatisfied, the answer is yes. Christopher King, who oversees County's superb old-time reissue series, newly remastered these rare bluegrass landmarks from the best available 78s. Sure, the sound remains somewhat thin, signal-to-noise levels are high and sharp ears will detect a few slightly off-center tracks. But King's transfers mark a significant improvement over all previous issues. We'll probably never hear this music sound as clear and true to the source material as it does here. Ten songs date from the brothers' 1947-48 sessions; two showcase tenor singer/mandolinist Pee Wee Lambert. After three years on Columbia, the Stanleys returned to Rich-R-Tone in 1952, recording four songs that anticipated the classic Mercury sides to follow. Like the Revenant issue, this release shuffles songs from both Rich-R-Tone periods. Gary Reid's original notes reappear here. New to the Stanleys? Try the Mercs, Columbias and earliest Kings and Stardays first, then discover where it all began. (DS)
Also available and essential Mercury 53402 The Complete Mercury Recordings (1953-58) (2-CD) $21.98
Columbia CK 53798 The Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers (1949-52) $11.98
King 615 The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys (1958) $10.98
THE STANLEY BROTHERS: Are You Waiting Just for Me?/ Death Is Only a Dream/ I Can Tell You the Time/ Little Birdie/ Little Maggie/ Molly and Tenbrook/ Mother No Longer Awaits Me at Home/ Our Darling's Gone/ The Girl Behind the Bar/ The Jealous Lover/ The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake/ The Little Glass of Wine (1947)/ The Little Glass of Wine (1952)/ The Rambler's Blues

 
CARL STORY & HIS RAMBLING MOUNTAINEERS Starday 580 Mighty Close To Heaven ● CD $9.98
12 tracks, recommended
Reissue of Starday 219. Carl Story is one of the giants of bluegrass gospel and this is a splendid collection of 12 songs from the early 60s on which Carl's distinctive vocals are joined by William Brewster/ 5 string banjo, Franklin Brewster/ mandolin, Tommy Jackson/ fiddle, Claude Boone/ bass & harmony vocals and Jack Linneman on dobro. Songs include Amazing Grace/ Row Us Over the Tide/ Rank Stranger/ Follow Him/ I'll Need The Prayers Of Those I Love/ Mighty Close To Heaven, etc. (FS)

 
MEL STREET TeeVee 0728 20 Greatest Hits ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, 58 minutes, essential
The late Mel Street never seemed to hit the big time even though he scored a number of top 20 hits. Maybe he didn't fit in with the rhinestone cowboys and countrypolitan crooners in the 70's. If you aren't too familiar with Street let me tell you, the West Virginia boy could really sing! His style is firmly in the honky tonkin' style of George Jones and early Conway Twitty and there are at least a dozen tunes here that stand right up there with the best of 'em. The passion and conviction he brought to songs of cheating and lost love seemed to reflect an inner turmoil that may have led to his early death by suicide on his 45th birthday in 1978. This set includes classic songs like Borrowed Angel/ Lovin' On Back Streets/ I met A Friend Of Yours Today/ Lovin' On Borrowed Time/ Looking Out My Window Through The Pain/ Even If I Have To Steal/ Town Where You Live/ Lust Affair and others including the powerful Forbidden Angel whose subject is not often covered in country songs. There are also great covers of country standards like Am I That Easy To Forget and Don't Be Angry. Mel deserves the deluxe Bear Family treatment but in the meantime this great no frills package delivers the goods. (AE/ FS)

