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COUNTRY, BLUEGRASS & OLD-TIMEY

James Talley  -> Hank Thompson

TOM TALL & GINNY WRIGHT
JAMES TALLEY
THE TARBOX RAMBLERS
 
THE TEXAS TOP HANDS
DICK THOMAS & HIS NASHVILLE RAMBLERS
ERNEST THOMPSON
HANK THOMPSON

 

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

 
JAMES TALLEY Bear Family BCD 15244 American Original ● CD $21.98

 
JAMES TALLEY Bear Family BCD 15435 Black Jack Choir/ Ain't It Something ● CD $21.98
JAMES TALLEY: Ain't It Something/ Alabama Summertime/ Bluesman/ Daddy Just Called It the Blues/ Dixie Blue/ Everybody Loves a Lovesong/ Magnolia Boy/ Middle "C" Mama/ Migrant Jesse Sawyer/ Mississippi River Whistle Town/ Nine Pounds of Hashbrowns/ Not Even When It's Over/ Old Time Religion/ Only the Best/ Poets of the West Virginia Mines/ Richland, Washington/ Up from Georgia/ We Keep Tryin'/ What Will There Be for the Children/ When the Fiddler Packs His Case/ Woman Trouble/ You Know I've Got to Love Her

 
JAMES TALLEY Bear Family BCD 15464 Love Songs & The Blues ● CD $21.98
James Talley was an interesting singer/ songwriter who had a modicum of success with his recordings for Capitol in 1974 and 1977. The first two Bear Family CDs reissue his four Capitol album while the third is a selection of new recordings. BCD 15433 reissues his first two Capitol albums - ST 11416 and 11494 which is a nice collection of folky/ country songs which draws on elements of Merle Haggard, Woody Guthrie, John Prine and Waylon Jennings. BCD 15435 feature his next two albums ST 11695 and 11605 and is a lot more self conscious with pompous arrangements, girl choruses and the like and songs which are like Merle at his most pretentious. The collection of new songs features a good selection of songs but has horrible overblown arrangements. Talley apparently has a cult following but I'm not sure why. (FS)

 
JAMES TALLEY Bear Family BCD 15633 The Road To Torreon ● CD $39.98
Fascinating project here - an 11-song CD accompanied by a thick photo essay book. This box set apparently was a joint venture between Talley and photographer Cavalliere Ketchum in the early 70's; the theme is real life in New Mexico villages, and the photos are powerful documentation of real people's living conditions. Talley's lyrics and other writings are also incorporated into the large format book, which is better than most "coffee table" art books out these days.

 
JAMES TALLEY Bear Family BCD 15704 Live ● CD $21.98

 
JAMES TALLEY Cimarron 1001 Go No Bread, No Milk, No Money, But We Sure Got A Lot ● CD $15.98
2 CDs, 13 tracks, 33 min. (plus a 56 min. interview disc), essential
Recorded by Talley in 1973 and released originally on his own label in a quantity of 1000 copies, "Got No Bread" sold poorly out of Talley's car trunk until Capitol Records picked it up (for $5000) and issued it in 1975 (as Capital LP #ST 11416). Then the LP received the critical acclaim it so richly deserved and opened a few doors for its creator. This reissue features a second disc containing an interview with Talley that was originally released only to radio stations to promote Capitol's release of the LP. A true classic, "Got No Bread" sounds as fresh today as it did 30 years ago, devoid as it is of the clichés that made Nashville what it is. The music is as honest and heartfelt as could be imagined; the sound would come to be dubbed "Americana," but its working-class folk and country influences are not just put on but flow from Talley's life and times. The album was conceived of as a unified whole, not a series of singles, thus their are no weak songs, no filler. Talley wrote the booklet notes, which include his life story, lyrics, and details about the recording of the LP that only he would know. (He mentions, for example, one young unknown guitarist named John Hiatt wandering into the session to see what was going on who ended up playing the lead acoustic part on No Opener Needed. A model of a reissue. (JC)

 
JAMES TALLEY Cimaron 1009 Woody Guthrie & Songs Of My Oklahoma Home ● CD $15.98
Personal tribute to Woody Guthrie originally recorded in 1994 for Capitol.

 
JAMES TALLEY Cimaron 1010 Nashville City Blues ● CD $15.98
1998 recordings from this legendary Oklahoma singer & songwriter.

