-- DJ Joe Sixpack's Guide To Hick Music: The British Archive Of Country Music

The British Archive Of Country Music is an amazing consortium of uber-collectors with a deep archive of classic cowboy songs, honky-tonk, western swing, old-timey music and folk. Based in the United Kingdom, the BACM offers an amazing array of historical resources, not the least of which is its steadily growing catalog of CD-R reissues of rare, obscure, fabulous country music from decades gone by. The presentation style might not be for everyone -- B.A.C.M. uses a peculiar type of CD-R with an all-black surface that looks freaky, but plays fine on most CD and CD-ROM drives; likewise, their graphics are simple color laser-prints with modest but well-informed liner notes. It's the music that counts: B.A.C.M. puts out first-rate collections of little-known artists, and when their interests overlap with other labels such as Bear Family, et. al., there is very little overlap on the songs themselves. This Archive runs deep and pulls out some really great, really obscure gems.

Here is an alphabetical list of some of the CDs currently out on the B.A.C.M. label, with comments about ones that I've heard. All of these albums are available directly through the BACM website and perhaps through specialty stores and distributors such as Down Home Music or Roots & Rhythm. If you're a hardcore hard country music fan, you'll definitely want to check this stuff out!

Roy Acuff "In The Shadow Of The Smokies" (BACM, 2005)

Jules Allen "The Singing Cowboy: Complete Recordings 1928-1929" (BACM, 2009)

Rex Allen "The Arizona Cowboy" (BACM, 2005)

Rex Allen "Song Of The Hills" (BACM, 2005)

Rex Allen "The Voice Of The West" (BACM, 2005)

Rex Allen "Sky Boss" (BACM, 2005)

Rosalie Allen "Jealous Heart" (BACM, 2005)
A great set of classic country and yodeling/western material, drawing on two main sources. The first half of the disc is a reissue of a 1955 LP recorded with a fella named Shorty Warren, whose band, The Western Rangers, had some good, hot pickers, including some amplified guitar work that show debts to Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. Allen rolls through a set of old country standards -- "Jealous Heart," "Tennessee Waltz," "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," etc. -- and shows the confidence and power to front a band with a big sound. Some of the poppier arrangements get a little trite, but others are quite robust... and of course Allen cuts loose with some fine yodeling, notably on a new version of "He Taught Me How To Yodel." The second half of the set gathers together about a dozen singles that Allen recorded for RCA between 1945-53, and also balances elements of pop vocals and straightahead country stuff. One thing that came through on this set that I hadn't heard before: Allen's vocal similarities to '60s siren Skeeter Davis. Hmmmmm. Very interesting. Anyway, this is a killer collection -- for anyone looking into the history of women in country music, this is a clear must-have.

Bob Atcher "Hunters Of Kentucky" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "Hold On Little Dogies, Hold On" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "We've Come a Long Way Together" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "Rollin' Along: 1947-1952" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "Goodbye Pinto" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "Little Farm Home: 1930-1939" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "Texas Blues: Early Rare Recordings" (BACM, 2005)

Gene Autry "A Cowboy's Serenade" (BACM, 2005)

Eldon Baker "...And The Brown County Revelers" (BACM, 2005)
Zippy Southern nostalgia songs, given a jazzy, swingin' update. This disc opens on an unfortunate note, with the minstrel-icious, retrograde "Come Along Down To The Old Plantation" (which extols the happy darkies dancing down South... yikes...) but soon moves on to less controversial material. Once you get to the straight-ahead hot country-swing tunes, you'll be won over. There's some sizzling hot, chunky fiddle playing and dazzling acoustic guitar leads, much of it clearly influenced by Django Rinehardt's gypsy jazz style. The gallumphing rhythm and rural repertoire remind me of Wayne Raney's hillbilly boogie recordings -- which came a decade later -- there are also some slower gospel harmony numbers, but mostly this is uptempo and very hip. Most of the recordings come from two session in June, 1938 although about half these tracks were left unissued at the time, due to contractual problems with the radio station they worked for... This is topped off with a few stray singles from '45 and '52 that feature Eldon Baker's brother, singer Wade Baker and guitarist Harry Adams, who were both members of the Revelers band in the 'Thirties... It's great stuff, totally awesome!

(The Original) Beverly Hillbillies "The Original Beverly Hillbillies" (BACM, 2005)

(Ezra And His) Beverly Hillbillies "Ezra And His Beverly Hill Billies" (BACM, 2005)

Dock Boggs & Emry Arthur "Dock Boggs & Emry Arthur" (BACM, 2009)
Solo recordings from two old-timey artists in their prime... I think this is a split CD, not a collaborative set.

Johnny Bond "The Clouds Will Soon Roll By" (BACM, 2005)

Bonnie Lou "Danger! Heartbreak Ahead" (BACM, 2005)

Bill Boyd "Swinging & Singing" (BACM, 2005)

Elton Britt "Sings Jackass Blues And Other Country Songs" (BACM, 2005)
Also with Rosalie Allen...

Elton Britt "Early Recordings: 1933-1937" (BACM, 2005)

Harry C. Browne "Early Minstrel Songs" (BACM, 2005)

The Browns "Bonnie, Jim Ed & Maxine" (BACM, 2005)

Hoyt 'Slim' Bryant "...And His Wildcats" (BACM, 2006)
Mellow, jovial cowpoke oldies, heartsongs and sentimental tunes, and swell novleties such as "Nag Oh Nag Oh Nag" and "I'm A Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch..." Bryant was a Southern boy who built up his base in Pittsburgh and became a regional star in and around Pennsylvania, although he never quite cracked into the national market. Nonetheless, he was an influential performer, particularly as a guitarist -- his single-note lead guitar riffs (and accompanying fills during the rest of the song) were said to be a big influence on a young Les Paul, and were a big break from the normal rhythm-oriented role that guitars traditionally held in country music. These radio transcription recordings, made for NBC's Thesaurus imprint, showcase Bryant's guitar playing as well as his warm personality and notably relaxed, relaxing vibe. The sound quality's good, and the musicianship is tops. Definitely worth checking out!