 
TOM TALL & GINNY WRIGHT Bear Family BCD 16741 Are You Mine ● CD $21.98

 
HANK THOMPSON & HIS BRAZOS VALLEY BOYS Acrobat 4032 Swing Wide Your Gate Of Love ● CD $13.98
25 tracks, 63 minutes, essential In the years following World War II, Hank Thompson was one of country and western music's biggest hitmakers. Thompson's records delivered a distinctively Texan honky-tonk style with more than a passing debt to western swing. His warm, engaging baritone and sharply crafted arrangements grabbed as many nickels in Southeastern juke joints as they did in his home state, not to mention Louisiana, Oklahoma, California and points in-between. Thompson cut more than 300 sides for Capitol between 1947 and 1964, maintaining his signature sound until almost the end. While most vintage Thompson collections span his entire Capitol period, this collection strictly focuses on his fresh, youthful 1947-54 sides. Among the hits: Humpty Dumpty Heart/ Whoa Sailor/ The Wild Side of Life/ Wake Up Irene/ Rub-a-Dub-Dub, and Waiting in the Lobby of Your Heart. Though hit-driven Thompson anthologies arguably sound a little "samey" - after all, these songs were intended to be absorbed in two- to three-minute doses - this set offers considerable variety. Another plus: exceptional sound quality. Acrobat - a British company that could have made copyright-free needle drops like those bottom-feeders Proper and JSP do - actually licensed Thompson's master recordings from Capitol/EMI. Dave Penny penned a brief liner, crediting his debt to Rich Kienzle's notes for Bear Family's comprehensive 12-CD Thompson box (Bear Family BCD 15904, $259.98). Some gaffes appear: Thompson didn't write every song he's credited with here, and some release years are wrong. Nevertheless, the music is great. This disc makes a superb launching point for anyone interested in exploring Thompson's seminal work. (DS)
HANK THOMPSON: A Broken Heart and a Glass of Beer/ California Women/ Don't Flirt with Me/ Give a Little, Take a Little/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ I Find You Cheatin' on Me/ My Front Door Is Open/ My Heart Is a Jigsaw Puzzle/ New Roving Gambler/ No Help Wanted/ Rock in the Ocean/ Rub-a-Dub-Dub/ Soft Lips/ Swing Wide Your Gate of Love/ Take a Look at This Broken Heart/ The Grass Looks Greener Over Yonder/ The New Wears Off Too Fast/ The Wild Side of Life/ Today/ Tomorrow Night/ Waiting in the Lobby of Your Heart/ Wake Up Irene/ Whoa Sailor/ You Broke My Heart (In Little Bitty Pieces)/ You're Walking on My Heart

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Castle Pulse 597 Live From The Grand Ole Opry ● CD $13.98
Two CD set with 32 performances recorded live at the Grand Ole Opry in the 40s and 50s. Although sound quality is a bit dodgy there are some great performances from Marty Robbins (2 songs), Hank Snow (3), Ernest Tubb (3), Hank Williams (3), Porter Wagoner (2), Roy Acuff (1), Jean Shepard (1), Red Foley (2), Faron Young (3), Ray Price (2), Little Jimmy Dickens (1), Hawkshaw Hawkins (3), Flatt & Scruggs (1), Tex Ritter (1), Cowboy Copas (1), Tex Williams (1), Justin Tubb (1) and Margie Bowes (1). No notes of any consequence.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 307 The Goden Age Of Country Music 1 ● CD $18.98
The first of four compilations, this volume features 12 tracks by hillbilly singer and fiddler Shorty Long from Pennsylvania, four songs by the fine duo The Webster Brothers and 10 tracks from West Virginia singer Buddy Starcher - the latter mostly with just his own guitar accompaniment.
SHORTY LONG: After All These Years/ Air Mail Special On The Fly/ Blinding Tears/ Calm, Cool And Collected/ Foolish Pride/ Good Night Cincinnati, Good Morning Tennessee/ I Got Nine Little Kisses/ I Love You So Much It Hurts/ Just Like A Few Drops Of Water/ Mama/ Sweeter Than The Flowers/ Who Said That I Said That/ BUDDY STARCHER: Are You Facing The World All Alone?/ Beyond The Sunset/ I Planted A Rose (in The Garden Of Prayer)/ I'll Forgive, Dear, But Never Forget/ Isn't He Wonderful?/ My Old Pal Of Yesterday/ New Wildwood Flower/ Oh Leave One Token Of Your Love/ The Colored Child's Funeral/ Walk Lightly, You're Steppin' On My Heart/ THE WEBSTER BROTHERS: Glory Mountain/ It's All Left Up To You/ The Great Eternal Singing/ Till The End Of The World Rolls 'round

