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The Cooke Duet -> Dick Curless


THE COOKE DUET Freeland 641 The Best Of The Cooke Duet ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 34 mins, highly recommended
This is the real thing! Wonderful white country gospel singing with high intense harmonies and basic country accompaniments (guitars, steel guitar, bass & piano). The Cookes have been performing together for nearly 35 years - first as duo and later with their children as the Cooke Family. They have had something like 40 cassettes issued by a small company in Kentucky with very limited distribution, This is their first appearance on CD and is drawn from cassettes issued between 1969 and 1971 and is a terrific collection of gospel favorites highlighted by the rousing rendition of Swing Down That Chariot and the stunningly beautiful One Day I Will. (FS)

THE COOKE DUET Freeland 647 Early Cooke Duet ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 30 mins, highly recommended
This features some of the earliest recordings from 1964-66 by this incredible gospel duo featuring just their own strumming guitar accompaniment. The Cookes are up there among the best - Jeanette is a spine chilling and ferociously intense singer, a little like Molly O'Day. Husband Hubert is a bit more restrained providing a beautiful counterpoint to Jeanette's powerhouse voice. The songs are mostly gospel favorites like The Lord Will Make A Way/ What A Time In Heaven / Got Sweet Heaven In My View and a sensational rendering of Ain't No Grave. There are also several fine originals - I'm Longing For Home/ I'm So Happy/ There Must A Power. Truly magnificent stuff - it's a shame the sound isn't better. Some of this couldn't be corrected since Jeanette's vocals often overloaded the microphones but the harsh edge to the sound in general makes for tiring listening. Still, it is really great music! (FS)

SPADE COOLEY Country Routes 23 1941-47 ● CD $16.98
34 track collection drawn from rare transcription discs. Three different sets of recordings are featured - 12 from 1941 issued as by Tex Williams & Spade Cooley with Cal Shrum & His Rhythm featuring five vocals by Williams and one by Shrum. The remaining cuts are instrumental featuring Cooley and/or the hot guitar of Gene Hass. There are 10 cuts from late 1945 or early 46 as by Spade Cooley: The King Of Western Swing & His Dance Gang features a large group often doing versions of Spade's Columbia recordings with vocals by Tex Williams and steel work from the legendary Joaquin Murphy. The remaining 12 tracks are from 1947 featuring various vocalists and including Jimmy Wyble on lead guitar and noel Boggs on steel. Excellent sound and usual high quality notes by Kevin Koffey.

SPADE COOLEY Harlequin 144 Spade Cooley Big Band, 1950-1952 ● CD $16.98
33 tracks from radio transcriptions

SPADE COOLEY & TEX WILLIAMS Bronco Buster 9029 Western Swing Jamboree ● CD $19.98
12 tracks by Cooley and 6 by Williams from rare singles and transcriptions from the mid/late 40s.
SPADE COOLEY: Call Me Darlin', Do/ Fickle Woman/ Four Fiddle Polka (Inst.)/ It's Dark Outside/ Lord Nottingham's War Dance/ Minuet in Swing/ Ny Chickashay Girl/ Texas Steel Guitar (Inst.)/ There Is No Sunshine Take My Back to Tulsa/ Three Fiddle Rag (Inst.)/ Topeka Polka (Inst.)/ Tuesday Two-step (Inst.)/ Whistle Bait/ TEX WILLIAMS: Don't Telephone, Don't Telegraph-Tell a Woman/ I'm Big Bad Bill from the Badlands/ I'm My Own Grandpa/ Talkin' Boogie/ That's What I like about the West/ Yuk-a-puk.

SPADE COOLEY & TEX WILLIAMS Jasmine 3510 A Western Swing Dance Date With Spade & Tex ● CD $11.98

THE COONHUNTERS B.A.C.M. 42 Featuring Merle Travis ● CD $14.98
Delightful collection of 26 tracks from Capitol transcriptions recorded in the mid 40s featuring Merel Travis/ guitar & vocal, Wesley Tuttle/ guitar, Herman The Herman/ banjo, Charlie Lindville/ fiddle and possibly Cliffie Stone/ bass. Most of the songs are traditional along with a few more recent compositions and although Travis hadn't developed his famous guitar style yet he provides fine lead vocals on songs like Little Darling I'm Sick Of You/ Footprint In The Snow/ Jim Crow (a dance - not a comment on race)/ Midnight Special/ Nancy Till/ Oh Dem Golden Slippers/ Bile That Possum/ I'll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ Coming Home From The Wake (sounds like an Irish music hall song!)/John henry/ False Hearted Girl and others. There are also several fine instrumental tracks.
THE COONHUNTERS: Bile That Possum/ Coming Home From The Wake/ De Glendy Burke/ Detour/ False Hearted Girl/ Fisher‘s Hornpipe (instr.)/ Folly Waddle Do/ Footprints In The Snow/ Grey Eagle (instr.)/ Higgins‘ Farewell (instr.)/ I‘ll Remember You Love In My Prayers/ I‘m Going Back To Dixie/ Jim Crack Corn/ Jim Crow/ John Henry/ Little Darling I‘m Sick And Tired Of You/ Liza Jane/ Methodist Pie/ Midnight Special/ Nancy Till/ Nellie Bly/ Off She Goes (instr.)/ Oh Dem Golden Slippers/ Sourwood Mountain/ You Are My Sunshine/ You‘re The Apple Of My Eye