Hoyt 'Slim' Bryant "...And His Wildcats, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Hoyt 'Slim' Bryant "...And His Wildcats, v.3" (BACM, 2005)

Smiley Burnette "Country Songs & Comic Cuts" (BACM, 2005)

Buz Butler "Money Ain't Everything" (BACM, 2006)
Gangly, gallumphing, old-school hillbilly novelty songs with a healthy dose of honkytonk... I wouldn't say that Butler, a fella from South Carolina who recorded about two dozen tracks in the late 1940s and early '50s, was the world's greatest singer, but this is some lively, fun comedic material, and his band was good and twangy. Butler's great claim to fame was that he recorded the original version of "Mule Train," and while others took the song to the top of the charts, his initial recording is pretty fun. Some songs are more strained, such as the goofy "Rubber Ball Bounce" -- there's also a fair chunk of folk-ish material such as "Gambling Fool" that sort puts him in the same territory as later singers such as Rusty Draper and Paul Evans. Still, there's enough grit and twang here to be of interest to hard country fans, even if the vocals are a bit clunky. Certainly worth checking out, especially if you have a weak spot for novelty songs.

Big Bill Campbell "Rocky Mountain Rhythm" (BACM, 2005)

Big Bill Campbell "Rocky Mountain Rhythm, v.2: Mighty Fine" (BACM, 2005)

Captain Stubby "...And The Buccaneers" (BACM, 2005)

Bill Carlisle "Duvall County Blues -- Early Recordings: 1933-1939" (BACM, 2005)

Cliff Carlisle "Far Beyond The Starry Sky" (BACM, 2005)

The Carlisles "Tennessee Memories" (BACM, 2006)
More great, crazy hillbilly comedy material. There are a few different ways to go about listening to the Carlisles... Bill Carlisle's family band was one of the most relentlessly novelty-oriented country acts -- ever -- and that's saying a lot. So, you can slot them in the a-little-bit-goes-a-long-way category and delight whenever you hear a real zinger from the Carlisles pop up in a regular set of good, old, classic country. Hearing a song like "Unpucker" or "Teletouch" in the middle of some old hearsongs and boozin' tunes can be a real gas. You can also delve into them as pure corn, although if you're like me you might find it a leetle bit hard to sit through more than a handful of their songs at a time. This is high-quality corn, but the manic intensity of the Carlisle style can wear you down pretty quickly. The third way to appreciate the Carlisles is on a purely musical level... Although the group was a kooky hillbilly comedy act, they also had some pretty sophisticated arrangements: witness the sleek vocal charts on "Goo Goo Da Da," which have an air of uptown pop choruses like the Pied Pipers or the Merry Macs. Anyway, whatever way you respond to the material, the Carlisles were a wild act, one-of-a-kind, kooky, and very good at what they did. This generously programmed disc collects twenty-six vintage tracks from 1951-56, and amazingly enough doesn't overlap with the Bear Family set that came out around the same time. There are definitely some gems here including risque ditties like "Bargain Day, Half Off" and the completely outrageous marital number, "Middle Age Spread," as well as some heartsongs and spiritual numbers. Of special note is their 1955 recording of "Rusty Old Halo," a gospel novelty song later covered by Hoyt Axton. If you like a lot of corn in your diet, here's a bushel of Bill Carlisle and his crew. Tastes mighty fine!

Jenny Lou Carson "The Chin-Up Girl" (BACM, 2007)
One of the most successful songwriters of the WWII era hillbilly scene, Jenny Lou Carson (nee Virginia Lucille Overstake) was also one of the first female country stars. Carson started out in a family trio with two of her sisters, billed as the Overstake Sisters, and as "The Little Country Girls"; she also recorded under the pseudonym of Lucile Lee, and finally as Jenny Lou Carson, the name where she found her greatest fame. Carson wrote numerous hits, including "You Two-Timed Me Once Too Often," "Let Me Go, Lover," and "Don't Rob Another Man's Castle." This disc gathers her recordings as a solo performer, mostly with sentimental songs like "I L-O-V-E You" and "I Feel Like Crying Over You," but also with spicier novelty songs such as "I Married A Mouse Of A Man..." Rare recordings from an artist best remembered as a composer... Nice nostalgic material!

Martha Carson & James Roberts "I'm Gonna Let It Shine" (BACM, 2005)
Old-time gospel favorites from the fabled Martha Carson and her husband James Roberts... These old recordings haven't see the light of day in a long, long time...

Martha Carson "I'll Shout And Shine" (BACM, 2005)

June Carter "Hillbilly Favourites" (BACM, 2009)
Early stuff from back before she met Johnny Cash and when she was still known as a "hillbilly" performer... Unlike her sister Anita, who had perfect pitch, June Carter was (literally) tone deaf, and specialized in uptempo comedic material, where dramatic skill was more important than hitting the right notes. She excelled at it, too, often stealing the show at Carter Family concerts, and landing a solo record deal when she was quite young. This disc gathers lots of rare material, primarily her studio singles from the 1950s, where she was backed by top talent such as Chet Atkins and Homer & Jethro. A little bit goes a long way -- I wouldn't recommended listening to this disc from end to end, but peppering a song or two into a classic country playlist could be a lot of fun. Includes such oddities as ""Crocodile Tears," "Root Hog Or Die," "Left Over Lovin' " and "I Said My Nightshirt And Put On My Prayers." They just don't make 'em like this anymore!

The Carter Sisters & Mother Maybelle "The Complete Original Recordings: 1949-1952" (BACM, 2005)

Claude Casey "The South's Favourite Yodeler" (BACM, 2007)
A great collection of classic country from a little-known South Carolina showman who was a regional star best known for his yodeling abilities and for his love of Bob Wills-ish western swing material. There's not a lot of yodeling on this disc, but there is some lovely swing material, mostly on the mellow side, as well as several deliciously raunchy hokum-blues style novelty songs, such as "Down With Gin" and "I Took It." Although Casey obviously excelled at blue material, he also recorded sentimental numbers such as "Two Little Girls With Golden Girls" (they die in a house fire while their sinful parents are out drinking and dancing...) and religious tunes such as "Keep Praying" and "Family Reunion In Heaven." Casey was one of those all-around showmen of years gone by, who mastered all kinds of material, as the market demanded. Fans of old-school country will find a lot to love here -- there's not a bad track on the album and plenty of stuff that ought to make it into your personal shortlist for years to come. This covers Casey's recordings from 1938-1953, when he retired from performing and concentrated on a radio career. It's a really fun record.

The Cass County Boys "Beautiful Texas" (BACM, 2005)
Late-vintage cowboy material from Gene Autry's late-1940s, early '50s band... Sweet stuff!

