Sherwin Linton is one of the great champions of locals-only Midwestern country music... Sure, he did his time in Nashville, earning some success in the early '70s, but Linton's real legacy is as a regional bandleader with a career that spans across seven decades. Like many country singers, Linton started out as a rocker, fronting his first rockabilly band in 1956 while still a teenager in South Dakota. For a while he was based in Minneapolis but after moving to Nashville in the '60s, he returned to South Dakota where he's fostered the careers of countless local country artists while touring and recording tirelessly for years. Here's a quick look at his work...
Sherwin Linton "1966-1975: Great Years, Great Songs" (Black Gold, 2006)
Sherwin Linton "...And The Fender Benders" (Smigar, 1963-ish)
Formed in 1959, the original Fender Benders featured Sherwin Linton and singer-guitarist Bob Trebus, who met while workin in the same Minneapolis-area factory...
Sherwin Linton "...And The Cotton Kings" (Re-Car, 1968)
A fun record, with plenty of uptempo, thumpy, robust hard-country tunes, very much influenced by Buck Owens and the muscular West Coast sound of the 'Sixties. The band was a "trio" filled out with various side artists, with Linton on guitar, Bob Trebus on guitar and bass, and newcomer Arlon Austin on banjo and drums. They're joined by singer Georgeanne Thorne and her sister Mary, as well as old-timer Marvin Rainwater, who was pals with Linton and adds piano and organ accompaniment on this album. The set list is pure twang, with couple tunes each from Buck Owens and George Jones, and covers of contemporary hits such as Johnny Rivers' "Memphis," Del Reeves' "Girl On The Billboard" and Little Jimmy Dickens' "Bird Of Paradise," and even a cover of Dylan's "Girl From The North County" which may have preceded the Johnny Cash version. There are also a few sizzling instrumentals with imaginative reimaginings of some old classics, as when Austin rearranges the western swing oldie "Silver Bells" into a banjo tune, and Linton plays "Orange Blossom Special" on electric guitar. All in all, a fast-paced, rugged record with an uncomplicated good-time vibe.
Sherwin Linton "My Kind Of Song" (Black Gold, 1969)
Sherwin Linton "Hello, I'm Not Johnny Cash" (Black Gold, 1971)
Sherwin Linton "Dusty Roads And Prairie Towns" (ASI, 1975)
Sherwin Linton "Christmas Memories" (Breaker, 1986)
A holiday album that includes the song, "Santa Got A DWI."
Sherwin Linton "Driftwood On The River" (Black Gold, 1996)
Sherwin Linton "Heartland Centennial" (Black Gold)
Sherwin Linton "It Happened In America" (Black Gold, 2000)
Sherwin Linton & Pam Linton "Driftwood On The River: A Tribute To Jimmy Driftwood" (Black Gold)
Sherwin Linton & Pam Linton "In A Nineteenth Century Lifetime" (Black Gold)
Sherwin Linton "Hillbilly Heaven" (Black Gold, 2011)
Hick Music Index