Donna Fargo portrait A breakthrough star of the early '70s countrypolitan scene, Donna Fargo traveled much the same terrain as Loretta Lynn before her -- domestic scenes painted from a woman's viewpoint -- but she had a decisively perkier, poppier, bubblier musical slant. Her earliest hits were her biggest, and her best, the bubblegummy "Funny Face" and "The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA," which were monster Pop and Country hits in the early part of the decade. Fargo returned to the formula frequently over the years, but with diminishing success, and she was just as prone to lofty, syrupy ballads, replete with vast back-up choruses and tinny string sections to back her up. Sure, it was kinda predictable and formulaic, but while the formula worked, it was pretty darn cool.





Discography: CDs

Donna Fargo "All-Time Greatest Hits" (K-Tel, 1983)


Donna Fargo "The Best Of Donna Fargo" (MCA/Varese Sarabande, 1995)
To date, this is the best Donna Fargo collection out there... This disc covers her peak years on the Dot and ABC labels, from 1972-76, and one notable feature is how much of her material Fargo wrote herself -- two-thirds of the songs on here are Fargo originals. For all her best early hits, this is the disc to shoot for...


Donna Fargo "The Best Of Donna Fargo" (Curb, 1997)
This disc picks up where the Best Of set above left off, starting out with her two biggest hits on MCA ("Funny Face" and "Happiest Girl") then zipping into eight tracks taken from her late '70s stint on Warner Brothers... Pretty saccharine, overall, but worth checking out.. Only two songs overlap with the two MCA collections listed here.


Donna Fargo "The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A." (Universal Special Products, 1998)


Donna Fargo "The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Donna Fargo" (MCA, 2002)
A decent retrospective that leaves out some of her old hits... All the songs on here were also on the Varese Sarabande collection (which is about twice as long. Included are hits like "Funny Face," "Happiest Girl" and "Superman," as well as several less well-remembered chart entries... However this set omits fan favorites such as "Manhattan, Kansas," "What Will The New Year Bring" and "Whatever I Say," so it's less enticing to Fargo devotees... But for a quick, cheap look at her career, this disc's okay. Only two tracks overlap with the collection on Curb.




Career Albums

Donna Fargo "The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA" (MCA/Dot, 1972)


Donna Fargo "My Second Album" (MCA/Dot, 1973)


Donna Fargo "All About A Feeling" (MCA/Dot, 1973)


Donna Fargo "Miss Donna Fargo" (MCA/Dot, 1974)
Includes her wonderfully poppy stealth-gospel song, "You Can't Be A Beacon (If Your Light Don't Shine)," a late chart entry that's also made it onto her CD-era best-of sets.


Donna Fargo "Whatever I Say Means I Love You" (MCA/Dot, 1975)


Donna Fargo "The Best Of Donna Fargo" (MCA/Dot, 1977)


Donna Fargo "Superman" (Dot/Hilltop, 1977)


Donna Fargo "On The Move" (Warner Brothers, 1976)


Donna Fargo "Fargo Country" (Warner Brothers, 1977)


Donna Fargo "Shame On Me" (Warner Brothers, 1977)


Donna Fargo "Dark Eyed Lady" (Warner Brothers, 1978)


Donna Fargo "Just For You" (Warner Brothers, 1979)


Donna Fargo "Fargo" (Warner Brothers, 1980)


Donna Fargo "Brotherly Love" (Songbird, 1981)
A gospel offering that includes "You Can't Be A Beacon," along with tunes such "I Knew Jesus Before He Was A Star" and more tradtional material like "Amazing Grace."


Donna Fargo "Donna Fargo" (RCA, 1983)


Donna Fargo "Encore" (Odyssey/51 West, 1984)
Cover versions of other people's hits, including a hefty dose of disco-era AOR: "You Needed Me," "I Honestly Love You," "Just When I Needed You The Most," "The Rose..." and a few country tunes as well, such as "The Y'all Come Back Saloon," and Rodney Crowell's " 'Til I Can Gain Control Again." Sounds kinda scary.


Donna Fargo "Winners" (Mercury, 1986)
A best-of set... But something tells me these may be re-recorded versions...




Links

Donna Fargo's website has some good info, as does the ever-present Wikipedia




Hick Music Index



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