Charley Pride- The Sensational Charley Pride

Well, here we are with another month as well as the last month of the year for the Ol’ Show of the Donkey.  I am also way ahead of schedule as it is just become October as of the time of this writing.  Some good news, in a week (from reading this , not writing it), I will be in Amsterdam for vacation.  Yay me.  Expect some more detail about this trip in January or February.  But for right now, we are kick off the month with this, which I bought for .

Good Ol’ Charley Pride (born in 1938 in Sledge , Miss.).  A legend in country music who persevered at a time that was none too friendly to African Americans in general. A former pitcher who played in both the Negro League as well as the minors,  he is one of three African-Americans who are members of the Grand Ol’ Opry.  He is also one of the few to gain success in the industry.  But the success he gained was massive.  During his peak years,  Pride had 52 Top Ten Country singles, with 29 hitting the top spot.

This record was released in 1969, right before his prime years in the 70’s, and was his 7th studio recording for RCA Victor.  Pride would become the label’s biggest artist since Elvis in the later decade.  But here is this record, with some good country tunes.  Apparently Jerry Reed did some sessions work on this.

For a sample, I went with one of my favorites, the Doug Kershaw penned “Louisiana Man”.

Satisfactory.

 

 

Loretta Lynn- I Like ‘Em Country

Here is one from Ms Loretta Lynn.  I imagine a paid somewhere in the ball park of $3 for this.  I am going to buy it since it is early Lynn but the light blue backdrop which was popular on country albums of the time kind of subconsciously made sure this purchased happened.  I wonder of somebody in Nashville designed the records that way.

As reported on this blog (as well as everywhere else), Lynn suffered a stroke this May.  However, I believe she is still making a good recovery.  she has still postponed public performances and has delayed her new album until next year, but according to her daughter, she is progressing positively thru physical therapy.

This effort was Lynn’s 6th studio album.  Released in 1966, the album would peak at #2 on the Billboard Country Charts.  With songs by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash among others, it was a pretty good effort which spawned two Top Ten singles, Betty Sue Perry’s “The Home You’re Tearing Down”, and Lynn’s own composition ” Dear Uncle Sam” which was about the Vietnam War.

For a sample, I went with the catchy “Hurtin’ For Certain”.

Great record.  Satisfactory.

Webb Pierce/T. Texas Tyler/ Patsy Cline- Three of a Kind

This little gem of country music was only $1.  I got it for the Webb Pierce songs since he is my favorite country singer.  That inclusion of Patsy Cline did not hurt either.

This was from the record label I love to hate Pickwick.  In what they call ” a dramatic new concept in entertainment”, putting three people on one record, may be hyperbole, but it makes since for a serial repackager of music like Pickwick.  At the time of this record, they had put out ten of these series records including big bands, folk singers, Hawaiian music, blues, and polkas.  I believe this as well as most of the series, came out in 1964.

Well this was the country version featuring previously recorded tunes by three prominent performers, Webb Pierce, T. Texas Tyler, and Patsy Cline.  The songs (at least Pierce’s ) sound like the come from the 40’s or early 50’s.  Cline’s numbers are a bit later, being the late 50’s.  Pretty good stuff.  Each performer has three songs a piece.

For a sample, surprisingly I did not use one from Pierce.  No reason.  I also did not go with Tyler either, who despite the name, came from Mena, Ar-kansas and has no real ties to the state that is in his moniker.  Nope, I went with good old Patsy Cline.  As a side note, I knew a guy who once locked himself in a room and watched the Pasty Cline move, Sweet Dreams staring Jessica Lange repeatedly for an expanded period of time while getting drunk to mourn the death of his girlfriend.  I guess every body grieves in their own little way. But back to this, here is Patsy Cline with a song off her 1957 debut album and not a Ramones cover, “I Don’t Wanna”.

Most of the time, I am quick to poop on a Pickwick product, but I will look at this one a bit more favorably and call it satisfactory.