The Chuck Wagon Gang "Secular And Sacred Songs" (BACM, 2005)

Tommy Collins "Think It Over Boys" (BACM, 2005)

The Coonhunters "...Featuring Merle Travis" (BACM, 2005)

Wilma Lee & Stoney Cooper "On The Banks Of The River" (BACM, 2005)

Cowboy Copas "Any Old Time" (BACM, 2005)

Cowboy Copas "Volume Two: An Old Farm For Sale" (BACM, 2005)

Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers "Classic Old Time String Band Music" (BACM, 2005)

Crockett's Kentucky Mountaineers "Gonna Get Tight Tonight" (BACM, 2005)

Hugh Cross "Old Time Music From The Smoky Mountains" (BACM, 2005)

Vernon Dalhart "Lindberg, The Eagle Of The USA" (BACM, 2003)

Denver Darling "Silver Dew On The Bluegrass Tonight" (BACM, 2005)

Denver Darling "Singing On The Range" (BACM, 2005)

Denver Darling "Volume Three: Cowboy Jack" (BACM, 2005)

Denver Darling "Volume Four: Out In The Great Alone" (BACM, 2009)

Jimmie Davis "Where The Old Red River Flows" (BACM, 2005)

Stu Davis "Canada's Cowboy Troubadour" (BACM, 2005)

Smoky Dawson "Great Australian Singer/Songwriter" (BACM, 2005)

Eddie Dean "Dusty Old Saddle" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmy Dean "Find 'Em, Fool 'Em, Leave 'Em Alone" (BACM, 2005)

The Delmore Brothers "That Old Train" (BACM, 2005)

Sheriff Johnny Denis & The Ranchers "Copper Canyon" (BACM, 2005)

Dave Denny "It's Nobody's Fault But Your Own" (BACM, 2005)

Little Jimmy Dickens "Hot Diggity Dog" (BACM, 2005)

Art Dickson "Singin' On The Range" (BACM, 2005)

The Dixieland Swingsters "Sing A Little Swing Song" (BACM, 2005)

The Down Homers "Uncle Noah's Ark" (BACM, 2005)

Slim Dusty "The Dusty Trail Rider" (BACM, 2005)

Dale Evans "The Rage Of The Sage" (BACM, 2005)

Ezra & His Beverly Hill Billies "Ezra & His Beverly Hill Billies" (BACM, 2005)

Terry Fell & The Fellers "Get Aboard My Wagon" (BACM, 2005)

Arthur Fields & Fred Hall "Eleven More Months & Ten More Days" (BACM, 2005)

Shug Fisher & His Ranchmen "Cowboy Jubilee" (BACM, 2005)

Fleming & Townsend "Little Home Upon The Hill" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Fletcher "The Lonely Cowboy" (BACM, 2005)

Red Foley "Tater Pie" (BACM, 2005)

Red Foley "Yodeling Radio Joe" (BACM, 2005)

Red Foley "Sings Gospel" (BACM, 2005)

Rocky Bill Ford "His Complete Recordings" (BACM, 2007)
You'd be hard-pressed to find a country singer more rough-hewn and chunky-voiced than "Rocky" Bill Ford, who worked as a barber in Houston and recorded a couple dozen tracks between 1950-56. Ford had a pretty limited vocal range -- think Ernest Tubb with a slight hiccup -- but he sang with conviction, and carried these songs emotionally, particularly when sounding forlorn and forsaken was a plus. Ford had a couple of great (and surprisingly direct) drinking songs to his credit: "Beer Drinking Blues" and "Blowing The Suds Off My Beer," both of which were covered by the more robust and more successful fellow Texan, Big Bill Lister. Initially, Ford wrote a lot of his own material, later he did more cover tunes, and apparently he even took a stab at rockabilly in the late 'Fifties, although the only trace of these efforts seems to be a (very fun) single on Starday, with two thumping sizzlers, "Mad Dog In Town" and "Have You Seen Mabel." Although he wasn't the most dynamic singer, Ford still made some fun records... A nice retrospective of a very obscure hard-country old-timer.

The Four Ramblers "Legendary Irish Quartet" (BACM, 2007)
An unusual entry in the British Archive of Country Music's illustrious hillbilly history series... The Four Ramblers were an Irish vocal quartet who appeared on a regular "western" themed radio show sponsored by the BBC. They modeled their sound on the smooth harmony singing of groups such as the Mills Brothers and the Sons Of The Pioneers, but although they yodeled a cowboy tune or two, they primarily sang Irish folk tunes, sometimes giving them a singing cowboy-ish musical twist. It's fun stuff, not as operatic or genteel as other Celtic-themed artists of the same era (the late 1940s-early '50s), and a pleasant blending of styles. It ain't Planxty or The Bothy Band, but it's still pretty nice.

Wally Fowler "That's The Last Straw" (BACM, 2005)
Early secular material from a future country gospel mainstay... Fowler wrote a lot of his own material, including the well-known "I'm Sending You Red Roses," which cowboy crooner Jimmy Wakely later made a hit.

The Georgia Yellow Hammers "Johnson's Old Grey Mule" (BACM, 2005)

Don Gibson "I Love No One But You" (BACM, 2002)

Rusty Gill & The Westernaires "Cowboy Songs Mountain Ballads" (BACM, 2002)
A delightful set of cowboy and western songs by Midwesterner Rusty Gill, an affable crooner and regional star who was based in Chicago. Gill's relaxed vocal style was clearly modeled on the smooth style of big city stars such as Bing Crosby and Dick Haymes, but unlike Crosby, Gill's cowboy tunes weren't bogged down by corny pop orchestrations; there's plenty of sweet-sounding twang on here, provided by Gill's band, the Westernaires (a pseudonym for the Prairie Ramblers). This disc gathers together a bunch of high-quality radio transcription performances -- although the liner notes don't include information about the back-up musicians, there is a photo of Gill with a line-up of the Westernaires that included fiddler Wade Ray, so he may be on here as well. This is a great album -- Gill is a very robust, likable vocalist and the songs are all classics, played in a straightforward folk-country style, without as much of a jazzy influence as, say, Gene Autry's work of the same era. Highly recommended!

