The Best of Jim Reeves

1964 and RCA Victor proudly present, The Best of Jim Reeves. LSP-2890 for you catalog nuts out there, this country music classic from the country music legend, Mr. Jim Reeves, features a stellar 12-track lineup. Adios Amigo, Anna Marie, Four Walls, He’ll Have to Go, Danny Boy, and, what Best of ANYTHING would be complete without Billy Bayou. Though Mr. Reeves met his demise in a fatal plane crash the same year, his legend knows no limits. RIP Mr. Reeves.

Mr. Country Music

mrcountryFrom Mr. Breakfast Sausage to Mr. Country Music, or vice versa. Jimmy Dean is, obviously, a modern day country music staple, and unlike most other modern day country music staples, he has a convenient, and surprisingly hearty breakfast line to go along with his prestigious country ballads. So no matter what time of day your stomach unfolds, grab a platter of ol’ Jimmy Dean.

Red Headed Seeker

RedHeadedStrangerThis illusive little slithering snake has managed to outrun me for the last, conceivable time. Found this essential gem over the weekend for a cool $6.42 at my local brick & mortar. I’ve checked the country section for this album at that store every week for the past several years, and I finally walked away red handed. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, originally a track written for Roy Acuff by Fred Rose, has been covered in the studio over 8 times, includes renditions by both Conway Twitty and Hank Williams. I can’t say I’ve heard each and every version, but I’m confident in stating that none could be better than Willie Nelson’s soft-spoken, heartfelt version, track five on Columbia Records’ 1975 masterpiece, Red Headed Stranger.

A Day in the Life

GreeneI speak of this only because I happen to notice it today, a day in which busywork afforded me the opportunity to listen to stereo recordings with a single ear bud (not ideal, but embraceable), while performing my spreadsheet-happy daily chores in a swift and efficient fashion.

Here, for those who’ve never asked, is a sprint through the progression of a normal, 9-5 (10-7) day (in regards to my organic music consumption).

9:31am: Feeling a bit homesick and decide to mentally frolic through the painted walls of my feverish memory as a youngen at my Grandparent’s farmhouse and cue up 50 Number One Country Hits.

9:56am: Arrive at work and continue the 50-track playlist and wonder, countless times, why I haven’t ordered 1975’s Red Headed Stranger by the great Willie Nelson on vinyl ($5.85 off Discogs.com… I mean, k’mon!).

2:11pm: Finish the epic 50-track memory-machine-gun and dry the reality from my eyes.

2:12pm: Cue up The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II and remember that this album was once, and for a very long time, my favorite album.

5:36pm: Finish BRII and feverishly, and without music, complete my daily objectives.

7:56pm: With a quasi-clear head, and the freedom of the evening, I drive home and enjoy the lamenting screams from Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come and think to myself, in an empty car, I should have been a musician.

For what it’s worth, I’m going to make it a point, today, at least, to finish these waking hours exactly where I started… with Jack Greene’s There Goes My Everything. Happy trails, and pleasant evening, kids.

Great Hank

HankHappy October 10th to all of you music lovers out there. Happy Friday night for those of us on the West Coast. Offered up this fine fall evening is a 24-track, 2-LP comp of Hank Williams’ great hits titled, The Great Hits of Hank Williams. As a member of both the Country Music and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, Mr. Williams remains as influential a songwriter and musician as any other single titled artist. Cash is classic, Dylan is decent, but Williams will forever be without end.

RIP Hiram King Williams, Sr.

Country Bo

BoThe law might get ‘em, then again the law might not get ‘em too! I must admit, that the motivation behind the inclusion of John Schneider and Tom Wopat’s pop-country work into the fold (Bo and Luke Duke respectively), is purely, and without shameful hesitation, based solely upon their prominent involvement with The Dukes of Hazzard.

That being said, it’s about hot damn time for the yearly Dukes of Hazzard marathon. (More of a reminder for me, than anything else… let’s be honest.) Pour yourself a hefty cup of bootlegged moonshine, weld the doors of your mound-jumping coupe, and pray to the heavens that Rosco Purvis Coltrane isn’t hot on your daisy dukes.

#gewgewgew

The Brothers Statler

BrosCountry (music), as a whole, is a disease with which one should attempt to avoid at all costs. This is, by and large, the general rule… obviously. BUT, as with any and every rule, there are exceptions. Cash, Nelson, Haggard, Williams, Robbins, and Statler, to name a small few, are tonight’s exception.

The Brothers Statler ride that fine line between punny and clever, while simultaneously offering glass-cutting vocal precision, and unforgettable, catchy, wholesome melodies. A time machine with one destination (my grandparent’s living room via the WXRO, rural radio at its best), the weighted power behind these ancient voices gives life to a fleeting memory that was all but taken for granted (at the time), and is nourished and cherished throughout these nostalgic, lamenting days.

As much as one would like, the personal past, and the nonchalant sounds within, cannot be forgotten.

Waylon Live

WaylonOk, so I’ll admit, my bashful affection towards classic country is something I’d normally stutter to admit to, but its presence, recently, has weaseled its (normally) unwelcomed way into my carefree, pleasure-driving (to and from work) odyssey.