Monte Mills- Sings Old Favorites

Seem to be overdoing it slightly on the country early this month, but what the hey.  This looked like the small local/novelty/independent type record that this blog thrives on.  Plus it had a bunch of songs that I like, most notably “Mama Tried”.  It was only one dollar.

Much to my surprise, Monte Mills has a web page and still plays around 30 to 50 shows or so a year with the Lucky Horseshoe Band, including opening for the late Merle Haggard.  So many times, records like this are a one and done-er. Based in Central Coastal California,Mills has played for a wide variety of functions and people, including entertainers and politicians. He also has released a handful or records outside of this one.

Mills Web Page

Mills, at the time of this record (which I believe was his first) was a humble horse shoe-er by trade who sang both on the trail and in the shower. As the record as well as the web page states, singing is still a side gig to horse shoeing.  However, on one fateful day, while out on the trail for the Ranch Vistadores annual 7 day ride, held at Lake Cachuma between Santa Barbara ad Santa Ynez, Mills befriended a studio musician, one  Dusty Rhoads, encouraged Mills to come out to Hollywood and make a record.  Well, Mills took his advice and made this effort, featuring, Rhoads on bass, Harold Hensley on fiddle, Roy Lanham on guitar, the great Bud Isaacs on slide, and Art Anton on drums. Anyway, the same story is on the back of the record with more colloquialisms and venacular.

For a sample, I decided to go with “The Auctioneer”.

Satisfactory record,  I really liked this.  Good songs and great selection of tunes with numbers from Haggard, Hank Williams, and Bob Wills among others. Plus, I was really happy to see that Mills stuck with it rather than letting his talent fall to the wayside after one effort.

Merle Haggard- Close Up

It is Saturday and here is that purveyor of the Bakersfield sound, Merle Haggard.  This double record set cost me either $1 or $3.  I am guessing $3 due to the fact that it is a double record. Probably got it at a Record Show at the Hilton. I guess this is a good time as any to complain about what became an occurrence this month.  That is a had albums picked out which I was kind of jazzed about only to find that the records inside were different.  One was an early Aretha Franklin record.  The other was the movie soundtrack of “The Pajama Game” featuring Doris Day, John Raitt, and Eddie Foy jr ( I know, I said I was sick of Broadway but…).  Anyway, I was quite bummed out at both instances.  I think in January, I will dedicate a week to these kind of albums.

This was a greatest hits compilation from 1969 by Capitol Records, released around the same time of some of Haggard’s biggest hits (not included in this collection) such as “Mama Tried” “Hungry Eyes”, and “Okie From Muskogee”.  Most of these songs are written by Haggard but there are other songwriters here such as Liz Anderson, Tommy Collins, Wynn Stewart, and Ernest Tubb.  Overall, it is a good collection of early Haggard showing off both his singing as well as song writing.

For a sample, I went with my old favorite, the Haggard penned “Swinging Doors” although I like Ray Price’s version better which I believe I posted on this blog.

Satisfactory

Leon McAuliffe- The Dancin’est Band Around

Here is a good ole piece of classic country music that has been sorely missed around here for the last month and a half.  It cost me $4.  When I started this blog, it would have cost me $1.

Leon McAuliffe was born right here in the great old city of Houston in 1917.  He was perhaps the greatest steel guitar player of his generation, not only paving the way for the instrument during the early days of Texas Swing country, but setting an influence which would be later picked up by blues musicians.  After playing with the Light Crust Doughboys, he joined Bob Wills band in 1936 at the age of 18.  He would play with Wills up until WWII in 1942.  Besides helping Wills compose “San Antonio Rose”, McAuliffe composed “Steel Guitar Rag” which is perhaps his legacy other than Wills’ calls of “Take It Away Leon”.

Texas State Historical Page on McAuliffe

After the war, McAuliffe formed his own band and had some success.  He also dedicated a good chunk of his life to teaching music as well as business and legal matters related to the industry.  McAuliffe would pass in 1988 at the age of 71.