The Girls Of The Golden West "Home Sweet Home In Texas" (BACM, 2002)
One of the finest western music acts ever, the Good Sisters -- Dolly and Millie Good -- got their start in border radio and on regional radio in the Midwest. Then in the early 1930s, they became early stars on Chicago powerhouse WLS's "National Barn Dance" program, which made them national celebrities. This disc collects about two dozen prime tracks from their tenure on the Bluebird label -- it's all great stuff! The Girls are said to have been the first country music act to feature double yodeling melodies -- the rest of their harmonies are gorgeous as well.

The Girls Of The Golden West "Roll Along Prairie Moon" (BACM, 2004)

Charlie Gore "Absolutely Free" (BACM, 2006)
A swell set of honkytonk jukebox ballads, generally jovial, but with a deep streak of war-of-the-sexes sarcasm, with plenty of fiddles and pedal steel -- just what you want from the good old days. Gore was a regional performer from West Virginia who wrote a lot of his own material, performing live and on radio throughout the 1950s. Like many singers of the era, he was clearly influenced by the great Lefty Frizzell, but he had a strong charisma of his own, and his personality comes through loud and clear on these great old songs. This disc draws on his many recordings for the King and Okeh labels, between 1952-56 -- apparently there's more Charlie Gore to delve into, but for now this is a pretty strong set that makes a good case for putting this fella into the pantheon of obscuro country greats. If you like classic singers like George Jones and Lefty Frizzell, you'll definitely want to check this guy out, too.

Otto Gray & His Oklahoma Cowboys "Early Cowboy Band" (BACM, 2005)
Rough-edged material from a band that is widely regarded as the first professional "western" country band... These recordings date back to 1926-31, with most of the tracks recorded for major labels like Victor and Okeh. The strengths of this disc are largely historical, with nods towards the old minstrel-show traditions -- Gray and his family (including his wife, "Mommie" Gray and son Owen) were all fairly crude singers, and the pacing on most tracks is a bit sluggish and slow. Still, it's pretty cool stuff... The material is bluesy, with covers of Leadbelly songs, Jimmie Rodgers-ish country yodels, and a lot of comedic material sung to a plunky, loping accompaniment; fans of the Cheap Suit Serenaders, Emmett Miller or the Hoosier Hotshots might really dig this. Highlights include a nice, gangly rendition of "I Had But Fifty Cents" and "The Terrible Marriage," which you'd think would be about flying rolling pins and lipstick on the collar, but is actually a clunky, longwinded early version of "I'm My Own Grandpa." There's also what was apparently the first-ever recording of the folk classic, "Midnight Special"(!) and a lively recording of "Who Broke The Lock On The Henhouse Door," complete with chicken squawks and a jovial chorus. Also some mild, casual racism, which was sadly indicative of the times. All in all, a nice snapshot of the primordial roots of country music.

Monte Hale "The Full Monte: Complete Recordings" (BACM, 2005)

Stuart Hamblen "Volume One: Old Glory" (BACM, 2005)

Stuart Hamblen "Volume Two: Prettiest Girl In Town" (BACM, 2005)

Esco Hankins "Rising Sun" (BACM, 2005)

Happy Al "Featuring Al & Hank, The Dakota Ramblers" (BACM, 2005)

Happy Fats "...And His Rayne-Bo Ramblers" (BACM, 2005)

Dick Hartman "Dick Hartman's Washboard Wonders & Tennessee Ramblers" (BACM, 2009)
This disc's a doozy! Giddy, exuberant, irresistible string band music recorded between 1935-36, as the western swing scene was really starting to heat up... Bandleader Dick Hartman recorded a wide variety of material, but this disc concentrates on his more uptempo material, and man, is it great! Harry Blair's joyful, lively vocals are matched by a bouncy band with banjo, fiddle, washboard and kazoo, and a driving, rhythmic guitar. Hartman is probably best known for his fabulously raunchy recordings with Hartman's Heartbreakers, some of the best sex-drenched "hokum" novelty songs of the Great Depression era -- some of that naughty abandon is echoed here, although these tracks aren't quite as "blue" as those infamous recordings... The playfulness of Hartman and his band comes through loud and clear on every track, and you will find this disc is packed with tunes that'll stick in your head and have you humming along for weeks to come. Highly recommended!

Hawkshaw Hawkins "Heavenly Road" (BACM, 2005)

Fisher Hendley "...And His Aristocratic Pigs" (BACM, 2005)

Charlie Herald & His Roundup Rangers "Pioneering Canadian Country Group" (BACM, 2005)

Earl Heywood "Canada's No. 1 Singing Cowboy" (BACM, 2005)

Johnny Hicks "Gotta Gitta Gittar" (BACM, 2005)

The Hill Billies "Trail Of The Lonesome Pine" (BACM, 2005)
The first of several collections documenting the career of this prolific British cowboy outfit...

The Hill Billies "Volume 2: It's Heaven To Me" (BACM, 2005)

The Hill Billies "Volume 3: Ole Faithful" (BACM, 2005)

The Hill Billies "Volume 4: Hilly Billy Band" (BACM, 2005)

The Hill Billies "Volume 5: The Last Of The Hill Billies" (BACM, 2005)

Goldie Hill "I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes" (BACM, 2005)
Although she had some big hits in the early 1950s, honkytonk heroine Goldie Hill sort of faded from sight by the decade's end... Pity, because she was a great singer. This disc, which was the first CD dedicated to her work, gathers two dozen prime tracks from 1952-54, including several duets with Justin Tubb, a couple of songs written by her brother Tommy Hill and her biggest hit, "I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes," a gender-flipped answer to Slim Willet's "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes." Hill was a robust, confident vocalist, whose sounded a lot like Kitty Wells, or in softer moments, like Rose Maddox. It's all great stuff -- if you love classic country from Kitty Wells or Jean Shepard, then you gotta check this out!

Fairley Holden "I've Got Blues To Spare" (BACM, 2006)
Rock-solid, real-deal hillbilly country recorded in the late '40s for the King label. Fairly Holden is a rough, rugged, joyful performer, as resolutely and unapologetically hicked-out as Porter Wagoner... and that's saying a lot! These are fun, robust recordings with squeaky fiddles, bouncy guitars and giddy pedal steel... If you like good old-fashioned twang, with songs about drinking men and nagging women, here's another motherlode. Includes three versions of Holden's signature song, "Keep Them Cold Icey Fingers Off Of Me," along with a nice unruly version of the Hank Williams hit, "Move It On Over." Apparently this disc includes almost all of Holden's recorded work; he more of less retired before 1950, doing live shows for a while and then easing off the radar. Nice, brief legacy!

