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COUNTRY, BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIMEY

Frankie Laine  -> The Lonesome River Band

FRANKIE LAINE
ROY LANHAM
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER
THE LEAKE COUNTY REVELERS
ERNIE LEE
JOE "CANNONBALL" LEWIS
LAURIE LEWIS
TEXAS JIM LEWIS
THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS
THE LILLY BROTHERS
BIG BILL LISTER

HANK LOCKLIN
JIMMIE LOGSDON
LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS
THE LONESOME RIVER BAND

 

FRANKIE LAINE Bear Family BCD 15480 On The Trail ● CD $21.98

 
FRANKIE LAINE Bear Family BCD 15632 On The Trail Again ● CD $21.98
29 tracks, 77 min., good
Even before Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash started raking in the bucks on gunfighter ballads, Western crooner Laine was cutting some of the classics in the '50s: Moonlight Gambler, High Noon, Mule Train, even a pop hit with Your Cheatin' Heart. Not all of them are included here, but one can't complain about the abundance of catchy songs of the period, 1952s-1962. Ghost Riders, Rawhide, The 3:10 to Yuma, even Gunfight at the O.K. Corral provide plenty of action and a lot of shootouts of the musical variety. Excellent sound. ( LK)

 
ROY LANHAM Bear Family BCD 16116 Sizzling Strings - The Fabulous Guitar ● CD $21.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Most knew him for his quarter century as guitarist with the Sons of the Pioneers, as the the man who replaced the group's original guitarist Karl Farr in 1961. That was hardly Roy Lanham's entire career. He played the rich, full chord work on the Fleetwoods' Mr. Blue and his talents for country jazz differed from Jimmy Bryant, Jimmy Wyble or Hank Garland. Influenced by jazzman George Barnes, Lanham first gained notice leading the Whippoorwills, a vocal harmony and string jazz act that anticipated Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks by a good quarter century. After winding the group down in 1955 to replace Jimmy Bryant on Cliffie Stone's Hometown Jamboree, Lanham recorded instrumental LPs, for Dalton, NRC and Sims, the latter two reissued intact here. The 1959 "Sizzling Strings" from NRC consisted of 12 swing, pop and jazz numbers including Stompin' At the Savoy, Sophisticated Swing, Lover and Slipped Disc recorded with a reconstituted instrumental Whippoorwills including original mandolinist Doug Dalton and bassist Dusty Rhoads, with Jimmie Widener on rhythm guitar. The LP quickly became a collectors' item. In 1963, Lanham recorded "The Fabulous Roy Lanham" with Rhoads on rhythm guitar, bassist Red Wooten and drummer Muddy Berry for Oklahoma-based Sims Records. Along with a few arrangements from the Whippoorwills' repertoire, the LP also featured a unique mix of country, pop (Holiday For Strings and We'll Be Together Again) and even cool California bop (Roy's Blues). Lanham's guitar is tremendous throughout and comes through admirably, as does Dalton's mandolin work. What we need now, is a Whippoorwills reissue. Excellent notes by Rich Kienzle, who interviewed Lanham a decade ago, when he was still largely viewed as a member of the Pioneers. (AK)

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3717 Rock My Soul ● CD $16.98

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3735 Heavenly Treasures ● CD $16.98

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3760 Heaven's Joy Awaits ● CD $15.98

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3765 Hymn Time In The Country ● CD $15.98

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3769 I'll Wander Back Someday ● CD $16.98
 

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3774 I Heard The Angels Singing ● CD $16.98
Another finely crafted gospel album from this extremely talented and influential band. Songs include The Holy City/Stormy Waters/The Little Mountain Church House/In The Shelter Of His Arms/I Heard The Angels Singing/He's My Guide/The Little White Church/The City Where Comes No Strife/Rock Of Ages/Hide Thou Me. (RP)

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 3782 My Heart Is Yours ● CD $16.98

 
DOYLE LAWSON & QUICKSILVER Sugar Hill 9104 Gospel Collection #1 ● CD $16.98

 
THE LEAKE COUNTY REVELERS Document 8030 Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 : 1929-30 ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
Vol. 2 (1929-1930) rounds out the Reveler's recorded history, with much the same mix of waltzes, breakdowns, weepy old parlor songs--(A) Picture No Artist Can Paint --and blues (they were, after all, from Mississippi) as on Vol. 1. The real standout here is Georgia Camp Meeting, Kerry Mills' monster 1897 cakewalk hit: the boys' balance of drive and precision is masterful. This is perhaps the best version of the song ever recorded, and there were many. All in all, one of the most charming '20s string bands, yet no wimps. The sound on both volumes is good-for Document. (DW)