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 308 The Goden Age Of Country Music 2 ● CD $18.98
This volume includes 12 tracks from 1952/53 by western swing group Curley Daulton with Johnny Daulton's Western Swing Kings, 8 tracks from blind hillbilly singer and songwriter Leroy Jenkins and four tracks bye Joe & Rose Lee Maphis from 1953 and '54.
CURLY DAULTON: A Crushed Red Rose (and A Faded Blue Ribbon)/ A Little At A Time/ All My Life I've Dreamed/ Between Midnight And Dawn/ Blue Hearts And Broken Vows/ Cryin' Again/ I Didn't Mean To Be Mean/ I Traded An Angel For A Devil/ I'm Steppin' Out With A Broken Heart/ Just Another Nickel Wasted/ Please Leave Me Alone/ Please Set Me Free/ LEROY JENKINS: Don't Be A Home Breaker/ Hard Time Hard Luck Blues/ I Just Don't Know/ I'm Crying But Nobody Cares/ Please Don't Tell Me That You Love Me/ Tennessee Sunshine/ Time Passes By/ You're Talking To A Broken Heart/ JOE & ROSE LEE MAPHIS: Black Mountain Rag/ Dim Lights, Thick Smoke/ Quicksand/ ROSE LEE MAPHIS: Honky Tonk Love Affair

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 309 The Goden Age Of Country Music 3 ● CD $18.98
This volume features 12 tracks from the early 50s by Louisiana performer Lou Millet, 8 tracks by Zeke Williams with The Rambling Cowboys from 1937 and four from 1936 by Cody Fox.
CODY FOX: I Only Want A Buddy, Not A Sweetheart/ I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover/ Kansas City Kitty./ Yellow Jacket Blues/ LOU MILLET: Bayou Pigeon/ Get A Grip On Your Heart/ God Only Knows/ Hearts Of Stone/ Just Me, My Heart And You/ Memories From Your Cedar Chest/ Since The Devil Moved In/ That's How I Need You/ That's Me Without You/ Weary, Worried And Blue/ Worried, Lonesome And In Love/ Your Own Heart You Must Mend/ ZEKE WILLIAMS: Breeze (blow My Baby Back To Me)/ Don't Forget Me Little Darling/ I Would If I Could/ I've Got The Blues For Mammy/ The Cowboy's Dream/ The Starlit Trail/ Westward Ho/ What A Friend We Have In Jesus

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Cattle 310 The Goden Age Of Country Music 4 ● CD $18.98
This set includes four more sides from 1936 by Cody Fox, 8 tracks by Willye Walker & Gene Sullivan, four solo sides by Sullivana nd 10 by obscure early 50s performer Rocky Porter.
ROCKY PORTER: Don't Forget To Remember. Cody Fox: (let Me Sing In) Echo Valley/ I Knew It All Along/ I Talked To The Man In The Moon/ I'm In Love With No One (but I'm Looking For Someone To Love)/ I've Fallen In Love With An Angel/ In The Chapel In The Moonlight/ Keep On Keeping On/ Oh! She's Crazy/ Please Say A Prayer (for The Boys Over There)/ Suppose/ The All-seeing Eye/ The World Is A Monster/ Tiger Rag (inst.)/ GENE SULLIVAN: Good Gosh Almighty How I Love You/ Inflated Love/ Walkin' And A Talkin'/ Would You Forgive Me?/ WILEY WALKER & GENE SULLIVAN: All Over Nothing At All/ Don't Be Jealous Of My Yesterdays/ It's All Over Now (i Won't Worry)/ Somebody Stole My Little Darlin'/ Stolen Kisses/ There's Always Somebody Else/ You Don't Love My Anymore (little Darling)/ You've Got To Pay The Fiddler

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Compadre 63122 A Tribute To Billy Joe Shaver - Live ● CD $15.98
A tribute to the music of one of country's finest singers and songwriters recorded live in August 2004 at the Paramount Theatre in Austib, Texas on the occasion of Billy Joe's 65th birthday. In addition to Billy Joe himself it features some of the artists he inspired and influenced doing his songs or their own. Includes Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Todd Snider, Dale Watson, Cory Morrow, The Geezinslaws and others. This is an enhanced CD and when played in a computer it features a video of Todd Snider doing waco Moon. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this album will benefit the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Copper Creek 7004 The Sun Keeps Shining ● CD $9.98
12 tracks of honky tonk country recorded for Columbia in the late 40s and early 50s by The Maddox Brothers & Rose, Carl Smith, George Morgan, Floyd Tillman, Marty Robbins, Little Jimmy Dickens and others.
AL DEXTER: Down at the Roadside Inn/ LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS: We Could/ FLATT & SCRUGGS: I'm Gonna Sleep With One Eye Open/ LEFTY FRIZZELL: Always Late (With Your Kisses)/ ROSE LEE: Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)/ THE MADDOX BROTHERS & ROSE: I've Got Four Big Brothers (To Look After Me)/ GEORGE MORGAN: Candy Kisses/ RAY PRICE AND THE CHEROKEE COWBOYS: Crazy Arms/ MARTY ROBBINS: I'll Go on Alone/ CARL SMITH: Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way/ CARL STORY: Love Me Like You Used to Do/ FLOYD TILLMAN: Slipping Around