Homer & Jethro "Ground Hog" (BACM, 2006)

Homer & Jethro "Unhappy Day" (BACM, 2006)

Homer & Jethro "Volume Three: More Classic Numbers..." (BACM, 2006)

Hoosier Hot Shots "Rural Jazz" (BACM, 2002)

Doc Hopkins "...And His Country Boys, v.1" (BACM, 2005)

Doc Hopkins "...And His Country Boys, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Johnny Horton "I Won't Forget" (BACM, 2008)

Kenneth Houchins "The Yodeling Drifter" (BACM, 2005)

Skeeter Hubbert "Give Me A Horse And A Saddle" (BACM, 2005)

Leon Huff "The Early Years, v.1: The Texas Song Bird" (BACM, 2005)

Leon Huff "The Early Years, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Walter Hurdt "...And The Singing Cowboys: Recorded 1937-1940" (BACM, 2008)
An interesting historical footnote from an unusual North Carolina band... Singer-guitarist Walter Hurdt started his recording career in 1937, with a bluesy 78 that showed him among the many hillbilly artists still in the sway of the great Jimmie Rodgers... But while singing solo, there was a cleaner melodic tone that hinted at a more modern approach than Rodgers' highly stylized, chunky backwoods blues. Sure enough, when Hurdt formed his own band, it included several hot pickers who pushed the music into a more improvisational, virtuosic direction. Particularly noteworthy is fiddler Lawrence Wiseman, who had zinged his way through a couple of hot duets ("Fiddle And Guitar Runnin' Wild" and "Playing Around") with guitarist Leroy Johnson, really zippy stuff that owed as much to Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti as to Bob Wills and his crew. Hurdt wrote a bunch of ersatz cowboy tunes, but played 'em with a wild jazz undertone; likewise he and the band played a lot of Delmore Brothers-style hillbilly blues, but they used the formula's simple sound as a platform for soloists to improvise. Sometimes they soared, but just as often they strained against the style's limitations, and occasionally the instrumental fills overshadow the songs themselves. On tunes like "Rhythm In E" and the dazzling "Guitar Rag" the guitar work is amazing for the time; Wiseman's often-impatient fiddling takes over on "Blue Skies Above" and "The Old Gulf Coast," as well as the album's most historic track, "Train Special," which was actually the first commercially released version of the fabled "Orange Blossom Special," a tune that Wiseman learned from its composer. The performances are uneven but forward-thinking, with stabs at the virtuosic sizzle of bluegrass and cow-boogie that would be all the rage a decade or so later. Hurdt and his pals got kinda clunky at times, but they were definitely pushing ahead of the pack.

Ferlin Husky "Tennessee Hillbilly Ghost" (BACM, 2006)
Ferlin Husky recording under his comedic pseudonym, Terry Preston.

Ferlin Husky "Early Capitol Recordings: 1953-1955" (BACM, 2006)

Johnnie & Jack "...And The Tennessee Mountain Boys" (BACM, 2003)

Buddy Jones "Police Officer And Honky Tonk Singer" (BACM, 2002)
Super-great music, but poor sound quality -- maybe these old Decca 78s are particularly hard to find in good shape? Anyway, back to the "great music" part. Buddy Jones was a good-natured good ole boy from Louisiana who was, for real, a traffic cop in Shreveport, and was also one of the liveliest, most robust musicians around, playing a perfect fusion of hard-edged honkytonk and rollicking western swing. Every track on here (as with the earlier, hard-to-find LP on the Texas Rose label) is totally killer. Most of the songs were originals, written either by Buddy Jones or by his prolific brother, steel player Buster Jones. Great old country music from the late 1930s and early '40s, including a couple of songs co-written with Louisiana's future governor, Jimmie Davis, who recorded with Jones in the '30s and helped him get his first record deal. Recommended!

Grandpa Jones "You're Never Too Old For Love" (BACM, 2003)

Karl & Harty "Old Time Harmony Singing" (BACM, 2003)

Buell Kazee "Legendary Kentucky Ballad Singer, v.1" (BACM, 2003)

Buell Kazee "Legendary Kentucky Ballad Singer, v.2" (BACM, 2003)

Hank Keene "..And His Gang" (BACM, 2005)

Pee Wee King "Kentucky Waltz" (BACM, 2005)

Fred Kirby "That Good Old Utah Trail" (BACM, 2005)

Eddie Kirk "Blue Bonnet Blues" (BACM, 2005)

Red Kirk "The Voice Of The Country" (BACM, 2005)

The LeGarde Twins "One Little Letter" (BACM, 2005)

Texas Jim Lewis "Rose Of The Border" (BACM, 2005)

Texas Jim Lewis "Volume Two: In New York & Hollywood - 1937-39" (BACM, 2005)

The Light Crust Doughboys "Guitar Jump" (BACM, 2005)
Late vintage recordings from one of the pioneering bands of the early western swing scene...

Reg Lindsay "When The Wagon Was New" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmy Long "Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine" (BACM, 2005)

Lonzo & Oscar "There's A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea" (BACM, 2002)

Frank Luther "Will The Angels Play Their Harps For Me" (BACM, 2002)

Frank Luther "An Old Man's Story" (BACM, 2005)

Mac & Bob "Songs For Country Home Folks, v.1" (BACM, 2005)

Mac & Bob "Songs For Country Home Folks, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Rose Maddox & The Maddox Brothers "When The Sun Goes Down" (BACM, 2005)

J. E. Mainer "J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers: 1935-1939" (BACM, 2005)

Bob Mallin "Sings With His Guitar" (BACM, 2005)

Dude Martin's Nevada Night Herders "Cowboy's Nightmare" (BACM, 2007)
Early, Depression-era cowboy recordings by a California native who became one of the best-known western singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Martin later explored more rugged material, but here he's solidly in the ridin'-the-rolling-prairie-under-a-lonely-moon mode. These recordings come from radio transcription discs that were sent out regionally... It's nice stuff, with soulful renditions of staples such as "The Strawberry Roan," etc., although it must be said the band takes everything at pretty much the same tempo, and there isn't much to distinguish one arrangement from the next. Overall, these recordings have a subdued feel, but taken song by song, they're generally all gems. A nice historical document, worth checking out.