 
ERNIE LEE Bronco Buster 9021 The Kentucky Baladeer ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, recommended
Ernie Lee never had a big hit, and today is best remembered for his recording of Hominy Grits, a bluesy, laid back recording that remains his best work. Surprisingly, you won't find that song here, but Lee is a workmanlike and pleasing vocalist on his cover of Lefty's If You've Got The Money, I've Got the Time, recorded for Mercury. The pop oldie I Never See Maggie Alone Headin' Home to Old Kentucky and One, Two Three Four, Five come from RCA and feature Chet Atkins on lead guitar, Homer and Jethro and Jerry Byrd on steel. Jethro's swinging mandolin break on Kentucky is a truly great moment. Lee's own Mercury recording of Doggone Long Gone Blues isn't bad, though it's pretty derivative of Hank Williams. The inspirational song One Little Candle was hardly worth including (and omitting Hominy Grits?) but I'm Always Longing For You Baby, is pretty hot and Wrong Number, with Jerry Byrd on steel, is a pleasing ballad, and I've Got My Heart on A Budget and How Come You Never Answer are better yet, with more hot playing from Chet and Jerry Byrd nearly as good as Lee's vocals. Lee wasn't a star, but for fans of early 1950s country, this isn't bad at all. (RK)
ERNIE LEE: Crazy Game of Love/ Doggone Long Gone Blues/ Don't Think it Ain't Been Fun Dear'Cause it Ain't/ Headin' Home (to Old Kentucky)/ How Come You Never Answer/ I Never See Maggie Alone/ I'll Never Stand in Your Way/ I'm Always Longing for You Baby/ I'm Not Lonesome Anymore/ I'm in a Kissing Mood/ I've Got My Heart on a Budget/ If You've Got the Money I've Got the Time/ One Little Candle/ One; Two; Three; Four Five Foot Six/ Tried and Found Guilty/ Ukulele Baby/ While You're out Cheating./ Wrong Number/ Your Left over Kisses/ Your Train

 
JERRY LEE LEWIS Raven 155 Another Place, Another Time/ She Even Woke Me Up ● CD $19.98
Excellent 28 track collection of Jerry Lee's country recordings for Mercury/ Smash plus a few rockers featuring the two complete LPs in the title plus six bonus tracks from the LP "She Still Comes Around". Includes What Made Milwaukee Famous/ On The Back Row/ All Night Long/ Another Place Another Time/ Before The Next Teardrop Falls/ We Live In two Different Worlds/ Workin' Man Blues/ Brown-Eyed Handsome Man/ Since I Met You Baby/ Wine Me Up/ You Went Out Of Your Way/ She Still Comes Around/ There Stands The Glass/ Let's Talk About Us, etc.

 
JOE "CANNONBALL" LEWIS Cattle 323 You've Been Honky Tonkin' ● CD $18.98
20 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
This one's a real find - Lewis is a very fine singer from Laurel County, Kentucky whose earnest expressive vocals owe a bit to King's Cowboy Copas. Stylistically the records recorded between 1951 and 1954 are a mixture of the string band hillbilly sound and more mainstream honky tonk with some superb accompanying musicians. Joe's fondness for railroad songs earned his nickname and there are several fine ones here - Railroad Engineer, Train Whistle Nightmare and Calling Out My Name - the latter cow-ritten with his friend Jimmie Skinner with some fine train whistle imitations by Joe. The title track is a super hot country bopper with dynamite electric guitar and steel and this set also includes his fine original recording of his own composition Since I Met You which has become a country and bluegrass standard having been recorded by Flatt & Scruggs and Carl Smith among others. Other tracks include the moving WWII weeper Missing In Action - a duet with Ray Brandenburg with some lovely mandolin work by Shorty Whittaker, the lively Truck Drivers Night Run Blues which features some unexpected yodeling and the straight ahead bluegrass number (Down The) Road To Love. As you may gather there's a lot of variety to Joe's music and just about every track here is a winner. His lack of success is a real puzzle - he's a lot better than many of the hitmakers from that era. (FS)
JOE "CANNONBALL" LEWIS: (down The) Road To Love/ Before I Met You/ Calling Out My Name/ Cold And Lonely Heart/ I Wonder If I Can Lose The Blues This Way/ I'd Be Sweet Talkin' You/ I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down/ I'm Mighty Hard To Beat/ Missing In Action/ Only In Dreams/ Railroad Engineer/ Still Around/ Take Me Back For Ol' Times Sake/ Train Whistle Nightmare/ Truck Drivers Night Run Blues/ Trust Me Again/ What's The Use/ Whatever Has Become Of You/ You've Been Honky Tonkin'/ Yours To Claim