WILMA LEE & STONY COOPER Federal 6529 Best Of The Best ● CD $9.98
10 tracks, 32 mins, highly recommended
Great, but too brief, collection of country gospel songs from the 60s by this superb duo accompanied by their group The Clinch Mountain Clan. Wilma Lee is one of the greatest of all female country singers with a wonderful emotion laden and expressive voice that is spellbinding. Stoney is also a good singer and together they produce some fine harmonies. Their sound neatly straddles the line between bluegrass and honky tonk country using fiddle and banjo alongside electric and steel guitars. The songs are mostly country gospel songs which really come to life in Wilma Lee's hands - This Old House/ Legend Of The Dogwood Tree/ Tramp On The Street/ hello central Give Me Heaven/ Wildwood Flower and others. (FS)

COWBOY COPAS Starday SCD 157 Opry Star Spotlight ● CD $9.98
Reissue of 1962 album. 12 tracks - Sixteen Fathoms/ Sweet Lips/ Wings Of A Dove/ The Rebel - Johnny Yuma/ Loose Talk/ The Twenty-Fourth Hour, etc.

COWBOY COPAS Starday 175 Mister Country Music ● CD $9.98
Reissue of fine album originally issued in 1962 - includes Sal/ Black Eyed Susan/ Louisian/ You Are The One/ There'll Come A Time Someday/ Seven Seas From You, etc.

CAROLINA COTTON Cattle 286 Yodel, Yodel, Yodel ● CD $18.98
25 tracks from the late 40s/ early 50s by one of the top female yodelers of the period - includes sides with Merle Travis, Bob Wills and Gene Autry.
CAROLINA COTTON: 'cause I'm In Love/ 'cause I'm In Love/ Betcha I Getcha/ Betcha I Getcha/ Boo Hoo Blues/ Cattle Call/ Chime Bells/ Crime Will Never/ I Love To Yodel/ I'd Love To Be A Cowgirl (but I'm A Scared Of Cows)/ I'm All Alone/ Lovin' Ducky Daddy/ Lovin' Ducky Daddy/ Nola/ Texas Home/ Three Miles South Of Cash/ Three Miles South Of Cash (in Arkansas)/ Three Miles South Of Cash./ When The Bloom Is On The Sage/ Why Did I Fall For Abner/ Yodel Mountain/ Yodel, Yodel, Yodel/ You Always Keep Me In Hot Water Over You/ You Got Me Wrapped Around Your Finger/ You're Gettin' A Good Girl

THE COUNTRY ALL STARS Bear Family BCD 15728 Jazz From The Hills ● CD $21.98
21 songs, approx. 54 min. recommended
This is a CD reissue of Bear's 1989 LP release of the complete RCA recordings of Nashville studio aces Chet Atkins, Jerry Byrd, Homer & Jethro, fiddler Dale Potter (on some tracks) and other sidemen. Though they spent most of their studio time backing singers, they recorded pop vocals and instrumentals for RCA on the side, in part as a respite from their country session work. The records didn't sell, yet the performances were loose and excellent, revealing their broad musical backgrounds. Homer and Jethro's reputations as excellent jazz players are well known but Byrd often isn't seen in that context. Atkins was never a jazz player, but made his fingerstyle technique fit the songs. The material ranges from vintage pop oldies like Stompin' At the Savoy and Sweet Georgia Brown to vocals (by Homer or Jethro) on What's the Reason (I'm Not Pleasing You) and Do Something. Potter's two instrumental showcases, Fiddle Patch (a reworking of Spade Cooley's Oklahoma Stomp) and Fiddle Sticks remind everyone what an awesome fiddler he was in his prime. This collection adds three previously unissued 1956 performances done in New York featuring Chet, Homer & Jethro, legendary country-jazz guitarist George Barnes and other session musicians. No one knows exactly what purpose these three instrumentals were to serve. The jumping Song of the Wanderer, two takes of a blazing Royal Garden Blues and an ethereal I'll See You in My Dreams all hold up exceedingly well. The furious interplay on the first two numbers makes them worthy additions, while the latter is dreamy and pleasant. The set comes with revised liner notes by Rich Kienzle. (AK)