Ernest Martin "...And His Gospel Melody Makers" (BACM, 2005)

Grady Martin "Cornstalk Hop" (BACM, 2005)

Judy Martin "Straight Shootin' Cowgirl" (BACM, 2004)
Solo recordings from 1940s cowgirl Eva Overstake, who recorded under the stage name Judy Martin. Martin was a sprightly singer who had once been part of a family trio called "The Little Country Girls," along with her two sisters, one of whom grew up to be the famous songwriter, Jenny Lou Carson. Martin's story is tragic: as her own career took off, she met and married country star Red Foley, a marriage that ended horribly when Martin committed suicide after learning that he was having an affair. It's a pity, really, since she was such an appealing singer and could have gone on to make more great music, had the fates allowed.

Judy Martin "...And The Mountain Rangers" (BACM, 2005)
More transcription disc recordings from the M.M. Cole company... Martin didn't record much in the studio, so these radio shows were her prime legacy. Includes some recordings with Red Foley, and more of her sweet, soulful singing.

Frankie Marvin "Early Recordings By Gene Autry's #1 Sideman" (BACM, 2002)
The Marvin Brothers, Frankie and Johnny, were early pals and benefactors of cowboy idol Gene Autry: when Autry moved from Oklahoma up to New York and into the limelight, the Marvins were already showbiz pros and showed him the ropes. They also helped Autry get work, and wound up playing guitar and steel on his first records, and Frankie Marvin eventually became a key player in Autry's band. Frankie was the steel player, and he developed a style that was both expressive and unobtrusive, with short, deft lines that flavored the music without overshadowing the vocalist. On these early solo recordings, from 1929-32, Marvin is in a bluesy mode, working in the template set down by white blues yodeler Jimmie Rodgers. He also sang sentimental weepers and rowdy novelty numbers, reflecting the broad range of material that was popular in the vaudevillian era that he came up in... It's a fun record, full of confidence, gusto and wit... Great stuff!

Johnny Marvin "I'm The Man Who's Been Forgotten" (BACM, 2005)

Louise Massey & The Westerners "Ridin' High: 1933-1941" (BACM, 2005)

Dickie McBride "I Still Care For You" (BACM, 2005)
Rare solo recordings from one of western swing's best-respected vocalists... McBride sang with Cliff Bruner's powerhouse Texas Wanderers band, but after the band split apart in 1939, he got his own contract with Decca and set out as a solo artist. This disc also includes a few later tunes made with his wife, Texas fiddler Laura Lee. Generally speaking, these are softer hillbilly swing tunes, with McBride often in a Bing Crosby-ish crooner mode. But there a lot of stylistic variety here as well, also including some mildly thumping hillbilly boogie and a few sweet, sparse acoustic demos. Might not immediately knock your socks off, but there's a good chance it'll grow on you after a while.

Harry McClintock "The Great American Bum" (BACM, 2005)

Frank & James McCravy "Old Time Harmony Singing" (BACM, 2005)

Skeets McDonald "Volume Two: You Gotta Be My Baby" (BACM, 2005)

Clayton McMichen "The Legendary Fiddler, v.1" (BACM, 2005)

Clayton McMichen "The Legendary Fiddler, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Bob Miller " 'Leven Cent Cotton Forty Cent Meat" (BACM, 2005)

Eddie Miller & His Oklahomans "Release Me" (BACM, 2005)

The Milo Twins "Swamp Woman Blues" (BACM, 2005)

Patsy Montana "I'm Going West To Texas" (BACM, 2005)

Clyde Moody "Six White Horses" (BACM, 2005)

The Morris Brothers "Salty Dog Blues" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Morton "Across The Great Divide" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmy Newfill "Favourite Cowboy Songs" (BACM, 2005)

Doye O'Dell "If Tears Were Gold" (BACM, 2005)

The Oklahoma Wranglers "Hillbilly Rhythm" (BACM, 2007)
Wow - this one's a revelation! The Oklahoma Wranglers were an early nom de hick for the Willis Brothers, an also-ran hillbilly band who I primarily know from their many repackaged albums on the various Starday/Gusto imprints. Over the years I've tried out a few of those old LPs, all with material of an indeterminate 1950s/1960s origin, and I always found them to be a bit dispirited and workmanlike, with a palpable air of their own long-exhausted self-awareness of their second-rate status. This disc, though, goes back to the days when they were still having fun, a great collection of hillbilly novelty songs, punctuated with some fine, rough-edged heartsongs and weepers. These recordings, dating from 1947-50, come from major labels such as Coral and RCA Victor -- the sound quality's great, and the music is a real hoot. Definitely worth checking out! (By the way, if you can find it, The Golden Age Of The Willis Brothers, a collection on Cattle Records, comes from the same era, and is worth tracking down as well...)

Jimmie Osborne "Volume 1: Hills Of Roan County" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmie Osborne "Volume 2" (BACM, 2005)

The Overstake Sisters "Volume One: I'm Riding On A Rainbow" (BACM, 2005)
One of the first major female country acts, the Overstake Sisters (who were also known as "The Little Country Girls") featured two future solo stars, cowgirl Judy Martin (nee Eva Overstake, whose marriage to Red Foley ended in Martin's tragic suicide) and Jenny Lou Carson (nee Virginia Lucille Overstake) who later became one of the most successful songwriters of the WWII era hillbilly scene. In the 1930s, along with their third sister, Evelyn, they sang cowgirl songs galore, in the fashion of the Girls Of The Golden West, though with a little less pep... Lots of great sentimental material, with simple, accordion-led arrangements. In general, their style seems pretty lethargic, although this could depend a lot on what kind of instrumental backup they got -- some of the tracks here are more uptempo, or feature a bigger, livelier band, and on these songs, the gals shine. Otherwise, with fairly morose backing, they can sound a bit monotonous. (It's interesting to compare these early recordings to the later solo work of Jenny Lou Carson and Judy Martin -- Martin's vocals are crisp, while Carson's are matronly, and Carson hews closely to the slow-tempoed style heard here. She was doubtless the band's guiding force; in addition to the tempo, you can also hear her trademark three-note decrescendo intros on a few of these tunes, a signature sound that quickly wears thin.) This disc is drawn from a long series of transcription recordings for the M.M. Cole company -- no recording dates are given, but it must be somewhere in the 1930s -- the performances are strong, if monochromatic. An important link in the history of women in country music, and the early origins of two significant solo artists.

