Although she'd been kicking around the Nashville country scene for most of the 1950s, singer Sue Thompson hit the bigtime in the early '60s as a girl-groupish pop singer on Roy Acuff's Hickory Records label... She had a lot of crossover success, but her sound was very "pop", although she shifted again back to a more country sound. In the early '70s she had a string of successful duets with Nashville star Don Gibson, but quit recording by the middle of the decade. Here's a quick look at her work...
Sue Thompson "Greatest Hits" (Curb, 1991)
Even though she was nominally a "country" artist, the squeeky-voiced Sue Thompson was really much more in a teen pop and girl group singer, whose work in the early 1960s skirted the edges of rock'n'roll and pop, very much modeled after Brenda Lee and her highly successful crossover formula. For fans of the style, Thompson's early singles offer a swell "new" set of teenpop tunes outside the usual Brill Building standards by Carole King and her pals. John D. Loudermilk wrote most of these tunes, which were recorded for the independent Hickory label, and they are actually pretty fun to listen to. Not very country, but fun. This disc also includes a few later (early '70s) singles such as "Big Mable Murphy," a uniquely unamusing Dallas Frazier ditty about a big, big woman who constantly beats up her little, little man. (Domestic abuse in reverse... ho, ho, ho. How funny.) Still, a nice, quick 12-song overview of an interesting pop-country career.
Sue Thompson "Golden Classics" (Collectables, 1995)
This disc concentrates more exclusively on Thompson's early 1960s work on the Hickory label, with plenty of great girl-groupish tunes written for her by John D. Loudermilk. The tighter focus, and more generous heaping helping of songs (eighteen total) may make this a better buy for those interested in her pop career.
Sue Thompson "The Very Best Of Sue Thompson" (Varese Sarabande, 2003)
A far superior collection, highlighting Thompson at her poppy, chirpy best. This collection, an update of an earlier Varese release, really gives a full sense of her career, and has lots of great material on it, including a handful of her '70s duets with crooner Don Gibson. Again, this is better suited for folks more into girl group pop than actual country music, but the Nashville influence is there as well. Recommended!
Sue Thompson "Angels Cry" (BACM, 2005)
Her early work is heard on this archival set -- a hefty chunk of Thompson's 1950-54 recordings made for the Mercury label... Some of this was reissued on the 1966 LP, The Country Side Of Sue Thompson (see below) but this disc has about twice as many tracks, showing the depths of Ms. Thompson's country roots. (Available through the British Archive of Country Music specialty label. Note: they use some sort of funky, black plastic European CDR, but the music is pretty fab, so you'll have to weigh the relative merits...)
Sue Thompson "Suzie -- The Hickory Anthology: 1961-1965" (Ace, 2004)
Probably the strongest -- and certainly the most generously programmed collection of her early '60s pop recordings... Over two dozen tracks, covering her Hickory hits, right up through the 1965 Paper Tiger album. Recommended!
Sue Thompson "Meet Sue Thompson" (Hickory, 1961)
Sue Thompson "Two Of A Kind" (Hickory, 1962)
Sue Thompson "Golden Hits" (Hickory, 1963)
Sue Thompson "Paper Tiger" (Hickory, 1965) (LP)
Sue Thompson "...With Strings Attached" (Hickory, 1966)
Sue Thompson "The Country Side Of Sue Thompson" (Mercury Wing, 1966) (LP)
Sue Thompson "This Is Sue Thompson Country" (Hickory, 1969) (LP)
Sue Thompson & Don Gibson "The Two Of Us Together" (Hickory, 1972) (LP)
Sue Thompson "Sweet Memories" (MGM-Hickory, 1974) (LP)
Sue Thompson "...And Love Me" (MGM-Hickory, 1974) (LP)
Sue Thompson & Don Gibson "Oh How Love Changes" (MGM-Hickory, 1975) (LP)
Sue Thompson "Big Mable Murphy" (MGM-Hickory, 1975) (LP)
Hick Music Index