 
JAMES TALLEY Cimaron 1011 Touchstones ● CD $15.98
Brilliant singer and songwriter from Oklahoma with new recordings of 16 of his songs that he first recorded for Capitol in the 70s. He is accompanied by a fine band including Tommy Detamore/ electric and steel guitars, Ponty Bone/ accordion, Bobby Flores/ fiddle, mandolin & acoutic guitar and others. Also features Joe Ely doing a guest vocal on W. Lee O'Daniel & The Light Crust Doughboys. Among the songs are Trying Like The Devil/ Calico Gypsy/ Not Even When It's Over/ Deep Country Blues/ Richland, Washington/ Up From Georgia/ What Will There Be For The Children?/ Give My Love To Marie and others.

 
THE TARBOX RAMBLERS Rounder 9061 A Fix Back East ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 42 min, recommended
2nd CD by this excellent Boston band, combining Americana, swamp, gospel & hillbilly to great effeect. Led by guitarist/singer Michael Tarbos (who sounds a bit like John Kay) most of the tunes are originals, along with covers of Dock Bogg's Country Blues & the gospel standard Last Month Of The Year. I especially like the final track here, Ashes To Ashes, but all in all, everything here is excellent! (GM)

 
THE TEXAS TOP HANDS Cattle 320 Country & Western Souvenirs ● CD $18.98
24 tracks by this fine group who are still active after more than 60 years! They perform a mix of straight country, hillbilly boogie and western swing with fine instrumental work from steel guitarist "Rusty" Locke, fiddler "easy" Adams and others. Vocalists include Knee High Holly, Buck Buchanan, Del Dunbar, Art Rodgers and others. Nice stuff
THE TEXAS TOP HANDS: A Sinner's Prayer/ Ace In The Hole/ Bandera Waltz/ Cause I Was Born To Love You/ Cause The One I Love Is You/ Cotton Eyed Joe Jr./ Fiesta In Old San Antone/ I Had Someone Else Before I Had You (and I'll Have Someone After You're Gon/ I Won't Care (100 Years From Now)/ I'm Gonna Shoo The Blues Away/ Little Band Of Gold/ Little Rosewood Casket/ Lovin' Up A Storm/ Sally Johnson/ Texas Guitar Boogie/ That's The Only Way/ Was It Wrong, To Take So Long, To Tell Irene Good Night/ When I'm With You/ Whiskey River/ Why Should You, Why Should I/ Wishin' I Was Kissin' You/ You Can't Have Your Cake And Eat It Too/ You're Killin' Me/ You're Rocking The Boat

 
DICK THOMAS & HIS NASHVILLE RAMBLERS Cattle 256 Dick Thomas & His Nashville Ramblers ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 74 mins, recommended
Dick Thomas is pretty much unknown these days though he had a #1 country hit in 1945 with the song he co-wrote which has become a country standard - Sioux City Sue and several of his subsequent recordings were moderately successful. Though this collection doesn't include his hits it does feature a nice selection of sides recorded between 1944 and 1949, some with a Western flavor - Tennessee Local/ The Beaut From Butte/ Memories Of France/ Roses Have Thorns (So They Tell Me)/ Chalotte Belle/ Sleepy Old Town/ The Sister Of Sioux City Sue/ Moanin' In The Mornin', Grievin In the Evenin' Blues, etc. Thomas is a warm and engaging singer and indulges in some fine yodeling from time to time. The members of his band The Nashville Ramblers are unknown but are fine including an excellent steel guitarist. (FS)
DICK THOMAS: A Cowboy In Khaki/ As Long As I Live I Will Love You/ Broken Heart/ Can't You Take It Back And Change It For A Boy/ Charlotte Belle (Carolina Waltz)/ Foolish Tears/ Give Me Back My Heart/ I Don't Want A Million Sweethearts/ Memories Of France/ Moanin' In The Mornin' Grievin' In The Evenin' Blues/ My Daddy Is Only A Picture/ My Guitar Is My Sweetheart/ One Man's Loss Is Another Man's Gain/ Rosalinda/ Rose Of The Alamo/ Roses Have Thorns (So They Tell Me)/ San Antonio Serenade/ Sleepy Old Town/ Tennessee Local/ The Beaut From Butte/ The Sister Of Sioux City Sue/ They'll Never Take The Texas Out Of Me/ Two Car Garage/ You Better Stop Tellin' Lies About Me/ You Never Loved Me

