Singer Jack Greene (1930-2013) was a popular Nashville star of the 1960s and early '70s, best known for the sweeping countrypolitan ballad, "There Goes My Everything," which topped the charts in 1966. Before emerging as a solo star, Greene was a key member of Ernest Tubb's hard-working band, the Texas Troubadours, playing drums and guitar in the group throughout the early '60s. Greene is also known for a series of successful singles and duet albums with singer Jeannie Seely. Here's a quick look at his work...
Jack Greene "The Jolly Green Giant" (Edsel, 1997)
A fine set of original Decca label recordings from country crooner Jack Greene, a big, tall fella who worked as Ernest Tubb's bandleader and featured vocalist in the early 1960s. He went solo mid-decade after his recording of "The Last Letter" got plucked off an ET album and released as a single. The rest of the decade was good for Greene, with numerous Top Ten hits to follow. This generously-programmed best-of collection includes most of his major hits (a couple are missing) and will be sure to tickle the fancy of fans of old-school Nashville country-pop. Although Greene was an adequate country singer, his work reflects the countrypolitan vibe of the time, and there are plenty of goofy pop moments that can serve as object lessons to us today. (The marimba on "Statue Of A Fool," the overly-eggheady fancy-pants poetical lyrics on oh-so-many songs, the outright simpering on his sensitive-guy vocals on "Wish I didn't have to miss you," one of several duets with Jeannie Seely that make this disc particularly noteworthy...) Still, on the more robust honkytonk numbers --such as they are -- Greene really shines. "There's A Whole Lot About A Man," "Ever Since My Baby Went Away," the blithe, breezy misogyny of "Makin' Up His Mind," the unfettered horniness of "I Need Somebody Bad" -- these are great old tunes, even if a bunch of the other songs are pretty iffy. Like many best-of sets, this focusses on the hits and neglects some of the rootsier material that could be found on Greene's old albums. Still, all in all, it's a great collection, certainly worth tracking down if you're a fan, or even if you're just mining into the old country sounds.
Jack Greene "The Best Of Jack Greene" (K-Tel, 1979/2005)
Re-recorded versions of Greene's old hits...
Jack Greene "Best Of The Best" (Gusto, 2008)
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely "Greatest Hits" (Hollywood, 1986)
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely "20 All Time Greatest Hits" (Tee-Vee, 2003)
Apparently these are re-recorded versions of their old hits, duets and songs from each singer's career from the 1970s... Not sure when these recordings were made, but it's marginal material, at best.
Jack Greene "There Goes My Everything" (Decca, 1966) (LP)
Jack Greene "All The Time" (Decca, 1967) (LP)
Jack Greene "What Locks The Door" (Decca, 1967) (LP)
Jack Greene "You Are My Treasure" (Decca, 1968) (LP)
Jack Greene "Love Takes Care Of Me" (Decca, 1968) (LP)
Jack Greene "I Am Not Alone" (Decca, 1968) (LP)
A gospel album...
Jack Greene "Until My Dreams Come True" (Decca, 1969) (LP)
Jack Greene "Statue Of A Fool" (Decca, 1969) (LP)
Jack Greene "Back In The Arms Of Love" (Decca, 1969) (LP)
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely "Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely" (Decca, 1970) (LP)
Jack Greene "Lord Is That Me" (Decca, 1970) (LP)
Jack Greene "Greatest Hits" (Decca, 1970) (LP)
Jack Greene "There's A Whole Lot About A Woman A Man Don't Know" (Decca, 1971) (LP)
This is pretty late in the game, but he manages to deliver a couple of decent honky tonk flavored songs, amid the softer vocal numbers. The title track is a highlight, an early Gary Stewart song about forgiving wayward girlfriends with unladylike pasts, just a tad bit sexist but it has a nice, loping shuffle beat, and the band sounds great. Also noteworthy in the songwriting department is "Making Up His Mind," by Paul Craft. Most of Side One is pretty wimpy, with Greene getting into a Roy Orbison mood on a tune or two, although Side Two has a bit more twang. Not an amazing record, but good for the times - solid early '70s country with one foot still in the older honkytonk tradition, the other in the slightly newer Nashville Sound style, and crooner Greene still not ready for the flowery countrypolitan production that was taking over Nashville. Worth giving a spin.
Jack Greene "Greene Country" (Decca, 1971) (LP)
Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely "Two For The Show" (Decca, 1973) (LP)
Jack Greene "Yours For The Taking" (Firstline, 1980) (LP)
Jack Greene "Miss Emily's Picture" (51 West, 1983)
Jack Greene "He Is My Everything" (Step One, 1991)
A gospel album...
Jack Greene "Highway To The Sky" (Step One, 1995)
Jack Greene "Precious Memories, Treasured Friends" (Pretty World, 2010)
Hick Music Index