Waylon, Willie, Johnny, and Hank (and / or Hank III) will always remain as the synonymous black sheep of my collection, and sometimes, and this is usually accompanied by a period of severe exhaustion, the shepherd needs to stray away from the neatly aligned flock to comfortably align himself (or herself) with the fresh smelling nature of tainted familiarity.

Waylon Jennings, one of the Good ol’ Boys, never meant no harm, and like with all goodhearted thieves and murderers, may very will find themselves in a predicament where the law might get ‘em, then again, the law might not get ‘em too.

Country Mike’s Greatest Hits

Country Mike1 part country to 2 parts not-too-serious fun, Country Mike’s Greatest Hits is yet another prime example of how the Beastie Boys could, and did play and release just about any genre of music.

What was, I believe, originally given out to family and friends of the band as holiday gifts back in 2000, has since been booted and currently brushes sleeves with the Scientists of Sound – The Blow Up Factor 12” and the Mickey Finn remix of Body Movin’ on my record shelf.

Country Mike Has Your Back, SonIs this album good? Define good. Okay… would you compare it to say, the likes of The Man in Black, or Willie Nelson? Absolutely not. Is it country? Yes… but with a DJ and plenty of scratching. Okay… Would you recommend it to someone with an open mind who enjoys discovering new music whether or not the Beastie Boys are necessarily his or her thing? Wholeheartedly and without question.

Country Moog Music

Nashville Gold CoverQuestion: What do you get when you maliciously combine Country Music with the Moog synthesizer? Answer: An 8-bit Nintendo sounding, country groovefest titled, Nashville Gold.

“The combination of country music and the Moog brings it all together with a “Now” sound that will hold up for a long time to come.” Betsy Rothner knew this, and now, so do you. Gil Trythall, the brilliant mastermind behind this gap-filling, genre-breaking, crossover album “was born in Tennessee and still lives there with his Moog and some other people.” I hope Mr. Trythall’s Moog is paying its fair share of the bills or those “other people” might start to get uppity and turn Tennessee into a flour spilling, brick breaking riot fest (reference to the album cover).

Nashville Gold Back“Mister, I says, this here’s a cotton-pickin’, finger-lickin’, barbecued, 110 volt, Nashville Moog.” – Gil Trythall on Nashville Moog.

I have no Earthly idea where I got this album, or why it exists to begin with, but somebody, somewhere in time thought they’d jump on the Walter/Wendy Carlos inspired Switched On bandwagon and capitalize on the 15 minute frenzy. This is NOT an album you’d simply throw on in the background at your next, vegetarian dinner party. This is niche music with a demographic consisting only of Gil Trythall’s roommates… the illusive “other people.”

Slim’s Got His Eye On You

The Wandering EyeIt isn’t the warm, southern drawl of ‘Slim’ Boyd as he tackles 10 of Hank Williams’ finest that demands immediate and time-sucking attention. Slim’s 25mph approach on this tribute album doesn’t wander into any slippery or explosive territory, but the album cover certainly suggests otherwise.

Possessing no shame, remorse, or any qualities that make an upstart gentleman, ‘Slim” Boyd goes for broke… if only in his mind. You’re going to need to, um, read between the “lines” here. Take a look at the cover again. What EXACTLY is hound dog Slim looking at? Slim at His Finest

SmirkIf you’re on the fence, or think my observations are overreaching, I humbly suggest you take a stroll over to the smirk on good ol’ Slim’s face.

Hank Williams is dead. Yes, but his music will forever live on through the wandering, able-minded, and easily distracted ‘Slim’ Boyd.

Free Fact-Packed Book

Cert BackMarketing records can be an embarrassingly hilarious industry. From the album cover, to a free book on The Wonderful World of Country Music used as incentive for consumers to purchase and collect 5 insert certificates, it seems as though Time Life Records in 1981 would go to great lengths to confirm the sales of their Country Music series. Such a clever title for a series, don’t you think?

Let’s take a look at the top selling points for The Wonderful World of Country Music, shall we? I mean, if I’m going to hunt down four more albums in the Country Music series in order to get this “free” book, I’m going to want to know what I’m in for, right?

Cert FrontFirst off, it’s a “big” book. This certificate was nice enough to offer the book’s dimensions (8-1/4” x 10-3/4”). Second, it contains 240 pages and the biographies of more than 150 stars! ARE there 150 stars in country music? And I’m talking about the GOOD country music here. Maybe that “150 stars” thing was a typo and they meant the “15 stars.” That makes more sense. Third, this book contains the history of the Grand Ole Opry. Alright… any country music lover worth their weight in Hee Haw one-liners NEEDS the history of the Grand Ole Opry. Forth, you get an intimate glimpse into the astrological future of your favorite 15 stars by the horoscopes offered in this monumental book, and finally, “bluegrass, outlaw, oldtime.” I’ve got to admit, I have no idea what the hell that means. Perhaps the book touches on these off-shoots of Country music? Yeah, no idea.

I’ve got to say, I’m not entirely sold on this ploy, but a quick ebay search yields five The Wonderful World of Country Music auctions currently underway. So, at one time, somebody found these selling points irresistible… but the novelty must have worn off because now the book can be had for only $4.74. Tempting…

Barbi Mandrell