The Overstake Sisters "Volume 2: End Of The Trail" (BACM, 2005)
More radio recordings made for the Cole transcription company, originally released under the stage name of "The Little Country Girls." Oh, by the way, I almost forgot that Judy Martin was also the grandmother of Debby Boone -- her daughter married Pat Boone in the 1950s. Talk about a small world!

Andy Parker & The Plainsmen "Texas Belle" (BACM, 2005)

Chubby Parker "...And His Old Time Banjo" (BACM, 2005)

Leon Payne "Lost Highway" (BACM, 2005)

The Pickard Family "Walking In The Parlour" (BACM, 2005)

Fiddling Jack Pierce "...And The Oklahoma Cowboys" (BACM, 2005)

Webb Pierce "Tupelo County Jail" (BACM, 2005)

The Pine Ridge Boys "Mississippi River Blues" (BACM, 2005)

The Prairie Ramblers "The Oregon Trail" (BACM, 2005)

The Prairie Ramblers "Back To My Mountain Home" (BACM, 2005)

Riley Puckett "There's A Hard Time Coming" (BACM, 2005)

Riley Puckett "Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight" (BACM, 2005)

Marvin Rainwater "Tennessee Houn' Dog Yodel" (BACM, 2005)

The Ranch Boys "Songs Of The Plains" (BACM, 2005)

Wade Ray "Things I Might Have Been" (BACM, 2005)

The Red Fox Chasers "Classic Old Time Music From North Carolina" (BACM, 2005)

Dick Reinhart "A Broken Heart For A Souvenir" (BACM, 2005)

Reno & Smiley "Tree Of Life" (BACM, 2005)
Sizzling early bluegrass from Don Reno and Red Smiley, one of the most dynamic bluegrass acts of the 1950s... Great stuff from start to finish!

Jimmie Revard & His Oklahoma Playboys "Naughty Naughty" (BACM, 2005)
A swell set of great, classic 1930s western swing, from a regional bandleader who did well on his home turf, but never quite got the same sort of national rep as bigger bands such as Milton Brown or Bob Wills. It's great stuff, though: Revard's band included guitarist and future bandleader Adolph Hofner and his brother Emil, on steel. The vocals are generally a bit ungainly, in a charming way, but the choppy, chunky rhythmic sense belies the instrumental oompf of this band: the fiddles, in particular, are pretty hot. Revard's band roster overlapped with that of the zippier Tune Wranglers; in the late 1930s, Hofner broke off from Revard's group to start a band of his own, but these two dozen tracks capture the original group in its prime. Great stuff, full of boozy cheerfulness and unabashed sentimentality and jazzy sensibilities. Recommended!

The Rice Brothers Gang "King Cotton Stomp" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Ritter "America's Most Beloved Cowboy" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Ritter "Pledge Of Allegiance" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Ritter "Froggy Went A-Courtin' & Other Children's Songs" (BACM, 2005)

Jack Rivers "There's A New Star In Heaven" (BACM, 2006)

Texas Jim Robertson "Purple Night On The Prairie" (BACM, 2005)

Carson Robison "Goin Back To Texas" (BACM, 2005)

Carson Robison "Old Kentucky Cabin" (BACM, 2005)

Carson Robison "Transatlantic Traveller" (BACM, 2005)

Carson Robison "The Later Years" (BACM, 2005)

Roy Rogers "King Of The Cowboys: A Man And His Song" (BACM, 2005)

Roy Rogers "Hazy Mountains" (BACM, 2005)
With Dale Evans...

Roy Rogers "A Lonely Ranger Am I" (BACM, 2005)

The Rough Riders "Moon Over The Trail" (BACM, 2005)

Jack Savage & His Cowboys "Little Sweetheart Of The Prairie" (BACM, 2005)

Jean Shepard "This Has Been Your Life" (BACM, 2005)
Prime early works from one of the finest female country singers of the 1950s and '60s. Unlike most BACM releases, this does have some overlap with records that have come out on other labels. They're all great songs, though, classics like "Beautiful Lies," "Two Whoops And A Holler," "A Dear John Letter" and "Twice The Lovin' In Half The Time." There are also some great, more obscure songs, such as "Please Don't Divorce Me" and "I Didn't Know The Gun Was Loaded," which also make this a tasty, collectable treat. Besides, all those other CDs, including the big, fab Bear Family box set, are all out of print, which is criminal, really. So, hooray again for BACM bringing this stuff back to light.

Shelton Brothers "Rompin' And Stompin' Around" (BACM, 2002)

Mervin Shiner "Steppin' Out" (BACM, 2005)

Cal Shrum "...And His Rhythm Rangers & Colorado Hillbillies" (BACM, 2005)

Luke Simmons "I Like My Music Country Style" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmie Skinner "Too Hot To Handle" (BACM, 2005)
More old-school country gems... Jimmie Skinner is one of my favorite honkytonk singers, something of an also-ran who made a bunch of great records. These are his more obscure recordings, but one noteworthy inclusion is his original version of "You Don't Know My Mind," which became a country and bluegrass standard. If you're into those classic Depression-era Jimmie Rodgers records, or good old Ernest Tubb, you'll want to check this out as well. Great stuff!

Fiddlin' Arthur Smith "Give Me Old Time Music" (BACM, 2005)

Carl Smith "Satisfaction Guaranteed" (BACM, 2005)

The Sons Of The Pioneers "Western Harmony And Hot Swing, v.1" (BACM, 2005)

The Sons Of The Pioneers "Western Harmony And Hot Swing, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Red Sovine "How Do You Think I Feel" (BACM, 2005)

Jo Stafford "Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere" (BACM, 2005)

The Stewart Family "Come On In And Make Yourself At Home" (BACM, 2005)

Billy Strange "Catsup And Honey" (BACM, 2005)

Texas Bill Strength "When Love Comes Knockin' " (BACM, 2005)

Dick Thomas "Sioux City Sue" (BACM, 2005)

Ernest Thompson "Pioneer Artist From North Carolina" (BACM, 2005)

Sue Thompson "Angels Cry" (BACM, 2005)

The Tobacco Tags "Get Your Head In Here" (BACM, 2005)

Mitchell Torok "Drink Up And Go Home" (BACM, 2005)

Merle Travis "Dapper Dan" (BACM, 2005)

Ernest Tubb "Just Rollin' On" (BACM, 2005)

T. Texas Tyler "Country Boy" (BACM, 2005)

Uncle Henry's Original Kentucky Mountaineers "Rocky Mountain Lullaby" (BACM, 2003)

The Vagabonds "Old Cabin Songs" (BACM, 2005)

Porter Wagoner "Dig That Crazy Moon" (BACM, 2005)
Early works by the king of hillbilly corn -- I love Porter Wagoner's music and his early stuff is tops!