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS JSP JSPCD 7751 Sounds Like Jimmie Rodgers - Stars That Followed The Master ● CD $28.98
This four CD set with 100 tracks shows the influence of the great Jimmie Rodgers featuring some of the many artists whose music was influenced to a greater or lesser degree by Rodgers. Includes one whole CD devoted to Gene Autry plus sides by W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys, Fleming & Townsend, Bill Carlisle, Riley Puckett, Buddy Jones, The Texas Drifter (Goebel Reeves), Stuart Hamblen, Ramblin' Red Lowery, Ernest Tubb and others.
GENE AUTRY: Any Old Time/ Bear Cat Papa Blues/ Blue Yodel #4 (california Blues)/ Blue Yodel #5/ Dallas County Jail Blues/ Frankie And Johnny/ Gangster's Warning/ He's In The Jailhouse Now No .2/ High Powered Mama/ High Steppin' Mama Blues/ Hobo Bill's Last Ride/ I'll Always Be A Rambler/ I'm Atlanta Bound/ Jailhouse Blues/ Jimmie The Kid/ Life Of Jimmie Rodgers/ Methodist Pie/ No One To Call Me Darling/ Pistol Packin' Papa/ T.b. Blues/ That's How I Got My Start/ The Yodeling Hobo/ Travellin' Blues/ Waiting For A Train/ Whisper Your Mother's Name/ BILL BOYD & HIS COWBOY RAMBLERS: Wind Swept Desert (desert Blues)/ BILL CARLISLE: Rattlin' Daddy/ CLIFF CARLISLE: The Cowboy's Dying Dream/ WILF CARTER (MONTANA SLIM): It's A Cowboy's Night To Howl/ Rootin' Tootin' Cowboy/ The Old Barn Dance/ Yodeling Hillbilly/ LEON CHAPPELEAR: Trifling Mama Blues/ BILL COX: A High Silk Hat And A Gold Top Walking Cane/ Jackson County/ Lay My Head Beneath The Rose/ My Rough And Rowdy Ways/ When We Meet On The Beautiful Shore/ Where The Red, Red Roses Grow/ FLEMING & TOWNSEND: Gonna Quit Drinkin' When I Die/ STUART HAMBLEN: Wrong Keyhole/ BUDDY JONES: Dear Old Sunny South By The Sea/ Mean Old Lonesome Blues/ Shreveport County Jail Blues/ The Women ('bout To Make A Wreck Out Of Me)/ W. LEE O’DANIEL & HIS HILLBILLY BOYS: Tuck Away My Lonesome Blues/ Yodeling Ranger/ DADDY JOHN LOVE: Cotton Mill Blues/ My Little Red Ford/ RAMBLIN’ RED LOWERY: Bum On The Bum/ Ramblin' Red's Memphis Yodel – No. 1/ FRANKIE MARVIN: I'm Gonna Yodel My Way To Heaven/ I'm In The Jailhouse Now/ RILEY PUCKETT: 'way Out There/ Away Out On The Mountain/ Back On The Texas Plains/ Peach Pickin' Time In Georgia/ Sleep Baby Sleep/ The Moonshiner's Dream/ THE RHYTHM WRECKERS: Blue Yodel # 2 (my Lovin' Gal Lucille)/ Never No Mo' Blues/ JIMMIE RODGERS: Jimmie Rodgers Medley – Part 1/ Jimmie Rodgers Medley – Part 2/ In The Jailhouse Now No. 2/ Peach Pickin' Time Down In Georgia/ BILL SIMMONS: Rocky Mountain Blues/ Rocky Mountain Sweetheart/ HANK SNOW: Polka Dot Blues/ The Hobo's Last Ride/ Wandering On/ THE TEXAS DRIFTER: At The End Of The Hobo's Trail/ Cowboy's Lullabye/ Fortunes Galore/ I Learned About Women From Her/ John Law And The Hobo/ Little Joe The Wrangler/ Miss Jackson Tennessee/ Mother-in-law Blues/ Railroad Boomer/ Reckless Tex/ Station H.o.b.o./ The Drifter – Part 1/ The Drifter – Part 2/ The Hobo's Last Letter/ The Oklahoma Kid/ The Prisoner's Song/ The Tramp's Mother/ The Wayward Son/ The Yodelin' Teacher/ ERNEST TUBB: Married Man Blues/ Mean Old Bed Bug Blues/ My Mother Is Lonely/ Since That Black Cat Crossed My Path/ The Last Thoughts Of Jimmie Rodgers/ The Passing Of Jimmie Rodgers/ The Right Train To Heaven/ The T.b. Is Whipping Me/ VAL & PETE: Yodel Blues – Part 1/ Yodel Blues – Part 2/ BOB WILLS & HIS TEXAS PLAYBOYS: Never No More Hard Times Blues

