Sunday, July 02, 2017

The Only Classic Countyry Collection You'll Ever Need

I wouldn't say that the title here is exactly accurate, but this does have some pretty great numbers, especially on disc one, where the material is earlier (the selection spans form 1941 to 1980).

Opening with the Texas Troubadour, Ernest Tubb, doing "Walking the Floor Over You," that's about as good of a start as you can get. Lots more cool stuff, Bob Willis' "New Antonio Rose", Bill Monroe's original "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (that a certain rockabilly cat made into a hit later), Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On" (which also crossed over in various incarnations)Lefty Frizzell does "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time", Patti Page presents the womean's point of view in "The Tennessee Waltz", Kitty Wells gives her answer in "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels", the great Hank Williams' gives us "Jambalaya", Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 Tons" (which I always thought was more pop than country), Cash does his "I Walk the Line", Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight" (nice segue)  is up there with the best, Jim Reeves' "Four Walls" is a little schmaltzy, we get Marty Robbins' massive hit "El Paso", one of George Jones better tunes, "She Thinks I Still Care", Buck Owens' "Act Naturally" is not one of his best, but it is one of his most famous, more schmatlz in Eddy Arnold's string laden ballad "Make the World Go Away" and the first disc ends with Ray Charles going country in "Crying Time".

Continuing at least fairly chronologically, there's Roger Miller's jazzy-stand-up-bass-driven "King of the Road", Jeannie C. Riley's gives a tale of hypocrisy in "Harper Valley PTA", Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" is a sexist classic, another songs I always associated more with pop than country due to it's Top Forty status was Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman", Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" is a righteous number with catchy chorus and some nice pickin', Conway Twittey's "Hello Darlin'" works as a maudlin ballad, and Loretta Lynn scores as a "Coal Miner's Daughter". Charley Pride advises you to "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin", Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" is a bit sappy, Dolly Parton delivers the original "I Will Always Love You", Freddy Fender gives us Spanish Country in "Before the Next Teardrop Falls", I never particularly cared for Crystal Gayle's jazzy-pop of "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", Johnny Paycheck got the hit with David Allen Coe's "Take This Job and Shove It", Waylon Jennings' "Luckenbach Texas" is a bit too modern and mushy for me, and, of course, Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" is kinda crap, as is Waylon and Willie doing "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys", but ya gotta give Willie "On the Road Again" just for its ubiquitousness.

Yeah, it's a collection of country hits, though that doesn't mean that it's always the best, but there are plenty of terrific tunes here.