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.

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks- Orginal Recordings

Yet another week.  Saints be praised.  Here we are with this little gem by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, who I blogged about a couple months back.  I bought this shortly after his death for what I believe was $1 from Sig’s Lagoon, which I no longer go to because I tend to leave there with 30+ records per trip.  No slight against Sig’s and on the contrary, I highly recommend it for a record shop.  Overall, I did well this year in really limiting my purchases but I still have a ways to go before I can really splurge again.  And as previously noted, shopping for records was my favorite part of this blog.

But here we are with the first record from Mr Hicks and his Licks of Hot.  Released in 1969, it features the first line up of the band with Sid Page, Sherry Snow, Christine Gancher, Jamie Leopold, and Jon Weber.  This line up would break up in 1971.

I did not know this but Hicks got his start playing drums in the psychedelic rock band, The Charlatans.  This is most likely the reason why we have the Charlatans UK.  Anyway, towards the end of his tenure, Hicks moved to front the band.

But back to this record, here is the folk, country, swing, jazz combination that made Hicks and his Hot Licks famous.  Pretty good album and it includes one of his more famous songs, “I Scare Myself”.  Overall, real good effort.

For a sample,  I wanted to use the song above but after hearing “Jukie’s Ball” I was drawn to it for no other reason than they name check a Jimmy in the intro, even if it is a wooden dummy.

Great little record.  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.

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.