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Proper BOX 83 Stompin' Singers & Western Swingers ● CD $24.98
100 tracks, 4 hours 29 min., essential
Jazz, country, hill billy, blues, pop, even little bits of klezmer -- it's all in this box of western swing artists recorded between 1934-53. As a kind of sequel to Proper Records popular "Doughboys, Playboys And Cowboys" (Proper BOX 6) comes this equally delightful 4 CD set also boasting a low price, clean sound, and 100 songs. The intelligently-written 52 page booklet contains a wealth of rare photos, historical and biographical information on each artist, and recording session info, including dates, personnel, and record label numbers. And the catch is there is no catch. Artists include Bill Boyd, Bob Wills, Light Crust Doughboys, Sweet Violet Boys, Sons Of The West, Tune Wranglers, Hi-Flyers, Sunshine Boys, Dick Reinhart, Buddy Jones, Al Dexter, Ted Daffan's Texans, Charles Mitchell, Walt McCoy & Western Wonderers, Tommy Duncan, Hank Penny, Roy Newman, Wade Ray, Curley Williams, Leon Rusk, Jimmy Widener, Tex Russell, Johnny Tyler, Hoyle Nix, Billy Briggs XIT Boys, Boots Woodall, and many more. (JC)
SHELLY LEE ALLEY: Try It Once Again/ BAR X COWBOYS: Underneath The Sun/ BILL BOYD: Drink The Barrell Dry/ Mama Don't Like No Music/ She's Doggin' Me/ JIM BOYD: Mule Boogie/ BILLY BRIGGS: Amarillo Rose/ Dip Snuff Stomp/ Panhandle Shuffle/ CLIFF BRUNER & THE TEXAS WANDERERS: I Was A Gambler In Texas/ LEON CHAPPELEAR: I'm A Do Right Papa/ White River Stomp/ AL CLAUSER & HIS OKLAHOMANS: My Sweet Papa/ TED DAFFAN'S TEXANS: Because/ Deep Down Inside/ Worried Mind/ AL DEXTER: Darling It's All Over Now/ Hi-de-ho Boogie On A Saturday Night/ Hot Foot Shuffle/ There'll Come A Time/ Who's Gonna Love You When I'm Gone/ TOMMY DUNCAN: Nancy Jane/ Tomato Can/ THE HI-FLYERS: Reno Street Blues/ BUD HOBBS: Honey There Ain't No Pleasin' You/ ADOLPH HOFNER: It's Best To Behave/ JERRY IRBY & HIS TEXAS RANGERS: Great Long Pistol/ JESSE JAMES & ALL THE BOYS: Joaquin Special/ BUDDY JONES: Honey Don't Turn Me Down/ I'm Going Back To Sadie/ Red Wagon/ BENNY LEADERS: Clean Town Blues/ THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Alice Blue Gown/ Bear Creek Hop/ Little Hillbilly Heart Throb/ Oh Susannah/ LEON MCAULIFFE: Blue Guitar Stomp/ This Side Of Town/ DICKIE MCBRIDE & THE VILLAGE BOYS: Tulsa Twist/ WALT MCCOY & THE WESTERN WONDERS: I'm A Lover Not A Fighter/ RUSTY MCDONALD: You Got The Right Number/ CHARLES MITCHELL: Mean Mama Blues/ MODERN MOUNTAINEERS: Getting That Lowdown Swing/ NETTLES BROTHERS STRING BAND: Dan The Banana Man/ ROY NEWMAN: I Can't Dance (i've Got Ants In My Pants)/ Mary Lou/ HOYLE NIX: Comin' Down The Pecos/ Darling Why Are You So Mean To Me/ HANK PENNY: You Can't Pull The Wool Over My Eyes/ That's My Weakness Now/ PORT ARTHUR JUBILEERS: Jeep's Blues/ PRAIRIE RAMBLERS: The Lady In Red/ WADE RAY: It's All