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Posts Tagged ‘1971’

Dickey Lee “Never Ending Song Of Love” Single Of The Day

Dickey Lee "Never Ending Song Of Love"Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable.  Today, we remember Dickey Lee’s first Country hit, the 1971 hit, “Never Ending Song Of Love”, which many will also remember the Pop version by Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.

Dickey Lee was no stranger to hit records, by this time, having already scored three Pop hits as a singer; “Patches”, “I Saw Linda Yesterday”, and “Laurie (Strange Things Happen)”; plus as a songwriter, having written the George Jones classic “She Thinks I Still Care”.

1971 was a turning point, as he shifted away from Pop music, as a singer, to Country music, and it was the Fall, when he would score his first top ten Country hit, with “Never Ending Song Of Love”, a bouncy, very catchy tune, even forty-two years after it’s release.

Debuting on the Country 40 in October, the song would climb to eight on the charts, becoming the first of four top ten Country hits for Dickey Lee.

Your thoughts?

Saving vinyl, one record at a time.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - April 24, 2013 at 1:00 AM

Categories: Single Of The Day   Tags: , , , , , ,

Mel Tillis & Sherry Bryce “Living & Learning/Take My Hand” Classic Album Review

Mel Tillis And Sherry Bryce "Living And Learning/Take My Hand"Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player.  Today’s Classic Album Review is a 1971 duet release from Mel Tillis and Sherry Bryce.  The 1970′s were a rich time for duets and duos, with the decade seeing a wide range of pairings that included Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, The Bellamy Brothers, as well as George Jones & Tammy Wynette, among others.  Nearly every major label had at least one pairing, during the decade, and for MGM Records, it was Mel Tillis and Sherry Bryce.  Living And Learning/Take My Hand was the first of two albums for the duo.  Released in November, 1971, the album would peak at twenty-nine on the bestseller lists, while yielding three singles, including two top tens.

The opening track would be their first single, “Take My Hand”.  A medium-slow ballad, it ended the Summer of 1971 as a top ten hit, peaking at nine.  A nice track, that really hows how well their voiced melded.

“Anything’s Better Than Nothing” is a Cajun-styled sound that features a catchy hook with the title line, mixed with an infectious melody.  Somewhat incredibly, though, this barely cracked the Country 40 as a single, peaking at thirty-eight in the Spring of 1972.

Another of the album’s better tracks is “Life’s Little Surprises”.  Quick-paced, it’s infectious, hard not to like, with decent lyrical content and catchy melody.

Perhaps the album’s best non-single track is “In The Vines”.  A great album cut, it’s a near-complete package of fine vocal work, excellent arrangement  (courtesy of Mel Tillis’ band, The Statesiders), and strong composition.  I think this could have made it as a single release.

Side one ends with a medium tempo’d “Back To Life”.  Not anything overly special, just a nice little track about reflecting back on life.

Side two opens with the album’s second single release, “Living And Learning”, which would peak at nine as a single, in December, 1971.  Arguably their best single, it’s got a nice beat and decent lyrics.  The highlight, though, may actually be the work of the Statesiders, here.

Another likable song, here, is “Then It Will Be All Over”, a bouncy track of a broken relationship, apparently caused by an old flame, though it’s never made completely clear, leaving the listener to speculate.

Another good track, here, is “Tangled Vines”.  Arguably the best melody on the album.  Really like the lyrics, as well.  Mel Tillis and Sherry Bryce both nail it, here.

“What Money Can’t Buy” is a rather neutral track, to me.  Not anything terrible, but not one that particularly excited me, either.  Medium tempo piece utilizing the much-used theme of “things that money can’t buy”.

They end the album in fine form, though, with a strong cover of the Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn classic, “After The Fire Is Gone”.  While not quite as good as the original, it more than holds it’s own.

Long out of print, used copies can be found.  I found a few in the $5 to $15 range, for the most part.  This album was initially released on vinyl and likely, 8-Track.

I give “Living And Learning” my Standout Track, while “Tangled Vines” gets the Hidden Gem nod.  As for Weakest Track, I would go with “What Money Can’t Buy”; not a bad song, just didn’t do move the excitement meter, for me.

