Don Gibson- I Love You So Much It Hurts

This was one dollar.  Bought it for the songs on it, most notably ” Born To Lose”, “Sweet Dreams”, and “The Streets Of Laredo”. I also think when I bought it, I was confusing folk singer and reporter Bob Gibson(a major influence on Phil Ochs) with Don Gibson of this album. 

Well,  Don Gibson,”The Poet of Sadness”, was born in 1928 in Shelby, NC. He was a talented song writer as well as country performer.  As a performer, he had a slew of hits from the late 50’s to early 70’s. As a songwriter, he is best known for writing “I Can’t Stop Loving You” which was a hit for many people, including Ray Charles, who almost made it his signature tune, behind “Georgia”. Don would die of natural causes in 2003.  They names a Theater/Venue after him in his home town.

Link to the Don Gibson Theater

This album, released in 1969 on RCA Camden, was pretty well into his career when it came out.  It contains Gibson’s version of “Sweet Dreams” which was an earlier hit for Patsy Cline.  It also has a bunch of other good numbers.  Decent album.

For a sample, I went not with one of Gibson’s originals, but with his interpretation of a country standard, covered by everyone; “Born To Lose” , written by Ted Daffan. Born in Beauregaurd Parrish, LA, Daffan spent some time in Texas, working at in instrument repair shop in Houston in the 1930’s.  Just throwing in some local color.  I probably highlighted this fact the last time I posed a Daffan number.  What can I say? I like to spotlight Houston.

Good Album.  Satisfactory.

VA- Round Up

Yesterday marked the passing of a legend of Pop/Country music, Glen Campbell.  Campbell had been suffering from Alzheimer’s since 2011 and finally succumbed to the disease at age 81.

Obit from New York Times

Obit from Rolling Stone

An interesting perspective from Collaborator Jim Webb

 

Campbell, born outside of Little Rock, Ark, in 193, picked up guitar at age 4 and was performing on radio by age 6.  He really cut his teeth in Los Angeles as a session musician and , what I find fascinating, he never learned to read music.  Despite this, his natural ability led him to become a member of “The Wrecking Crew” and by his count, appear on 586 recordings in 1963 alone.  His session work with the Beach Boys landed him a spot with the band when Brian Wilson stepped back from touring.

And finally, after putting out albums under his own name in the early 60’s, found success in 1967 with his version of “Gentle On My Mind”.  Of course bigger hits followed including a massively successful run of Jim Webb tunes which led to massive fame, tv shows, movies, record sales, marriages, divorces, alcoholism, drug addiction, recovery, and redemption. You know, the whole cycle.

How much appeal did Campbell have?  Well reading outside the attached articles, two things.  First, the massive amount of his records I see when I shop for used records.  This means that he sold a lot of albums. Second, the high number of appearances on country compilation albums, this being one of them (personally, I am not a great fan of country-pop, hence I do not have any of his albums.).  I had about 10 compilations to choose from with Campbell on them.

This collection, released by Capitol Records in 1969, features Campbell along with Bobbie Gentry, Al Martino, The Letterman, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.  Th e album features two songs from Campbell as well as one duet with Gentry from the album I featured on thus blog two years ago (for the record, it is “Little Green Apples” which I feel ranks among the worst songs ever written).  As further proof as Campbell’s legacy, the album features two songs of Webb’s, popularized by Campbell, “By the Time I get to Phoenix” and “Wichita Lineman”.  This was $1.  I probably bought it for Gentry’s cover of “Son of a Preacherman”, which is somewhat decent. Anyway, from this album, here is Campbell with Rod McKuen’s “The World I Used To Know”.

Rest In Peace Mr Campbell.

VA- Six Pack Vol1

There were many reasons I would buy this record.  It was only $1. It also contained two Willie Nelson songs as well as being produced(or compiled?) by the man himself.  Finally, it is a good little collection of outlaw / oddball country.  All these reasons aside, I got is as I never heard Ray Wylie Hubbard’s original version of “Up Against The WallRedneck Mother”.

Like most people in this state who spent time in bars, I was very familiar with Jeff Jeff Walker’s version (which was posted some time ago on this site).  So, when I saw the original on this, buying it was a done deal.  This record, released by Lone Star Records in association with Mercury, in 1978, also features Nelson, Cooder Browne, novelty country singer Don Bowman, Steve Fromholz, and the Geezinslaw Bros.  Apparently, Lone Star was Nelson’s own label.

For a sample, I really liked the instrumental, “Lonesome Rider” as performed by Cooder Browne, which is the name of the group and not a person.  I also wrongly thought that this was a Bob Wills’ standard. So I was wrong on two counts with this today. The band featured Larry Franklin on vocals and fiddle. who also recorded with Asleep At The Wheel. This is from the one album they released (on Lone Star).