Your Fault/ DICK REINHART: Hey Toots/ Rooky Toody/ Wooly Booger/ JIMMIE REVARD: Crafton Blues/ Triflin' Gal/ SMOKEY ROGERS: Catch Me Cheatin'/ Drinkin' And A-thinkin'/ I Can't Help The Way You Feel/ LEON RUSK: Air Mail Special On The Fly/ TEX RUSSELL: What It Means To Be Blue/ SONS OF THE WEST: Oh Monah/ There's Evil In You Chillun/ OCIE STOCKARD: There'll Be Some Changes Made/ THE SUNSHINE BOYS: She's A Rounder/ THE SWEET VIOLET BOYS: Round And Round (yas Yas Yas)/ THE TEXAS WANDERERS: Rackin' It Back/ Sundown Blues/ JIMMY THOMASON: The Spider And The Fly/ THE TUNE WRANGLERS: Up Jumped The Devil/ JOHNNY TYLER: Behind The Eight Ball/ It Ain't Far To The Bar/ THE UNIVERSAL COWBOYS: Hot Mama Stomp/ THE WANDERERS: Tiger Rag/ JIMMIE WIDENER: That's My Linda Lou/ JIMMY WIDENER: I'm All Through Trusting You/ CURLEY WILLIAMS: Georgia Boogie/ Saturday Night Rag/ TEX WILLIAMS: Never Trust A Woman/ That's What I Like About The West/ Wild Card/ BILLY JACK WILLS: Roped And Tied/ BOB WILLS: B. Bowman Hop/ Bob Wills Boogie/ Hubbin' It/ Mean Mama Blues/ Mississippi Delta Blues/ Rosetta/ Silver Dew On The Bluegrass/ Snatchin' And Grabbin'/ The Devil Ain't Lazy/ JOHNNIE LEE WILLS: I Wonder What I'm Going To Do/ Milk Cow Blues/ What'cha Know Joe/ LUKE WILLS RHYTHM BUSTERS: High Voltage Gal/ Shut Up And Drink Your Beer/ SMOKEY WOOD & THE WOOD CHIPS: Woodchip Blue/ BOOTS WOODALL: Rattle Snakin' Daddy

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40137 Classic Southern Gospel From Smithsonian Folkways ● CD $11.98
22 tracks, 61 min., essential
For reasons unknown, the Folkways label, as run by Moe Asch, avoided the Southern gospel quartets, so this collection "focuses on bluegrass-gospel and country-gospel by family groups, in a genre often categorized as country-gospel music." So says compiler, annotator, and producer Kip Lornell, an ethnomusicologist well known for his research in the field of black gospel quartet singing and blues. His booklet notes make this already excellent collection of southern gospel indispensable. Most of the tracks were, unsurprisingly, recorded in the 1950s and 1960s, but the older traditions find admirable representation in the likes of The Old Harp Singers Of Eastern Tennessee performing Wonderous Love (from 1951, the earliest recording here), Red Allen's reading of the 19th century Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb, Bill Monroe And The Bluegrass Boys' version of the Carter Family's I'm Working On A Building, and The Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists' 1993 performance of I'm Going To A City, which is "lined out" by Brother Mike Halcomb and has its musical roots in 16th century England. Other performances include Hazel And Alice, Doc Watson, Jean Richie, The Poplin Family, Ernest Stoneman, The A. L. Phipps Family, Kilby Snow, and others. (JC)

 
 

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