 
LAURIE LEWIS Rounder 0300 True Stories ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 50 min., recommended
Laurie's first effort on Rounder offers up thirteen examples of her unique meld of country, bluegrass, and folk including a gorgeous honkytonkish original You'll Be Leaving Me, a wonderful cajunized version of Roy Forbes Still A Fool, two moving laments to love lost entitled Knocking On Your Door Again/ Swept Away, and an inspired acappella version of The Mill, among others. Laurie explores less often heard aspects of her vocal talents with the torchy So Beautiful, and belts out a tough, gritty Slow Learner in a hard country-rockabilly style. All in all, another demonstration of Laurie's versatility in several styles, her great songwriting skills, and singing. She is accompanied by her Grant Street bandmates, along with other Bay Area music luminaries. RP)

 
LAURIE LEWIS Rounder 0400 Earth & Sky - Songs Of Laurie Lewis ● CD $15.98
16 tracks, 64 min., highly recommended
This is a collection designed to highlight Laurie Lewis's impressive gifts as a songwriter. And that it does - very nicely indeed. Twelve of the numbers were previously released on Flying Fish albums, and four tracks are issued here for the first time. All of the tracks are well chosen, displaying, as they do, intelligence, insight, and musical accompaniment indebted to bluegrass, western swing, Celtic tunes and other roots sources. Featured selections include Girlfriend, Guard Your Heart, Fine Line, The Bear Song, and Magic Light as first time issues, plus Don't Get Too Close, Old Friend, The Point of No Return, and Haven of Mercy among the reissues. Absolutely delightful music in the new grass/Americana mold. Not to be missed. (DH)

 
LAURIE LEWIS & KATHIE KALLICK Rounder 0318 Together ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 40 min., highly recommended
This outstanding set was originally released in 1991 on the Kaleidoscope label, and God bless Rounder for reissuing it. The two featured artists have long known one another, having performed together with the Good Ol' Persons ensemble in the mid-70's. Then, still friends, they performed separately for more than a decade. This reunion finds both in particularly fine form, their voices and their stringed instruments blending with the subtle assurance of a sister duet. Among the wonderful, bluegrass-tinged numbers are Going Up the Mountain, Don't You See That Train, The Touch of the Master's Hand, Count Your Blessings, and Little Annie. But the highlight of the set has to be Hideaway, one of the best new love songs I've heard in years. Don't miss this one. (DH)

 
LAURIE LEWIS & TOM ROZUM Rounder 0340 The Oak & The Laurel ● CD $15.98
13 tracks, 52 min.; recommended
The sparse, almost stark production on this collection of duets brings out the best in Laurie's singing, and also highlights the vocal and instrumental abilities of Tom Rozum, longtime member of Laurie's band Grant Street and her frequent duet partner. Much of the repertoire is traditional, from The Carter Family to duets from the brothers Louvin and Everly, to the fiddle tunes Sleepy Eyed John and Tom and Jerry, to inspired originals by songwriters Mark Simos, David Olney, David West, Peter Rowan, plus Laurie's own beautiful waltz, Clark and Hazel, written to observe the 50th wedding anniversary of friends and local bluegrass enthusiasts Clark and Hazel Delozier. The two standout items on the album are Teardrops Falling In The Snow, a song first recorded by Molly O'Day, and an autobiographical song written by the great bluegrass and oldtime banjo player entitled Poor Country Boy. The album is moody, the tone throughout is bittersweet, the material is uniformly strong, Laurie's singing is vibrant, and Tom Rozum demonstrates what a fine lead and harmony singer and instrumentalist he is. (RP)