 
ERNEST THOMPSON B.A.C.M. 031 Pioneer Artist From North Carolina ● CD $14.98
Excellent and delightful collection of 20 songs and tunes from 1924 by one of the first country artists to record. Thompson had a distinctive high voice and accompanied himself on guitar, banjo and harmonica on a collection of old songs drawing on the minstrel tradition, mountain favorites and early Tin Pan Alley songs - Chicken Roost Behind The Moon/ Climbing Up The Golden Stairs/ Mississippi Sawyer/ Coon Crap Game/ The Old Time Religion/ Are You FRom Dixie/ Lightning Express/ Life's Rairoad To Heaven/ Weeping Willow Tree, etc
ERNEST THOMPSON: Alexander's Ragtime Band (Instr.)/ Are You From Dixie/ Chicken Roost Behind The Moon/ Climbing Up The Golden Stairs (instr.)/ Coon Crap Game/ How Are You Goin' To Whet Your Whistle/ I'm Going Down To Jordan/ Jesse James (Instr.)/ Kiss Waltz (Instr.)/ Life's Railroad To Heaven/ Little Brown Jug/ Mississippi Dippy Dip (Instr.)/ Mississippi Sawyer (Instr.)/ Sparrow Bird Waltz (Instr.)/ Sylvester Johnson Lee/ The Lightning Express/ The Old Time Religion/ Weeping Willow Tree/ Wreck Of The Old Southern 97/ Yield Not To Temptation

 
HANK THOMPSON 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

 
HANK THOMPSON Bronco Buster 9001 World Masters, 1951-53 ● CD $18.98
20 tracks from radio transcriptions with Hank and the Brazos Valley Boys in their prime.
HANK THOMPSON: (I've Got A) Humpty Dumpty Heart/ Brown Skin Gal (Inst.)/ Don't Be That Way (Inst.)/ Green Light/ I'd Have Never Found Somebody New/ I'll Sign My Heart Away/ If I Cry/ If Lovin' You Is Wrong/ In the Mood (Inst.)/ It's Better to Have Loved a Little (than Never to Have Loved at All)/ Most of All/ Red Skin Gal (Inst.)/ She's a Girl Without Any Sweetheart/ Simple Simon/ Soft Lips/ Take the "A" Train (Inst.)/ Texas Playboy Rag (Steel Inst.)/ The Grass Looks Greener./ The New Wears off Too Fast/ When You're Lovin' You're Livin'

 
HANK THOMPSON Capitol 36901 Vintage Collection ● CD $8.98
20 tracks, 50 min, essential
Much needed overview of this hugely successful artist's most fertile period as a recording artist. The selections here, all recorded between 1947 and 1960, capture this Texan's unique sound, a combination of western swing influenced rhythms, instrumentation, and arrangements and the honky tonk ethos, featuring Hank's friendly, booming baritone vocals and his Brazos Valley Boys, a band heavy on the weeping steel, bottom heavy electric guitar, fiddles, and the shuffle beat demanded by the jukeboxes of the day and the dancehalls where the band plied it's trade in live performance. Many selections are augmented by the guitar work of Hank's longtime friend, the legendary guitarist Merle Travis, along with such west coast country stalwarts as Cliffie Stone, Billy Gray, Harold Hensley, and especially steel players Curly Chalker or Pee Wee Whitewing. Songs include Humpty Dumpty Heart/ Whoa Sailor/ The Wild Side Of Life/ Honky Tonk Girl/ A Six Pack To Go, and Oklahoma Hills, among others. Great session info, plus wonderful liner notes by compilation co-producer Rich Kienzle. (RP)
HANK THOMPSON: A Fooler, A Faker/ A Six Pack To Go/ Big Beaver/ Cryin' In The Deep Blue Sea/ Drivin' Nails In My Coffin/ Honky-Tonk Girl/ How Cold Hearted Can You Get/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ I Cast A Lonesome Shadow/ Oklahoma Hills/ Swing Wide Your Gate Of Love/ The New Green Light/ The Wild Side Of Life/ This Train/ Too In Love/ Total Stranger/ Wake Up, Irene/ Whoa Sailor/ Wildwood Flower/ Yesterday's Girl