This record was released long after his WWII service in 1963 on none other than Capitol Records.  Real good collection of songs that I like including “I Fall To Pieces”, “Walk On By”, and “From A Jack To A King”.  No vocals but a lot of excellent steel guitar.

For a sample, I went with “I Love You Because” because I really liked the opening slide line.

Satisfactory.

Dolly Parton- 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs

Whew! Glad to have this month and Oktoberfest over.  This was $3.50. My folks had it when I was a kid so I recognized the cover.

This album was released in 1980 and coincided with the release of the movie, 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton along with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dabney Coleman.  The underlying theme of this album was working and the album marked a return to a pop-country sound after a few more polished efforts.  The album went to #1 on the country charts and spawned three hit singles including the title track which was also nominated for an Academy Award for best song (it would lose to “Fame”).

Pretty good album but I am done writing for this month so here is Merle Travis’ classic “Dark As A Dungeon”.

Good album.  Satisfactory.  See you next month.

Hank Thompson-The New Roving Gambler

This little gem was $2.50, way worth the price…nay, a grand bargain I say for a Hank Thompson record.  Also , this is the last regular record I am posting on thsi site for the next two weeks as things are about to get real German for Oktoberfest.

It seems that I probably would have mentioned this on the last Thompson post, but did I mention that Thompson’s Nudie suit is in the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix?

This is a compilation record from Hilltop, released in 1968, I believe (some sources point to 1966).  It is made up of earlier songs and is not doubt a budget label release.  Pretty decent stuff.  Some of his bigger numbers, including “Oklahoma Hill” are on this.

But it is the title track which got my attention.  I was quite familiar with the folk versions of this tune, including Rambin’ Jack Elliot’s.  Thompson put his own style on this track and the story plays out in full as compared o the other versions.  Pretty good rendition.  That’s why its our sample.

Good record. Satisfactory.

Ernest Tubb- Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop

This was $2.  Big Tubb fan myself.  Part of me recalls going to his record store in Nashville, Tennessee during a summer trip as a youngster.  But I am not too sure if I am confusing reality with Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Regardless which narrative is true, Tubb’s Record Shop, located on 417 Broadway in Nashville, has been a fixture since 1947.  In its heyday, the store expanded to other Nashville locations as well as out of State but with the general decline in in person music sales, I believe this is the only store left.  Tubb used to host a Midnight Jamboree on Saturday nights in his store.  This was also shown in the movie referenced above.  It is the second longest running radio show.  It also has been moved out of the store.  It is still free however. At the time of writing this, frequent blog subject Connie Smith was the guest host.

Link to Record Store

Anyway, this album came out in 1960.  Pretty good collection of country songs.  I am pretty lazy today so I have linked the Allmusic review which also points out the contribution of the Texas Troubadors as well as the sessionmen on the record.  Easy way out?  Sure.  It is close enough to the weekend so keeping it brief.

Link to Allmusic review

For a sample, I went with “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down”.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

Hank Snow- The Southern Cannonball

This was $4.  It is Saturday.  Yay!! Also last post of the month although I seem to think I missed a week somewhere.  A quick check of the schedule tells me this can not be.

Wrapping up another month of the show with Mr Hank Snow. I am running out of new pictures of him to post. This record was released in 1961.  It was a RCA/Camden compilation effort.  It is ok.  I felt a lot of the songs were derivative from other works (“I’m Moving In”, “Boogie Woogie Flying Cloud” for example).  The biggest hit from this was “Let Me Go Lover” which went to #1 in 1954.

For a sample, I was drawn to “When Mexican Joe Met Jolie Blon”.  I also really liked “Trouble, Trouble, Trouble”.  It is a kind of talking blues number kind of like Woody Guthrie’s style.  I have never heard Snow perform a number like this.

Criticism aside, of course I am goint to like one of Snow’s records.  Satisfactory.  See, I learned something from last month.  Put the easy posts at the end of the month.