Jimmy Wakely "Rocky Mountain Lullaby" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmy Wakely "Red River Rose" (BACM, 2005)

Jimmy Wakely "Cowboy's Heaven" (BACM, 2005)

Billy Walker "Thank You For Calling" (BACM, 2006)

Cindy Walker "Till The End Of Time" (BACM, 2006)

Ozie Waters "It's Indian Summer" (BACM, 2005)

Kitty Wells "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight" (BACM, 2005)

Tabby West "Chat Chat Chatanooga" (BACM, 2009)
Super cool. West was a former big-band/pop vocals singer of the 1940s who made the switch to country music when her husband, a regional bandleader named Red Wortham, successfully pitched a hit song to Kitty Wells. He asked his wife, Phyllis Spain, to demo a few more tunes for him, and when these demos caught the ear of a Nashville producer, she changed her stage name and launched a new career. This disc collects all of West's material on several major labels -- Capitol, Coral and Decca -- recorded between 1952-58. At first she recorded solid, earthy honkytonk material (with a hefty dose of Kitty Wells-style heartsongs and intonation) including weepers like "Our Love Isn't Legal," "I Was The Bridesmaid," and "My Daddy Left My Mommy Again." Later she let a little more pop into her sound, pioneering the pop-country crossover style that Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Skeeter Davis and others would later perfect... These rare old, largely forgotten recordings by West will come as a revelation for fans of female country singers, particularly of old faves such as Jean Shepard. West was both a solid hard-country singer and a pioneer of pop-country crossover, as these great old recordings show. The BACM presentation -- low-budget graphics and simple, bootleggy presentation -- may throw a few folks off the trail, but if you're a fan of classic 'Fifties country, this is definitely a must-have collection. Highly recommended.

Ray Whitley & The Six Bar Cowboys "Back In The Saddle Again" (BACM, 2005)

The Wilburn Brothers "The Knoxville Girl" (BACM, 2005)

Buddy Williams "Down The Old Bush Track" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Williams "Hey Mr. Cotton Picker" (BACM, 2005)

Tex Williams "River Of No Return" (BACM, 2005)

Foy Willing "...And The Riders Of The Purple Sage" (BACM, 2005)

Bob Wills "Ole Buttermilk Sky -- Tiffany Transcriptions: 1945-1947" (BACM, 2005)

Zeke Winters & The Rocky Mountaineers "Bunkhouse Boys" (BACM, 2005)
Actually Big Bill Campbell, performing under another name...

Arkansas "Arkie" Woodchopper "Old Time Songs & Square Dances" (BACM, 2005)

Sheb Wooley "Texas Tango" (BACM, 2005)

The York Brothers "Going Back To The Sunny South" (BACM, 2005)

Various Artists "ANOTHER TASTE OF KING: RECORDED 1946-1954" (BACM, 2005)

I am a big fan of obscuro-country collections, compilation discs that are packed with artists that I am unfamiliar with... and this one's a doozy! Yeah, sure, often there's a reason that these folks are unknowns and also-rans, but this is where you'll hear artists, songs and sounds that you just won't hear anywhere else, and often their clunky, heartfelt singles say way more about the country scene of yesteryear than the big hits of the big stars. I snapped this one up because it only has a handful of artists I recognize (Cecil Campbell, Don Gibson, George McCormick, Red Sovine, Billy Jack Wills and Floyd Cramer...) and a ton of promising song titles: "You'll Live To Regret It," "Throwing My Life Away," "Ah Ha," "Look What Followed Me Home," etc. In short, it looked like exactly the kind of record I go for. Also, MGM is a vintage label that I'm not very familiar with -- I know they had Hank Williams signed to them, and later Hank, Jr. and some up-and-coming honkytonkers in the early 1960s... But for the most part, their catalogue is a blank slate. Well, let me tell you, if you like raw old-school country music, including the occasional kooky novelty tune, and that fun stuff where hillbilly boogie and rockabilly rubbed shoulders, then this disc is one you'll want to travel the far ends of the earth to track down. It's one of the most fun records I've heard in a long, long time, drawing on the deep knowledge base and impressive collections of the folks at the mystery-shrouded British Archive of Country Music... Trust me, you'll want to check this one out.




Various Artists "COUNTRY MUSIC ON CAPITOL" (BACM, 2005)


This collection features the work of three acts heard on radio station KSTP's "Sunset Valley Barndance," the duos of Al & Hank and Frank & Esther, and Chuck Mulkern...

Various Artists "LYNN RUSSWURM'S CANADIAN COUNTRY, v.1" (BACM, 2005)

Various Artists "LYNN RUSSWURM'S CANADIAN COUNTRY, v.2" (BACM, 2005)

Various Artists "MEMORIES OF RENFRO VALLEY" (BACM, 2005)


Great stuff, with plenty of jagged fiddle riffs, wild guitar and oddball songs, recorded between 1924-1930. There's a great version of "S-A-V-E-D" called "When Married Folks Are Out Of Cash," several oddly compelling and innovative fiddle tunes by the duo of Narmour & Smith," some fun gospel songs (such as the North Carolina Cooper Boys' punchy "Daniel In The Lion's Den") and curios like "Sidewalks Of New York," by Andrew Jenkins and Carson Robison. A fun collection, with plenty of rare old recordings, lovingly curated and ready to roll.


Various Artists "SOPPIN' UP THE GRAVY, v.1: A TASTE OF KING" (BACM, 2005)

Various Artists "SOPPIN' UP THE GRAVY, v.2: 4 STAR ROUNDUP" (BACM, 2005)

This set features rare singles from three little-known bands: the Swing Billies, the Hi Neighbor Boys, and Herald Goodman & his Tennessee Valley Boys (about half of whose recordings were gospel songs...) Haven't heard it yet, but I look forward to checking it out someday!

Various Artists "SOUTH OF THE BORDER" (BACM, 2005)
A slew of Mexican and Spanish-themed oldies from folks like Johnny Bond, Jim Reeves, Hank Snow, Bob Wills and a bunch of less well-known cowpunchers. If you like tunes like "El Paso" and "Rhumba Boogie," you're gonna love this collection, amigo.




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