 
TEXAS JIM LEWIS B.A.C.M. 062 Rose Of The Border ● CD $14.98
23 tracks recorded between 1940 and 1951 by this western flavored artist with his group. In addition to his own vocals there are vocals by Cindy Walker, Pete Wray, Jimmy Wakely and others.
TEXAS JIM LEWIS: Beaver Creek/ Covered Wagon Rolled Right Along/ Hitch Old Dobbin To The Shay Again/ I Didn‘t Raise My Boy To Be A Billy/ If It Hadn‘t Been For You/ Just A While/ Molly Darling/ My Little Prairie Flower/ New San Antone Rose/ Pliney Jane/ Rock & Rye Polka/ Rose Of Broken Heart Lane/ Rose Of The Border/ Seven Beers With The Wrong Man/ Ten More Miles/ They Always Pick On Me/ Too Late To Worry Too Blue To Cry/ White Cross On Okinawa/ Wine Women And Song/ You Can‘t Break My Heart/ You Gotta Go/ You‘ve Got Me Wrapped Around Your Finger/ íleven Miles From Leavenworth

 
TEXAS JIM LEWIS & HIS LONE STAR COWBOYS B.A.C.M. 271 In New York & Hollywood, 1937-1939 ● CD $14.98
26 tracks, 77 mins, highly recommended
Delightful and varied selection by this fine performer (originally from Georgia actually!) and his excellent group The Lone Star Cowboys featured their earliest commercial recordings and radio transcriptions - most of them from 1937. Lewis himself is featured on vocals, guitar and his homemade tricked out washboard which he called a hoot-nanny. The band includes Cactus Soldi on fiddle, banjo player & guitarist Smokey Rogers who later went on to helm his own western swing band, accordionist Shorty Fulkersin and guitarist/ bassist Curly Engels. The material is a mixture of Southwestern-style hot string jazz, cowboy music, novelty songs in the style of the Hoosier Hot Shots and more. The music is mostly upotempo and always entertaining and includes Twelfth Street Rag/ Way Down Upon The Swannee River/ Montana Mary/ Evelyn/ Butcher Boy (a variation on an old Irish ballad)/ E Minor Rag/ Texas Crapshooter/ Crawdad Song/ At the End Of The Santa Fee Trail. The set ends with a 14 minute radio broadcast from 1939 with the gang doing six numbers. (FS)

 
TEXAS JIM LEWIS Cattle 221 Western Swing Nostalgia ● CD $19.98
24 tracks from radio transcriptions recorded in the mid to late 40s by this fine California based band with a western swing flavor featuring the excellent lead vocals of Lewis, outstanding lead guitar work of Jack Rivers and fine steel from Tommy Sargent. - Wabash Cannonball/ Dragging The Steel/ Spanish Two-Step/ A Year Of City Living/ Jennie Lind Polka/ Rolling Along/ Blues Stay Away From Me/ Listen To The Mocking Bird/ Broken Heart For Sale, etc.

 
TEXAS JIM LEWIS Country Routes 26 Texas Jim Lewis & His Lone Star Cowboys ● CD $16.98
31 track collection drawn from rare radio transcriptions from 1942 to 1947. Most of the tracks feature him with a large group from the soon to be formed Spade Cooley band. Includes There's A New Star In Heaven/ Happy Cowboy/ Timber Trail and others.

 
THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS B.A.C.M. 094 Guitar Jump ● CD $14.98
25 tracks from 1947 commercial recordings and previously unissued 1948 radio transcriptions. A mix of hot western swing, novelty songs and pop flavored numbers with Mel Cox & Carroll Hubbard/ fiddles, Lefty Perkins /lead & steel guitar, Marvin Montgomery/ tenor banjo & rhythm guitar, Knocky Fodwin/ accordion and others.
THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: A Tear For A Tear/ Billy Goat Rag/ Don‘t Make Me Cry/ Ezra‘s Waltz/ Fisherman‘s Polka/ Get Away Little Gal Get Away/ Guitar Jump/ Honolulu Lou/ I Cried And Cried And Cried/ I Never Done That Before/ It‘s A Dirty Shame/ It‘s Cold In Here/ I‘m Gonna Be Gone, Gone, Gone/ Jean From Abilene/ Move On Gal/ New Sow Song/ No Suh/ Oklahoma Waltz/ One Time Too Many/ Pappy‘s Banjo Boogie/ Smokey Joe From El Paso/ Starlight Waltz/ The Waltz That Broke My Heart/ There Ain‘t No More/ Truck Driver‘s Boogie

