Bobby Lewis portrait Not to be confused with the early '60s R&B singer, country music's Bobby Lewis was a Nashville Sound-era also-ran, an artist whose 1966 chart debut, "How Long Has It Been," proved to be his biggest hit. Can't say I'm much of a fan, but Lewis was a notable presence in late '60s country.

Discography - Best-Ofs

Bobby Lewis "The Best Of Bobby Lewis" (United Artists, 1970) (LP)

Discography - Albums

Bobby Lewis "Little Man With The Big Heart" (United Artists, 1966) (LP)

Bobby Lewis "How Long Has It Been" (United Artists, 1967) (LP)

Bobby Lewis "A World Of Love" (United Artists, 1967) (LP)

Bobby Lewis "An Ordinary Miracle" (United Artists, 1968) (LP)
(Produced by Bob Montgomery)

Wanna hear someone take a great song and totally suck the life out of it? Bobby Lewis is your man: check out his amazingly inert rendition of "Before The Next Teardrop Falls." Oh, Freddy Fender, please hurry up and get famous! I suppose you could class Bobby Lewis as a country crooner along the lines of Bill Anderson, but where Anderson concentrates on feeling and understatement, Lewis is all technique, but no emotional charge. He's more pop vocals, if you ask me, but it was the country charts where he found his home. Go figure. Anyway, this album is innocuous but unmoving -- nothing here that I would come back to recreationally, not even in a guilty pleasure kind of way.

Bobby Lewis "From Heaven To Heartache" (United Artists, 1968) (LP)

Bobby Lewis "Things For You And I" (United Artists, 1969) (LP)
(Produced by Bob Montgomery)

The longer he recorded, the less country he got... This album is firmly rooted in pop vocals, more specifically in the kind of Brill Building teen-pop of the pre-Beatles era of the Neil Sedaka/Bobby Darin/Gene Pitney light-voiced male vocals camp. Didn't do much for me.

Bobby Lewis "Too Many Memories" (Ace Of Hearts, 1973) (LP)
(Produced by Earl Richards)

Although he fell off the radar for a few years, Lewis returned on a high note with this indie-released album... It's unfortunate that the liner notes didn't list the studio musicians on these sessions, since (whoever they were) they really did a fine job -- some great steel playing, a lot of that early-'70s sitar-like lead guitar and -- of course -- plenty of orchestral arrangements. The songlist includes some interesting tunes, such as the uptempo opening track, "Memories Of Tulsa," and folk-country ballads like "Hitchin' Rides To Memories In My Mind," one of two songs on here by Lionel Delmore. The other, "The Ways Of A Country Girl" is a benignly sexist anthem that would make a fine segue with Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man," all about how the hard-working farmer's wife keeps her man at home by keeping him happy, and the lyrics cheerfully list all the housework she does as proof of her "good girl" status. Lewis himself has composer credits on several songs, and some of these are fairly dreary, though for the most part, this album is worth checking out, a strong effort by a Nashville second-stringer doing his best to make a comeback. The title track was his highest-charting single of the last half of his career, hitting #21 on Billboard -- every single after that charted lower. There was also a single on the short-lived Ace Of Hearts label that came out before this album, "Here With You," but that song wasn't included here.

Bobby Lewis "Portrait In Love" (RPA, 1976) (LP)

Bobby Lewis "Soul Full Of Music" (RPA, 1977) (LP)

Bobby Lewis "Then And Now: New Recordings" (Heart Of Texas, 2011)


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