Sing the Big Hits was The Statler Brothers’ 2nd studio album, released in 1967, and it contains two tracks that would make their 1972 double LP compilation album, The World of the Statler Brothers, with Ruthless, a fun play on words track about a former lover, Ruth, no longer being around, and another playful tongue-twister, You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith, Too. Flowers on the Wall, the band’s first album, still remains no. 1 on my “to-get” list, but I’ll enjoy their sophomore effort in the meantime.
I’ve been going back and forth between these two albums over the past few days. They couldn’t be any more different in style, but they both hold important positions in my personal history. One one hand, you’ve got White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean (not the original title… this is the PG version) which takes me back to my high school years, and The Best of the Statler Brothers, which takes me back even further to my adolescent years. “Going back” is the theme, I suppose, and both are adequate vehicles by which to travel. It’s good to have options, I suppose.
Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger
George Thorogood & the Destroyers – More George Thorogood & the Destroyers
Minutemen – The Punch Line
The Statler Brothers – The Best of the Statler Brothers
Tim Hardin – This is Tim Hardin (mono)d
Underworld – MMM Skyscraper, I Love You
I’ve been an avid listener of The Statler Brothers, long before I knew who they were. WXRO, Dodge County’s home to early 80s country (my grandparents’ favorite channel), blew out boom-chicka tune after boom-chicka tune of earnest, earworm, country ballads. Often heard filling the warm, rural walls of the busy farm house were the elegant harmonies of this magnificent quartet. Listening to them now takes me back to a much more simple time. One filled with Miller Lite pull tabs, and hornet infested tire swings.
Country (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.
Well, it’s December 15th, and with only 10 days until “the big one,” we’ll only have to drudge through only two more Christmas themed audio posts. Check out today’s tracklist:
1. The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
2. The Chinkees – Christmas
3. The Flaming Lips – Christmas at the Zoo
4. The Promise Ring – Holiday Adam
5. Clifton Chenier – It’s Christmas Time
6. Lou Rawls – Merry Christmas, Baby
7. Sammy Davis Jr. – Christmas Time All Over the World
8. The Statler Brothers – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
All this Christmas music is starting to get to me… light at the end of the holiday tunnel.. HURRY UP AND GET HERE!