 
THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS Bronco Buster 9019 Western Swing Memories ● CD $18.98
20 tracks 53 minutes adequate
This collection of 1936-1941 Doughboys material is the only anthology currently available, which presents some problems. The Doughboys' material was pretty eclectic, which means you get the usual mix of good and bad pop songs and hot instrumentals. One can live decades and not miss out without hearing The Bartender's Daughter or Don't Lie to An Innocent Maiden. Their excellence comes to the fore on the instrumentals, including the 1940 Rainbow and South, both featuring Zeke Campbell's pioneering electric lead guitar and Cecil Brower's hot fiddling. Nearly as good is the instrumental Stumbling featuring the acoustic (not electric) guitars of Campbell and Dick Reinhart. Brower also dominates the fiddle song Cripple Creek, showing off his capabilities on the traditional favorite. A few oddities actually made it onto the collection. I Want A Feller, sung by male vocalist Ramon DeArman, certainly has interesting connotations as does She's Too Young to Play With the Boys is equally interesting. Little Honky Tonk Headache and Mean Mean Mama From Meana, early honky tonk novelties, feature slightly stodgy vocals from Joe Ferguson, but hot fiddling from Brower. 1941's The Little Bar Fly, sung by J.B. Brinkley, is likewise interesting. As for Three Little Kittens, sung by band announcer Parker Willson with cutesy-poo falsetto voices, the less said the better. This isn't the best vintage Doughboys CD that could be done, but at the moment, it's all that's available. (RK)
THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS: Bear Creek Hop/ Cripple Creek/ Don't Lie to an Innocent Maiden/ Good Gracious Gracie!/ Have I Lost Your Love Forever (Little Darling)/ I Want a Feller/ It's Your Worry Now/ Let's Make Believe We're Sweethearts/ Little Hillbilly Heart Throb/ Little Honky Tonk Headache/ Mean Mean Mama (from Meana)/ Rainbow/ She's Too Young (to Play with the Boys)/ South/ Stumbling/ The Bartender's Daughter/ Three Naughty Kittens./ When the Moon Shines on the Mississippi Valley/ Why Did You Lie to Me?

 
THE LIGHTCRUST DOUGHBOYS Cattle 261 1935-1941 ● CD $18.98
26 track collection including Kenneth Pitts on fiddle and Marvin Montgomery on banjo with vocals from J.B. Brinkley, Ramon DeArman, Dick Reinhart and others.

 
THE LIGHT CRUST DOUGHBOYS Krazy Kat 37 1936-1941 ● CD $16.98
26 tracks, very highly recommended
Terrific collection of sides from this superb Western Swing band recorded between 1936 and 1941 including eight previously unissued titles including an unexpected version of the "suicide song" Gloomy Sunday - has any other country group ever done this song? The rest is a more expected collection of hot jazzy titles with hot musicianship and bluesy vocals. The set also includes a fantastic version of Tiger Rag from a 1936 movie with Kenneth Pitts fiddling like a man possesed and Bert Dodson slapping the living daylights out of his string bass. Other tracks include I'm A Ding Dong Daddy/ Stay Our Of The South/ Sittin On Top Of The World (a fine rendition of the Mississippi Sheiks song with great bluesy electric guitar work from Zeke Campbell)/ Clarinet Marmalade/ Foot Warmer/ Mama Gets What She Wants/ Green Valley TRot/ Zip Zip Zipper/ Can't Ease My Evil Mind. Sound is excellent and 12 page booklet has notes from Western Swing expert Kevin Coffey based on original interviews with band members. (FS)

 
THE LILLY BROTHERS Rebel 1688 With Don Stover - Early Recordings ● CD $15.98
CD reissue of County 729. A superb collection of traditional bluegrass recorded for the Event label in 1956 and '57. Only four of the songs were originally issued on Event 45s - the rest were unissued until their issue on County some years ago. Everett and Mitchell Lilly provide beautiful high mountain harmonies and accompany themselves on guitar and mandolin. They are joined by the outstanding banjo playing of the underrated Don Stover whose accompaniments are always tasteful and imaginative and never flashy. A few tracks also feature fine fiddling by the obscure Dave Miller. The material was traditional songs along with material from the Carter Family and Bill Monroe. The titles might seem overly familiar but at the time of these recordings had not yet become the chestnuts they later became and sound fresh and exciting. Includes Bring Back My Blue Eyed Boy/ Southern Skies/ Wheel Hoss/ John Henry/ Little Annie/ Riding On My Savior's Train, etc. Excellent sound and informative notes. (FS)