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Copper Creek 111 Nashville Jail - Classic Country Gentlemen ● CD $16.98
This album, originally recorded in 1964 for Mercury Records, was intended as a follow-up to their first LP, but was never released on that label. The Gentlemen were at that time one of the most successful and popular of the folk/ bluegrass bands, partially because they weren't a traditional band. Their material, and particularly the vocals, were formulated to attract the folk oriented urban audience, closer in sound to The Kingston Trio than The Stanley Brothers - how else to explain the presence of Theme From Exodus?. Most of the lead singing was done by guitarist Charlie Waller, whose pleasant tenor voice lent itself well to the folkie numbers, and mandolin man John Duffey, whose voice was more vinegary and cut through on the traditional selections, especially on Flowers By My Graveside. Others include Nashville Jail/ Electricity/ Uncle Joe/ Blue Yodel #3 and more. (RP)

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Rebel 1102 25 Years ● CD $15.98
CD issue of 2 LP set featuring a retrospective of their recordings.

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Rebel 1506 Award Winning ● CD $15.98

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Rebel 1574 Calling My Children Home ● CD $15.98

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Rebel 1663 Return Engagement ● CD $15.98

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Smithsonian Folkways 40004 Country Songs, Old And New ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 45 min., recommended
Originally released in 1960, produced by Mike Seeger, this is the first album of a band that was in the vanguard of the folk/ bluegrass revival. This disc reminds us of just how good they were and why they were so popular, featuring strong traditional material, innovative arrangements, fine instrumental work, wonderful three-part harmonies, and the acid tenor voice of mandolinist John Duffey, along with the more mellow leads of guitarist Charlie Waller. Eddie Adcock's progressive banjo licks, and the bass and vocals of Jim Cox rounded out the quartet. Titles include Roving Gambler/ Drifting Too Far/ Paul And Silas/ Ellen Smith/ The Long Black Veil/ Jesse James/ A Good Woman's Love/ Double Eagle. (MB)

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Smithsonian Folkways 40022 Folk Songs & Bluegrass ● CD $15.98

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Vanguard VMD 73123 Featuring Ricky Skaggs ● CD $15.98

THE COUNTRY GENTLEMEN Vanguard 79714 The Complete Vanguard Recordings ● CD $16.98
Reissue of two LPs from the early 70s by this outstanding and influential bluegrass group. Includes Traveling Kind/ Don Quixote/ Casey's Last Ride/ Paradise/ Catfish John/ Bringing Mary Home/ The City Of New Orleans/ Rememberance Of You/ Billy McGhee and more. 24 tracks in all - most making their first appearance on CD.

BILL COX Collector 2866 Rough And Rowdy Hillbilly Of The 1930s, Vol. 2 ● CD $17.98
Collection of 25 tracks recorded in the 30s by singer, guitarist and harmonica player from West Virginia - some as vocal duets with Cliff Hobbs. Cox was obviously influenced by the great Jimmie Rodgers in his approach. Songs include Long Chain Charlie Blues/ I Got Those Drunken Blues/ Jazz Baby/ Oh Sweet Mama/ Down In Dixie Land/ Blue Eyed Sally/ Sweet Kentucky Lou/ Satr Boarder Blues/ Franklin Roosevelt's Back Again, etc. A number of the tracks are from pretty rough sounding 78s.

THE COX FAMILY Rounder 0297 Everybody's Reaching Out For Someone ● CD $15.98
12 tracks, 31 min., recommended
This energetic family bluegrass band has a lot going for it, not the least of which is Alison Krauss' admiration and support. Alison produced this album, lent her very sharp band, and played fiddle and sang harmony on some cuts. Brother Sidney Cox is a fine writer, his I've Got That Old Feeling was a hit for Alison, and is included here. Sister Susanne has a beautiful, winsome vocal delivery, sister Evelyn is a mean rhythm guitarist and fine lead and harmony singer, and father Willard plays fiddle and sings lead on Little Whitewashed Chimney. Their version of Standing By The Bedside Of A Neighbor is a wonderful example of the band's rhythmic energy; it features the string-popping dobro of Rob Ickes, who plays on several cuts and is outstanding throughout. RP)