I also really liked the Geezinslaw Bros.’ “Who’s A Fool”.  Hailing from Austin Tx, the Bros are really the comedy/musical duo of Sammy Allred and Son Smith.  They were active musically from sometime in the 50’s up into 2005.

Finally, you got to go with the girl you brought to the dance so here is Ray Wylie Hubbard’s classic, “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother”. Hubbard, born in Soper, OK in 1946 is still active today.

Good Little Record.  Satisfactory.

Faron Young- Country Dance Favorites

This was $1.  It had enough songs that I liked on it.

About the only scene I liked in the Hank William’s bio-pic I Saw The Light, featured Faron Young (1932-1996) and his girl friend at the time, Billie Jean Jones.  In the movie, Williams slickly peels Jones off Young.  I am not sure how accurate this is , but it is true that Young introduced Jones to Williams.  The two would later marry.  After William’s death, Jones would marry his pal Johnny Horton, who would also some years later, making her a widow twice in the span of less than 10 years.

Anyway, on a happier note, there is this record from Mercury and Shreveport, LA native Young from 1964.  It was one of his more popular albums at the time, reaching #7 on the country charts.  A good little collection of dance songs from big name writers such as Mel Tillis, Belew & Stevenson, Don Gibson, and Bob Wills,  Young puts his honky tonk sound into these classics.

There are a lot of songs that I like on here including “Release Me”, “Am I That Easy To Forget”, “She Still Thinks I Care”, “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, and “San Antonio Rose”.  However I decided to go with “Honky Tonk Song” and “Faded Love”. I have been on a kick for the latter song for some reason as of late.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

Doug Kershaw- Alive & Picking

This gem of an album was only $1.00.  This is Doug Kershaw and his band, live at Great South East Music Hall in Atlanta, GA.

All the big hits are here including songs he did with his brother Rusty: “Diggy Liggy Lo”, “Cajun Joe”, “Louisiana Man”. “The Cajun Stripper”, and “Natural Man” among others.  Real high energy on this and a good live vibe as well as good translation of recorded material.  Can you tell I am trying to finish up this month?  If not, you will by tomorrow.

For a sample, I went with the Johnny Horton classic, ” The Battle of New Orleans”.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Al Dean- Mr Cotton Eyed Joe Plays For Urban Cowboys

If you would think about what are my most popular posts, they are not the big names or the popular records.  In contrast, they are the local and regional artists. The smaller a footprint one has on the web, the more hits my blog gets.  So among the top 5 posts was an album I had posted from this artist, Mr Cotton Eyed Joe himself, Al Dean. This was $4, by the way.

My earlier post on Dean.

I was saddened to hear that Dean had passed away from cancer in October of 2016 at the age of 85.  It was happy to hear though, that he was posthumously(just last month) inducted into the South Texas Music Hall of Fame.  There is an excellent story about Dean and this event from this blog below.

Blog post about Mr Cotton Eyed Joe

Yet another blog post.

As Dean’s bands have been family affairs, at times including his brothers, this album features his sons, and his wife Maxine.  This record , released by Kik-R Records from Houston, was obviously a marketing attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the movie, Urban Cowboy.  It is also my belief (which the blog above somewhat confirms), that Dean is responsible for the version of the song that most of us who grew up in this state remember. This is no small accomplishment and I can state without any sign of hyperbole, that this puts him in a signifcant place among Texas musicians.     They don’t play it anymore, but it was common place at sporting events, along with the crowd hollering “Bull Shit”.

Pretty good record.  All instrumentals though. If I knew this, I would have posted a few of the singing songs he did on the first record I posted, (Hell, if I knew he past, I would have posted “Roughneck Paycheck”, which was one of my favorites.  Anyway, this is a collection of popular country instrumentals.  I will have to note, however, that the hole on my copy is off center and as a result, the record’s sound is a tad off.  Other than that, great little album.

 

For a sample, I went with “Release Me”. I did not go with the namesake song (which is among one of my favorites) as I posted it from the last album.

Good little album. Satisfactory.  My respects to Mr Dean and his family.

 

Ray Charles- Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music

I like having big records on Saturdays and perhaps there has been none bigger than this.  Plus I paid just a dollar for it.  I might as well have stolen in it.  I thought at this price, it would be in pretty rough shape but it actually plays pretty well.  

This was a monumental album for Ray Charles. It was his 18th album and his fifth for ABC-Paramount.  With four charting singles, it brought Charles more fame from mainstream artists.  Those close to Charles did not see the wisdom of putting out an album of country standards, but Charles masterfully translated country and western tunes into R&B flavored arrangements.    

