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.

 

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!

Ray Price- Sings Heart Songs

Woo hoo!! Friday.  Here is a subject I have completely exhausted on this blog.  That is because he is one of my favorites.  This was $4 and despite the cover being beat, was actually in decent shape.  I like the title.  Sounds like it was written by Thor.

This was Ray Price’s first album, released in 1957.  Pretty good little way to start one’s career.  I don’t think it made a whole lot of noise chart wise. but Price did have a slew of top singles including “Crazy Arms” under his belt when this was released.

A lot of good songs but of course, I am drawn to my favorites and Price’s version of “Faded Love” is no exception.  Therefore here it is as a sample.

Great album- Top Rated.

Ray Price- I Fall To Pieces

Of course I am going to throw some country into this anniversary month.  And of course it is going to be Ray Price.  I have posted various albums of his on this site.  This was $4.00 .  Besides being a Price fan, the track list probably led me to get this album. On the personal front, I spent the weekend in Edmonton with a whole lot of family.  It was my pop’s 75th birthday party.  It was a pretty good time.  I saw a lot of family I hardly ever get to visit.  I had to give a brief speech for which I had procrastinated writing (much like this blog).  The plan was to write the speech on the West Jet flight up but I decided to watch Rogue One instead and was thus forced to write something during my layover in Calgary Airport (which I believe is one of the poorly designed airports in North America).    Well, I got it done and the speech was well received.  

This album came out in 1969 on Harmony Records, a subsidiary of the parent, Columbia Records.  Consisting of previously recorded material, this collection seems to cull together songs made famous by other singers such as the title track, “San Antonio Rose”, and “Cold Cold Heart”.  Good album.  What more could you ask?  It is that classic Ray Price sound. As a side note, I think I mentioned it last Ray Price post, I did but if not, I am still highly disappointed with Price’s portrayal in the Hank William’s Biopic I Saw The Light.  I mean he came off looking like a huge putz.

For a sample, I went with “I’m Tired” and “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes”

Satisfactory album.

Ray Price- Another Bridge To Burn

This was 80 cents.  I like Ray Price a lot. I was disappointed with this year’s Hank Williams movie, I Saw The Light’s portrayal of Price as well as the whole movie itself.  I mean I know Price was a bit green when he moved in with Williams but I felt the actor portraying him had no similar features at all.

Whilst abroad in Amsterdam last month, I stopped at the Moco Museum to see the Banksy/Warhol exhibition on display.  The museum is aptly located in Museumplein, right behind the Rijksmuseum and beside the Van Gogh Museum.  It is a small gallery but it was a very good exhibit.

Street artist Banksy was the main showcase.  They had samples of some of his better known street works such as the rats, the monkeys, the girl with the balloon, and other pieces.  The main piece of art was the painting Beanfield shown above.  They also had the Swat Van in an enclosed space outside of the museum.

The Warhol stuff was less interesting but that is just my taste.  They had a Soup Can as well as the Reigning  Queen series of portraits with the center point being the one of Netherlands own Queen Beatrix.

This record came out in 1966.  It was Price’s 10th and it went to #1 on the Country Charts. It has that Ray Price sound back with steel guitars and fiddles where previous efforts as well as modern country at the time had string sections.  Lot of real good songs.  The title track, “Don’t Believe Her”. and “Go Away” were among my favorites.

For a sample, I went with “Don’t Believe Her”.  The chorus is what hooked me.

Satisfactory Record

 

Willie Nelson- Country Willie

dscn6182And so begins another month of Donkey Show.  It seems like this year just started yesterday and now it is almost over.  Not doing the Christmas record thing this year.  If you are looking for some Christmas music, feel free to take advantage of this blogs Category selection of Christmas Music from the Menu.  Anyway, this record, with some water damage to the cover, was $1.  rs-115741-b2b86ab843ec2616844ca15dc6d42ac1239e0e9e

This record was a compilation album of Willie Nelson’s early efforts, released in 1975 at the start of Nelson’s defining Outlaw Country period.  It contains a few songs penned by Nelson such as the title track and “Night Life”, as well as some traditional country standards.

Pretty good album.  It comes from the period of country music that I like the best.  Sometimes it is hard to remember what Nelson was like pre-seventies.dscn6183

For a sample, I am using a song which is one of my favorite standards, “Columbus Stockade”.  I first became aware of this song from Judy Henske’s album.  Anyway, this version is a wonderful jazz/bop version which is a bit strange for Nelson during this period of his music.  Anyway, it is pretty good.  I also threw in “Country Willie” for those looking for something more traditionally country.8750891-0

Satisfactory record.

Hank Thompson- At The Golden Nugget

dscn5526This was $2.00.  Of course, I am going to jump on this.  It is the kind of country that I adore. Also, as this is one of the Hanks, I have been meaning to post one of Thompson’s records for some time.  I have posted multiple Snow’s and a few Williams in the past.  mi0003443989

Hank Thompson was born in Waco, Texas in 1925.  He had a honky tonk vocal style similar to Ernest Tubb.  His backing band, the Brazos Valley Band, had a western swing style similar to Bob Wills, minus the solos.  When the two came together, it made a sound all its own; a combination of western swing and honky tonk.  Thompson burst on the scene with “Whoa Sailor” and had his first big hit in 1952 with “Wild Side Of Life”.