Overall, this album isn’t anything classic or groundbreaking, or what some would say, memorable.  But what it is, is a nice collection of music that is pleasing to the ears, and one that, if you are already a Mel Tillis fan, should be enjoyable for some spins.  As for the work of Mel Tillis and Sherry Bryce, together, one has to say that their sound is nearly as good as any duet of that era; they just needed some more tracks, together, and a couple of strong, eye-opening singles.  Had that happened, they could have easily been right there with Porter & Dolly, and Conway & Loretta.  I give this one a 3 out of 5.

Your thoughts?

Saving vinyl, one record at a time.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - November 6, 2012 at 1:09 PM

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Jody Miller “Baby I’m Yours” Single Of The Day

Jody Miller "Baby I'm Yours" from 1971Greetings from Asheville, where good music can always be found, no matter the genre.  Today’s Single Of The Day is a 1971 hit for Jody Miller; one of her six top ten hits.  Jody was just coming off her second top ten hit; her first in six years, as her cover of the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine” had peaked at five, during late Summer.  As a follow-up, Epic decided to release another cover, this time the 1965 Barbara Lewis hit, “Baby I’m Yours”.  Debuting at the end of October, by the end of the year, the single was peaking at it’s high point of five.  Interestingly, of her six top ten hits, four peaked at five.

A completely different take than the original, it features that trademark Billy Sherrill style of production, where it’s country, but with just enough pop mixed in.  A really nice remake of an all-time classic.

One other note, the song was written by Van McCoy, who would later score a big hit of his own, during the Disco-era, with “The Hustle”.

Your thoughts?

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - August 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM

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Single Of The Day-Billy Crash Craddock “Dream Lover”

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is found on the turntables, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. Today’s Single Of The Day is a selection from one of North Carolina’s own, Billy Crash Craddock. The Greensboro native began his recording career in 1957, but it wouldn’t be until 1971, when he would finally score that elusive first hit single. And once scored, it didn’t take long for the next hit.

It was February, when his first hit single made it’s debut, the classic “Knock Three Times”, which would become one of the hottest hits for the Spring of 1971. Billy’s next release for the Cartwheel label would hit the market in early Summer and began it’s ascent up the charts in July.

Like his first hit, today’s Single Of The Day was also a pop cover, having been a hit for Bobby Darin in 1959. “Dream Lover” would do nearly as well as “Knock Three Times”, peaking just a couple of positions lower, at five. Produced in the style that would ultimately earn Craddock the nickname “Mr. Country Rock”, “Dream Lover” is a great mix of traditional Country and Rock ‘n Roll. The song, itself, was written for the Pop market, but works incredibly well for Country, while the beat and the rhythm say Rock ‘n Roll, the overall sound with the heavy steel and fiddles, say Country. A great mix that results in a sound that is irresistible.

Let me know what you think of this classic, by leaving a comment below.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - April 9, 2012 at 11:44 AM

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Single Of The Day-Dolly Parton “My Blue Tears”

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. Today’s Single Of The Day became one of Dolly Parton’s early solo successes. Dolly had first found the Country 40 with “Dumb Blonde” in 1967 with the Monument label. By the end of the year, she was at RCA Victor and debuting her 1st top ten hit, also her first duet with Porter Wagoner, “The Last Thing On My Mind”. RCA would begin to regularly release solo works by Dolly Parton, along with her Porter Wagoner duets, and it wasn’t uncommon to see both singles climbing the charts, concurrently. And such was the case with today’s Single Of The Day.

Porter and Dolly had debuted on the Country 40 in mid-July, 1971, with “The Right Combination”, then two weeks later, Dolly’s latest solo effort, “My Blue Tears”, would debut. The track, also written by Dolly Parton, is a quick-paced, rather lite sounding fare, perfect for Summertime listening. Though it would fall short of the top ten, the record would peak at seventeen, becoming her sixth solo Country 20 hit.

Thoughts? You are welcome to leave them, below, as we always value your opinion.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - March 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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