As common place today as taking the country genre and adapting it to big band arrangements, this was a radical idea both musically and socially in the early 1960’s.  Most thought the record would flop but Charles saw the similarities between the two styles and crossed them over in a way that paid its respects to both camps.

Released in 1962, the album was a critical and commercial hit. Most critics consider this Charles’ best album.  The record spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Pop Charts.  “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, in turn , became a #1 single as well.

For a sample, I could have gone with any song but decided to go with Hank William’s “Hey Good Lookin”. Top Rated Record.

Roy Head- A Head of His Time

This little gem was $4.  Not going to pass up music with Houston ties at this price.During Continental Club’s anniversary last year (or was it two years ago?), I saw Roy Head perform briefly.  I wish I would have stuck around to watch more.

Head, born in Three Rivers, TX in 1941, came to fame with his band the Traits and the single “Treat Her Right”, released by Houston’s own Don Robey.  A great example of Blue-Eyed Soul, the single was kept out of the #1 spot by the Beatles’ “Yesterday”. Head, as the singer, had a stage presence that rivaled James Brown.

Anyway, by the time the 70’s rolled around, Head was into country music and that is where this comes from. On one hand, it was a stretch from the sound he was doing in the Sixties On the other hand, Head was always pushing the boundaries of genres so it really made sense. The second of two albums released in 1976 as well as the second of three for ABC/Dot records, this album is a good collection of country tunes as well as standards.  Pretty good album.  It concludes with a rousing version of R&H’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

Head, who lives in the Humble area, performs sporadically.  His son Sundance was on the Voice as well as American Idol.  Furthermore, the Chronicle did a story on Head last year that is pretty good.  I was a little taken back when I read about tricks  I thought was original about but in reality were already done by Head. Oh well.  It is good to admit when you are beat.

Link to Chron Story

In an earlier post this week, I mentioned that there were four songs from this month that I added to my guitar repertoire.  Two of them were posted yesterday.  The third is on this album and is presented here: “Angel With A Broken Wing”.  I particularly like the second verse.

Great little record. Satisfactory.

 

VA- 4 Kings of Country Music

This little gem was either $1 or $3, I can’t remember anymore.  I am leaning more to the $1 theory. But either way, you can’t go too wrong with this collection, which features hits from four of country music’s biggest stars the comedic Roger Miller, the sausage king Jimmy Dean, celebrated drunk riding mower-er George Jones, and Hee-Haw’s own Buck Owens.

This album, released by Nashville/ Starday Recordings in 1966, features previously released music.  Pretty good collection of works by these kings. I did not realize this until I read the back cover but all four artists were born in Texas despite leaving it for Nashville/ California.

For samples, I was really drawn towards two songs, George Jones’ “That’s The Way I Feel”, and Buck Owens’ “Down On The Corner Of Love”, which I believe was Owen’s first single.  Other than this and Miller’s “Poor Little John”, most of these songs I believe are from albums and b-sides. Overall, this is a really good collection of tunes.

Top Rated record.  Not much else to say about this. Woo-Hoo!  Quick post today!

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks- Where’s The Money?

This was all of $1.00.  I thought this was the second Dan Hicks record I owned. I was wrong. I have three.  I also thought this was the second one I posted.  Wrong again.  This is the first.

Dan Hicks passed on in February of last year.  His music is both easy and complex to describe.  On some levels, it is an exact extension of the hot jazz/ gypsy music of Django Reinhardt and the country swing of Bob Wills, plus many other genres of music, all while looking like hippies. His band the Hotlicks was formed in 1967, split in 1972, reformed sometime before 1973 and split sometime thereafter with an occasional reunion, most notably in 1991. The band was sprung from the San Francisco area where Hicks moved as a youth.  He was born in Little Rock Ark, in 1941.  See what I did there?  I did it backwards.

Dan’s Webpage

Anyway, this was his second record and it was done live. Recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the album features what his webpage calls the best known lineup of the band featuring Maryann Price and Naomi Ruth Eisenberg on vocals and percussion, Sid Page on first violin and mandolin, and Jamie Leopold on Double Bass.

I was really blown away how good this album was and how eclectic it sounded on one hand while making perfect sense on the other.  The songs are all really good.  Great musicianship and great vocals.  Also , featured on the album is some of the best stage banter I have heard in a long time.

For a sample, I went with what I felt was the Best song on the record, “Caught in the Rain”.  I also went with the first track, “I Feel Like Singing” because when I first listened to it, I thought the record was skipping.  And if you really think about it, to accomplish that feat on a live record is really saying something.

Anyway, great album. Top Rated.