Texas singer Dale McBride was part of the final flourish of country indies during the 1970s... He played in various honkytonk and rockabilly bands during the 1950s and '60s, but his first charting single, "Corpus Christi Wind," didn't come until 1971. It was strictly a Back Forty song, but good enough to give him a successful regional career and propel him through a decade-long string of modest chart hits, including two Top 40 entries. He was also the father of Terry McBride, who formed the successful 1990's band, McBride & The Ride. Here's a quick look at his work...
Dale McBride "The Dale McBride Collection" (Con Brio/GMV Nashville, 1992/2007)
This best-of set collects most (but not all) of his singles from the late '70s, when he was on the independent Con Brio label, though not his earlier work, or his first Con Brio single, "Getting Over You Again," which was released twice in the old days, but for some reason didn't make the cut for this collection. Anyway, if you're interested in off-the-radar country mavericks, this is worth checking out. Although he had a rough side, McBride had his sights set on the charts, and a lot of this is softer, countrypolitan-style material, with an unpolished, DIY feel. Originally released after McBride's death in 1992, this was apparently remastered when reissued digtally -- I haven't heard both versions, so I don't know how much difference there is between the two.
Dale McBride "...Sings I Can't Ever Free My Mind And Am I Easy To Forget" (Teardrop, 1964)
Dale McBride "The Shadow Of Your Smile" (Atom, 1967)
(Produced by Elad Productions)
Dale McBride "My Kind Of Country" (Thunderbird, 1972) (LP)
(Produced by Dale McBride & Phil York)
This self-released album shows McBride mostly trying to play the countrypolitan game, with gentle-on-your-mind covers of hits of the day such as "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and "Is Anybody Going To San Antone," as well as oldies like Marty Robbins' "My Woman, My Lover, My Wife" and "Night Train To Memphis." All the cover songs are okay performances, but hardly distinctive showcases for his talent. More rewarding are the four original songs, including McBride's first charting single, "Corpus Christ Wind," as well as "Lusk, Wyoming," "Guess You've Made Your Mind Up" and "Levy's Point," a cheerful tribute to a local honktonk bar. It's all strictly Back Forty material, but the album was successful enough to give him a regional career and propel him through a decade-long string of modest chart hits, including two Top 40 entries. Unfortunately, the session musicians are uncredited.
Dale McBride "Live" (WM, 1973) (LP)
Dale McBride "Hey! Won't You Play" (WM Records, 1975)
Dale McBride "The Ordinary Man Album" (Con Brio, 1977) (LP)
(Produced by Bill Walker)
A nice indie album, blending honkytonk roots with dreams of countrypolitan hits. Most of the material is softer, poppier stuff, but there are two great uptempo honkytonkers, including Eddie Rabbitt's "Getting Over You Again," which shows McBride's Texas barroom roots. The title track, "Ordinary Man," was McBride's biggest hit, peaking at #26 -- it's an endearing novelty tune making fun of the idealized imagery of guys in country music songs as either super-studly, Stetson-wearing ladies men or heavy-drinking roughnecks; the guy singing this song is a stay-at-home husband who just likes to hear a little twang in his music, but can't identify with cheaters and cowboys. The album's overall twang factor is greatly aided by the crisp, concise twang of steel player Hal Rugg, who was part of the Grand Ole Opry house band at the time; producer/arranger Bill Walker also plays piano on all the tracks.
Dale McBride "Let's Be Lonely Together" (Con Brio, 1978) (LP)
(Produced by Bill Walker)
A much softer, more Nashville-sounding set, with a lot of usual-suspect studio pickers providing poppy, '70s-style backup. A little Texas twang still comes through, but not much. Still, McBride's got enough innate rootsiness that even with prefab production, he sounds pretty soulful... If you like Ed Bruce or Gene Watson, you'll probably enjoy this as well.
Dale McBride "A New Song To Sing" (WMI, 1981)
A gospel album...
Dale McBride "So Let It Shine, Let It Shine" (WMI, 1982) (LP)
Another gospel album...
Dale McBride "Waking Up In The USA" (Concorde, 1987)
Dale McBride "Takin' A Long Look" (GMV Nashville, 2008)
Hick Music Index