From there he continued to be a popular act, recording and performing throughout his career.  Popularity would fade in later decades, but Thompson would remain a popular concert draw.  His last public performance was in 2007.  In the same year, Thompson would die from lung cancer at age 82.hank-thompson_brazos-vally

This was a live recording released in 1961 from the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.  If Allmusic.com is right, this is one of the first live country albums.  It is also among Thompson’s best.

tumblr_ndjrjtkk9a1s0vozto1_1280It is a great album, indeed.  The Brazos Valley Boys are on fire with such tracks as “Orange Blossom Special” and “Steel Guitar Rag”.  The guitar is further bolstered by Merle Travis, who sits in with the band for this album. There are also a lot of good vocal songs such as “Honky Tonk Girl”, “She’s Just A Whole Lot Like You”, “John Henry” and “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”. Pretty good overall record.dscn5527

For a sample, I decided to go with three songs.  I noticed I have been posting multiple songs pretty much all this week.  Is it laziness on my part?  Maybe.  Or maybe the songs are all just that good.  Well, which ever one you choose to believe, we are starting this album with Thompson singing one of Merle Travis’s hit tunes, “Nine Pound Hammer”.  We are also going with one made famous by Hank Williams, “Lost Highway” (note that this song may reappear this month).  Finally, I am submitting the closing number which is one of Thompson’s more popular numbers, “Six Pack To Go” complete with an outro.

hank-ttTop Rated album.

Ray Price- Burning Memories

dscn5296-800x778This was one dollar.  I have lost track of how many Ray Price albums I have posted.  This maybe the third. Not much new to say about an artist the third time around.  But what else can you say about one of the true pioneers of honky tonk country?ray_price_74c-1024x626

This was Price’s seventh album, released in 1964.  This album marked a departure from his pure Ernest Tubb honky tonk sound with the addition of string sections and lush production values.  In a way, it was the start of the Nashville Sound of the 60’s and 70’s. Backed with Nashville musicians such as Floyd Cramer, Pig Robbins, and Buddy Emmons, Price goes through 12 classic tracks written by such luminaries as Hank Cochran, Eddie Miller, Mel Tillis, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, and Willie Nelson.

Some dude I ran into a year ago at Half Price Books told me that Price was blacklisted in the country circles for some time for embracing this new sound.  I am not sure how true or false that is, but for now I take him at his word.  If you know me, you know how much I like talking to strange guys. Anyway, if he was indeed blacklisted, it would not be for long.dscn5297-800x786

Overall, this is a real good album.  It contains two Price standards, “Make The World Go Away” and “Release Me”.   The rest of the album is filled with songs that take advantage of Price’s rich baritone voice.  There are a couple simplified songs but the vast majority are backed by the string section. Given this, there is still enough twang within the songs.

For a sample, I went with “Are You Sure” which still has that classic Price sound with subtle orchestration.  I also went with “Here Comes My Baby Back Again” because after writing about the string use, I would be a fool not to post something that illustrates it a bit better.ray-price-musician-obit-country-music-ftr

Despite the shift and public attitudes at the time, this is a satisfactory record.

Waylon Jennings- Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line

DSCN4001This was $3.20.  I don’t run into much Waylon in the cheap racks.  A new month of Donkey-Show begins today.  Kind of glad to get the soundtracks done.  Back to pasting a few pictures and some words together.  Work has not slowed as of late so we are still making these brief. There is a link.  You can further educate yourself on your own.waylon_main

Most everybody, let alone everybody in Texas knows Waylon Jennings.  Born in 1937 in Littlefield, Texas , Jennings was a key figure in the 1970’s Outlaw Country Movement.  Waylon_Jennings_Promotional_Picture

Most everybody also knows he gave up his seat on the ill fated airplane to Buddy Holly.  Likewise, about singing the theme song to The Dukes of Hazard. Jennings died in 2002 of complications due to diabetes.tumblr_m2j29cBbrr1qhkfqfo1_500

Jenning’s Webpage

Waylon-Jennings-Buddy-Holly

This is a RCA/Camden compilation album of earlier songs done on the cheap.  It was released in 1974.  It is pretty decent.  It would appear that these songs are from earlier work in the sixties.DSCN4003

For a sample, I was stuck on a few songs.  I liked the title track as well as a 1969 song with Anita Carter, “Rings of Gold”.  In the end, I went with a song off Jennings’ third album for RCA, “Nashville Bum”.  I chose this one because it name checks Webb Pierce.

720x405-GettyImages-83704961This is decent record for the price.  Plus, I don’t see much of this artist in my what was weekly but now has become every other month searches. Satisfactory.

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