THE COX FAMILY Rounder 0327 Beyond The City ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 45 min., highly recommended
This Louisiana family group - composed of dad, his son, and his two daughters - is stone cold wonderful. Together they deftly demonstrate the continuing beauty and power of traditional, gently-performed country/bluegrass-styled music. This set opens with Lovin' You, lead vocal by daughter Suzanne, then moves on to Cowboy's Dream featuring son Sidney on lead, the haunting Another Lonesome Morning with daughter Evelyn on lead, and Beautiful Bouquet with Willard, the aforementioned dad, finally getting his turn. And so it goes throughout the set, lovely music from start to finish. I think that I owe it my musical education to pick up their two earlier Rounder discs. (DH)

FLOYD CRAMER RCA 66591 The Essential Floyd Cramer ● CD $11.98
20 tracks, 47 min., recommended
The slip-note technique in piano playing, sliding up to a note from the one immediately below it, was not invented by Floyd Cramer, but he certainly is the one best remembered for employing it, both as an RCA session musician and as a successful solo artist. This disc focuses on those early 60's solo hits, highlighted, of course, by 1960's Last Date. Other numbers here include I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Flip Flop and Bop, Corrine Corrina, Drown in My Own Tears, On the Rebound, Lovesick Blues, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and Java. A fine mix of the bouncy and the mellow, with the latter often featuring string and chorus accompaniment. Packaging includes several nice vintage photos, modest track-by-track discographical information, and appropriately appreciative notes. (DH)

DAN CRARY Sugar Hill 1135 Thunderation ● CD $15.98

DAN CRARY Sugar Hill 3730 Guitar ● CD $15.98

DAN CRARY Sugar Hill 3770 Take A Step Over ● CD $15.98

DAN CRARY Sugar Hill 3806 Bluegrass Guitar ● CD $15.98

DAN CRARY Sugar Hill 3824 Jammed If I Do ● CD $15.98

SLIM CRITCHLOW Arhoolie 479 Cowboy Songs - The Crooked Trail To Holbrook ● CD $12.98
Reissue of Arhoolie 5007 with 9 previously unissued cuts. Authentic cowboy singer doing songs that date mostly from the late 19th century - The Crooked Trail To Holbrook/ Forty A Month And Found/ Windy Bill/ I'd Like To Be In Texas/ Driftin' Cowboy/ The Old Cowboy/ Strawberry Roan/ The Wild BuckarooJohn Garner's Trail herd, etc.

J.D. CROWE Rebel 1583 Blackjack ● CD $15.98

J.D. CROWE Rebel 1585 Model Church ● CD $15.98

J.D. CROWE & NEW SOUTH Rounder 0322 Flashback ● CD $15.98

J.D. CROWE & THE NEW SOUTH Rounder 0044 J.D. Crowe & The New South ● CD $15.98
Their phenomenal Rounder debut from 1975, featuring Skaggs, Douglas, and Rice. Considered one of [the] most influential LPs of the decade.

J.D. CROWE & THE NEW SOUTH Rounder 0202 Straight Ahead ● CD $15.98

DICK CURLESS Bear Family BCD 15882 A Tombstone Every Mile ● CD $169.98
7 discs, 189 tracks, recommended
Few paid Dick Curless any mind in the early 90's. He was still working shows around the country, and in 1994 recorded a new album for Rounder. That album, the acclaimed "Traveling Through", appeared in the spring of 1995, shortly after Curless's untimely death from cancer. The new album renewed interest in Maine's best-known country singer, long stereotyped as a singer of trucker songs. This set takes care of the first 16 years of Curless's career, starting with his earliest recordings in 1950. Also included are half a dozen examples of his live performances as the The Rice Paddy Ranger over Armed Forces Radio in Korea after he was drafted. By and large, his mid-to-late fifties Event recordings (with a young Lenny Breau picking juicy lead guitar) showed Curless's growing talent. Many of these recordings, originally done for Maine's Event Records a decade before his 1965 trucker hit A Tombstone Every Mile a Dan Fulkerson composition about a treacherous stretch of Maine highway. Originally issued on the Maine-based Allagash label, its success landed him a contract with Tower, a subsidiary label of Capitol. Capitol also bought the Curless Event material and later released it on Tower LPs. Less consistent were his later recordings for Tiffany (some also reissued on Tower). Associated for a time with Buck Owens, Curless recorded a duet LP with obscure singer Kay Adams and a solo LP including The Baron, (his nickname) and stunning versions of Merle Haggard's House of Memories and All of Me Belongs to You. The set, produced with the Curless family's blessing, features excellent notes by Kevin Coffey. (RK)

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