 
REG LINDSAY B.A.C.M. 258 When The Wagon Was New ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Reg Lindsay, who died in August 2008, was one of Australia's most popular country performers recording hundreds of songs between the early 1950s and the early 21st century. Although little known in the USA these days he was the first Australian country artist to appear on the Grand Ole Opry and was awarded a plaque on Nashville's Walkway Of The Stars. He had a big hit in 1971 with his version of John Stewart's song Armstrong about American astronaut Neil Armstrong and his version is part of a time capsule at NASA's Space Center in Houston. Reg was a terrific singer and many of the songs feature him just with his guitar, often with some fine yodeling. Though stylistically influenced by American country music the best Australian country singers, like Lindsay, sing songs grounded in the Australian outback. Many of the songs here are Lindsay originals along with a number of covers of American country songs (If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time/ My Blue Eyed Jane/ Sweeter Than The Flowers, etc) given a uniquely Australian flavor. Three of the songs are duets with Heather McKean who was the sister of Australia's most popular country singer Slim Dusty and who Reg married in 1954. Most enjoyable. (FS)
REG LINDSAY: Blue Moon Of Kentucky/ Blue Velvet Band/ Country Mile/ Down By The Old Sliprail/ Driftwood On The River/ From 40 to 65/ Hearts And Flowers/ I'm Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail/ I'm Ragged But I'm Right/ I'm Wastin' My Tears On You/ If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time/ In The Luggage Van Ahead/ Iím Sorry It Ended This Way/ Missing In Action/ Mississippi Delta Blues/ My Blue Eyed Jane/ Old Love Letters/ Shackles And Chains/ Sundowner Yodel/ Suvia Bay/ Sweeter Than The Flowers/ There's A Love Knot In My Lariat/ When The Sun Peeps Over The Hill/ When The Wagon Was New

 
BIG BILL LISTER Bear Family BCD 16374 There's A Tear In My Beer ● CD $21.98
30 sides by this distinctive Texas vocalist who was closely associated with Hank Williams for a couple of years and first recorded several of Hanks' songs including Countrified/ The Little House We Built and There's Tear In My Beer featured in this collection accompanied by members of The Drifting Cowboys. This set features his first tracks recorded for the San Antonio based Everstate label in 1949 and Capitol sides recorded between 1951 and '53.

 
HANK LOCKLIN Bear Family BCD 15730 Please Help Me I'm Falling ● CD $99.98
Four discs, 123 tracks, recommended
Hank who? That's right. Hank Locklin, best known for his 1958 hit Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On and 1960's Please Help Me, I'm Falling, has been forgotten by most people. You can't easily find his Four Star recordings including those done with Hank Williams's Drifting Cowboys. Until now his best RCA material's been just as elusive. This set covers his 1955-1964 RCA period, the earliest sides little more than run of the mill honky tonk. His first hit was a rather ordinary cover of George Jones's hit Why Baby Why in 1956. Some non-hits at the time were better than his hits, examples being Seven or Eleven and You Can't Never Tell . Locklin despite his hard country roots could easily handle the new Nashville Sound, most notably on Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On in 1958. His 1958 Foreign Love LP is here, along with Please Help Me, I'm Falling, a hit for Locklin and the debut of pianist Floyd Cramer playing the "pedal piano" style invented by the song's composer, Don Robertson. Other Locklin hits, among them From Here to There to You, Happy Birthday to Me the schmaltzy Happy Journey and We're Gonna Go Fishin' are covered as are all his LPs including Irish Songs, Country Style, the Tribute to Roy Acuff and The Ways of Life . Don't look for unreleased sides; every Locklin RCA recording of the era was issued. Otto Kitsinger did excellent research in the booklet, which includes the usual detailed discography. (RK)