 
HANK THOMPSON Country Routes RFD 019 Sound Of The Brazos Valley ● CD $16.98
Previously unissued radio broadcasts from 1952.
HANK THOMPSON: Always Late/ Baca's Boogie/ Beaumont Rag/ Boogieoo Drag/ Broken Heart And A Glass Of Beer/ Crying In The Deep Blue Sea/ Devil's Dream/ Down Yonder/ Easy To Please/ Farther On Down The Road/ Foggy River/ Good Man Is Hard To Find/ Grass Looks Greener Over There/ Green Light/ Heart Full Of Pain/ Home In San Antone/ I Ain't Cryin' Over You/ I'll Be Your Sweetheart For A Day/ I'll Take You To The Picture Show/ Panhandle Rag/ Piano Boogie/ Right Or Wrong/ Sagebrush Shuffle/ Silver Bell/ That Beautiful Picture/ This World Is Not My Home/ Tramp On The Street/ Uvalde Polka/ When God Dips His Love In Your Heart/ Whoa Sailor

 
HANK THOMPSON Country Stars 55471 Humpty Dumpty Heart ● CD $10.98
Fine set of 24 early sides (mid/late 40s) by this excellent and important country artist including his earliest hits.
HANK THOMPSON: All That Goes Up Must Come Down/ California Women/ Don't Flirt With Me/ Grass Looks Greener Over Yonder/ Green Light/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ I Find You Cheatin' On Me/ Lonely Heart Knows/ Mary Had A Little Lamb (His Love Was Pure As Snow)/ My Front Door Is Open/ My Heart Is A Jigsaw Puzzle/ Rock In The Ocean/ Second Hand Girl/ Soft Lips/ Standing On The Outside Looking In Now/ Starry Eyed Texas Girl/ Swing Wide Your Gate Of Love/ Today/ Tomorrow Night/ What Are We Gonna Do About The Moonlight/ Whoa Sailor/ Yesterday's Mail/ You Broke My Heart (In Little Bitty Pieces)/ You Remembered Me

 
HANK THOMPSON Curb 77329 All-Time Greatest Hits ● CD $10.98
Hank Thompson had lots of hits for Capitol in the 50's, selling many records with his clear tenor vocalizings, solid songwriting, and rootsy Texas style. This collection puts together all his 50's hits like Waiting In The Lobby Of Your Heart/ Rub-A-Dub-Dub/ Wake Up Irene/ The Wild Side Of Life/ Squaws Along The Yukon and his 1960 winners A Six Pack To Go/ Oklahoma Hills. The 12 songs here captures the best period of his career, clearly demonstrating the reasons for his popularity. (PG)
HANK THOMPSON: A Six Pack To Go/ Hangover Tavern/ Honky-Tonk Girl/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ Oklahoma Hills/ Rub-A-Dub-Dub/ Squaws Along The Yukon/ The Balckboard Of My Heart/ The Wild Side Of Life/ Waiting In The Lobby Of Your Heart/ Wake Up Irene/ Yesterday's Girl

 
HANK THOMPSON Jasmine 3509 In The Mood For Hank ● CD $11.98
More fine sides of uncertain origin this excellent series of country releases. The recordings appear to be from the 50s since they include versions of several of his mid 50s hits (Rub-A-Dub-Dub/ We've Gone Too Far/ Wildwood Flower, etc). There's also a version of his first hit Humpty Dumpty Heart plus lots of fine non-hits like You're Too Young To Cry Now/ Prosperity Special/ Down Yonder/ Rock In The Ocean, etc.
HANK THOMPSON: Breakin' In Another Heart/ Cat Has Nine Lives/ Down Yonder/ Fooler A Faker/ Gateway To Your Heart/ Humpty Dumpty Heart/ I Find You Cheatin' On Me/ I Know Exactly How You Feel/ In The Mood/ Most Of All/ Prosperity Special/ Redskin Gal/ Rock In The Ocean/ Rub A Dub Dub/ Set Your Heart For Love/ Simple Simon/ Standingn On The Outside/ Today/ Tomorrow Night/ Topeka Polka/ We've Gone Too Far/ What Are We Gonna Do About The Moonlight/ Wildwood Flower/ Yesterday's Mail/ You're Too Young Too Cry Now/ You're Walking On My Heart

