Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable. Our first Classic Album Review of 2020 takes us back to the Summer of 1966. We are remembering singer/songwriter Roy Drusky and his album In A New Dimension.
In A New Dimension was the thirteenth album release in Roy Drusky’s career (excluding repackagings), his eleventh for the Mercury label. Jerry Kennedy produced the album. Roy recorded eleven of the tracks during sessions in May 1966. “Rainbows and Roses” was recorded during a December 1965 session. In A New Dimension was released in July, peaking at twenty on Billboard’s Country Album charts.
The album opens with “Rainbows and Roses”, which had been a top twenty single, early in the year. Possessing a mid-easy tempo, it’s the ballad style perfectly suited for the smooth sounding Drusky. A nice song.
Hank Cochran’s classic “Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)” becomes a polished vehicle at the hands of Drusky. I love how Roy handles this track. He was the perfect mix of country and pop; twangy, but smooth. Lush, but not to the level of contemporaries Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, or Ray Price.
The catchy, bouncy “Working My Way Up to The Bottom” was an early composition from a young Eddie Rabbitt. Enjoyable track handled well by Roy Drusky.
As it was with many albums of that era, this one features several covers, including the Cilla Black hit “You’re My World”. The song was the only U. S. hit for the British pop star. I really like this version. Roy’s vocals are comfortably controlled, even during the refrain, which is usually belted. Great song and Roy’s version are as good as any cover in existence.
As good as “You’re My World” is, the album’s top song has to be another cover, “Today”. The New Christy Minstrels’ song is a beautiful composition. The sparse arrangement is the perfect complement to Roy Drusky’s superb vocal work.
“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” is one of the greatest songs ever written. Here, the background strings add a haunting effect.
As we turn to side two, that side opens with “Unless You Make Him Set You Free”. The ultimatum given demanding she become free from her marriage. It’s a nice, if unremarkable, track.
Another track that stands out on this album is Roy’s take on the Buck Owens classic “Crying Time”. It’s surprising that no version ever made the country music top ten or top twenty. Roy sings it as well as anyone.
If “Today” is the album’s best track, another cover, “Try to Remember”, is the second-best. Again, featuring a sparse arrangement, Roy’s style is perfect for this track. His vocals shine, as does the sheer beauty of the song, itself.
“Unchained Melody” is also an enjoyable track.
This album features one of my favorite Roy Drusky songs, the hit “The World Is Round”, top ten in 1966. This underrated favorite reminds us that what we think is an ending, is also a beginning of something new.
The album wraps with yet another cover, this time Eddy Arnold’s hit “You Don’t Know Me”. It provides a nice end to the album.
You can find this album. It turns up, occasionally in thrift stores and used record shops. Prices on Amazon and eBay show a range (depending on condition of course) of $4 to $19. It is also available on CD, as a “two-fer” with If the Whole World Stopped Lovin’.
Overall, In A New Dimension is a nice album. Three tracks; “Today”, “The World Is Round”, and “Try to Remember” are the best of the bunch, while the other nine are enjoyable tracks. Not a classic by any means, but a good listenable collection of tunes to enjoy.
Thoughts? They are always appreciated in the comments below.
Saving vinyl one record at a time.
CHECK OUT MORE GREAT CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEWS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, model railroader, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.