 
HANK LOCKLIN Bear Family BCD 15953 Send Me The Pillow You Dream On ● CD $85.98
3 CDs, 66 tracks, recommended
This followup to the earlier Bear Family Locklin RCA set returns to the beginning, covering the years 1948-1954 starting with his first single for Gold Star and two 1948-49 Royalty singles as well as one song that appeared on a DJ 78. The complete Four Star recordings make up the bulk of the set including the original Send Me The Pillow, which all but hard-core Locklin fans probably never knew realized existed. It's not on a level with the later RCA version yet Locklin wasn't a bad honky tonk singer. A lot of songs here are pretty respectable material, particularly the uptempo numbers. His yodeling on Born to Ramble is particularly nice. That didn't matter. Nothing he did in Texas sold nationally, and even when he started recording in Nashville, even though studio bands backing him included Chet Atkins and the Drifting Cowboys, the sales weren't any better. It wouldn't be until Atkins took him to RCA and began producing him that he found his niche. The set includes a 31 page book by Kevin Coffey based on interviews with Locklin and others involved in his career. Also includes many extremely rare photographs. (RK)

 
HANK LOCKLIN Collectables 5873 Please Help Me I'm Falling ● CD $13.98
14 RCA cuts including his biggest hits.

 
HANK LOCKLIN RCA 65143 Country Legends ● CD $8.98
16 track compilation of this fine Texas honky tonk singer focusing mostly on his hits along with a couple of album tracks. Includes Why baby Why/ Livin' Alone/ Send Me The Pillow You Dream On/ Please help Me I'm Falling/ From here To There To You/ Happy Journey/ Followed Closely By My Teardrops/ Danny Boy and others. Includes informative notes by Rich Kienzle and full discographical details.

 
JIMMIE LOGSDON Bear Family BCD 15650 I Got A Rocket In My Pocket ● CD $19.98
31 tracks, 73 minutes, good
Jimmie Logsdon, alias Jimmie Lloyd, enjoyed two distinct identities as a honkytonk singer and a rockabilly from 1951 to 1958. This, the definitive Logsdon collection, assembles his rare 1951 Harvest 78 (his first record) and 27 Decca, Dot, Starday and Roulette sides. The early Logsdon was a straight ahead Hank Williams honkytonker, reflected in the Harvest single that helped him land a contract with Decca. He did some respectable work there, including Let's Have A Happy Time, Jimmie Davis's Where The Old Red River Flows and the impressive (and previously unissued) One Way Ticket to Nowhere. One problem was the overemphasis on a Hank Williams sound, and flat material like I Wanna Be Mama'd and the two tedious 1953 postmortem Hank tributes. The Dot and Starday sides are equally mediocre, but Logsdon regained his power with Roulette as rockabilly Jimmie Lloyd. Where the Rio De Rosa Flows in 1957 and 1958's Rocket in My Pocket (featured in the film "The Right Stuff") both aged well. The hot band on Rocket featured Grady Martin, Harold Bradley, Hank Garland, Floyd Cramer and other Nashville regulars. Along with rare photos, Colin Escott's notes are based on a new interview with Logsdon. Check out the inside back cover: a strange photo of Logsdon with a string-tie wearing Raymond Burr. (RK)

 
THE LONESOME PINE FIDDLERS Bear Family BCD 16351 Windy Mountain ● CD $21.98
26 tracks, highly recommended
 Previously available as a limited edition on a Bear Family subsidiary label. This album features The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers during their transition from old time music to bluegrass, and contains some of the finest early bluegrass recorded in the 50's. The first four cuts feature Bobby Osborne, Larry Richardson, Ezra Cline, and Ray Morgan playing some exceptional traditional bluegrass, including the original version of Pain In My Heart. The next twenty-two cuts were made for RCA and feature various combinations of Melvin and Raye Goins, Ezra, Curly Ray, and Charlie Cline as well as Paul M. Williams, Charles Parker, James Carson, James Roberts, and Albert Punturi. The Goins Brothers, Williams, and the Clines form the core group, and the music is outstanding. Curly Ray has gone on to fame with Ralph Stanley and is one of the finest fiddlers in the business, as is his brother Charlie, who also plays banjo on some selections here. Ezra Cline does most of the bass work and is ostensibly the band leader. These twenty-six cuts, which were unavailable until this reissue, comprise some of best bluegrass ever. Highly recommended. (RP)

 
THE LONESOME RIVER BAND Rebel 1680 Looking For Yourself ● CD $15.98

 
THE LONESOME RIVER BAND Rebel 1690 Carrying The Tradition ● CD $15.98

 

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