 
HANK THOMPSON Proper Intro 2074 The Wild Side Of Life - A Proper Introduction To Hank ● CD $9.98
Hank Thompson had lots of hits for Capitol in the 40s and 50's, selling many records with his clear tenor vocalizings, solid songwriting, and rootsy Texas style and the top notch blend of honky tonk and western swing instrumental stylings from his band The Brazos Valley Boys. This fine collection features 30 of his early recordings recorded between 1946 and 1953 including California Women from his very first session for Globe in 1946 as well as many of his early hits like Humpty Dumpty Heart/ Green Light/ Whoa Sailor/ The Grass Looks Greener/ The Wild Side Of Life/ The New Wears Off Too Fast/ Rub-A-Dub his answer to Goodnight Irene called Wake Up Irene and others as well flipsides and other non hits. Includes notes by Adam Komorowski and discographical information, all in Proper's usual appealing packaging.
HANK THOMPSON: (I've Got A) Humpty Dumpty Heart/ Broken Heart and a Glass of Beer/ Californian Women/ Cat Has Nine Lives/ Cryin' in the Deep Blue Sea/ Grass Looks Greener/ Green Light/ Hangover Heart/ Humpty Dumpty Boogie/ I Find You Cheatin' on Me/ I'd Have Never Found Somebody New/ I'll Sign My Heart Away/ If I Cry/ If Lovin' You Is Wrong/ It's Better to Have Loved a Little (Than to Have Never Loved at All)/ Most of All/ New Wears Off Too Fast/ No Help Wanted/ Rub-A-Dub-Dub/ She's a Girl Without a Sweetheart/ Simple Simon/ Soft Lips/ Swing Wide Your Gate of Love/ Tomorrow Night/ Waiting in the Lobby of Your Heart/ Wake Up Irene/ When You're Lovin' You're Livin'/ Wild Side of Life/ Woah Sailor/ Yesterday's Girl

 
HANK THOMPSON Sundazed 6210 It's Christmas Time ● CD $11.98
Have yourself a merry Brazos Valley Christmas with this album by Hank & The Brazos Valley Boys with their distinctive blend of western swing and honky tonk. A Blend of old favorites and Thompson originals - includes White Christmas/ I'd Like To Have An Elephant For Christmas/ Blue Christmas/ It's Christmas Time/ Silver Bells/ Little Christmas Angel and 7 more.

 
HANK THOMPSON Sundazed 9005 A Six Pack To Go ● CD $12.98
Reissue of Hank's classic 1966 album devoted to drinkin' songs including Honky Tonk Town/ Beer Barrel Polka/ Bubbles In My Beer/ The Wild Side Of Life/ Anybody's Girl/ A Broken Heart And A Glass Of Beer. Most of the tracks feature Merle Travis on guitar.

 
HANK THOMPSON Varese Vintage VSD 5747 The Best Of Hank Thompson, 1966-1979 ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, recommended
With Hank's Capitol material now completely represented by Bear's box set, U.S. Capitol's single disc and so forth, Thompson's later material for Warner Brothers and Dot, who he recorded for after leaving Capitol in 1964, hasn't been well- represented. MCA did a collection in their Hall of Fame series, but this one is geared more to the fan, and including two hits from Warners were included certainly gives it more balance. This was up and down, mixing swing with bland Nashville-recorded fare produced by Larry Butler or Joe Allison. Where Is The Circus and He's Got A Way With Women and a third track, a sparkling Warners remake of his and Merle Travis's 1955 Capitol hit instrumental Wildwood Flower, which featured Merle Travis on guitar have never been reissued. The Dot material includes obvious hits like On Tap, In the Can, Or In the Bottle, the streamlined Next Time I Fall In Love (I Won't), The Mark of A Heel, I've Come Awful Close, Smoky The Bar, Most Of All, I See Them Everywhere, Oklahoma Home Brew, Who Left the Door to Heaven Open, The Older The Violin, The Sweeter the Music and three songs, Mama Don't 'Low, I Hear The South Callin' Me and The King of Western Swing, that marked his late 1970s return to modern Western Swing. The album also features capable notes by Laurence Zwisohn, who had the foresight to tap Hank's own vivid, well-spoken memories about this later stage of his career. (RK)

 

  

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