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Posts Tagged ‘Don Gibson’

Don Gibson “Look Who’s Blue” Classic Album Review

Don Gibson "Look Who's Blue"Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always the passion.  Today’s Classic Album Review looks back at a release at one of country music’s best stylists, Don Gibson.  Don truly was a stylist, a unique singer whose sound is unlike any other, to this day.  And one must not overlook his songwriting skills, as well, giving us classics such as “Oh Lonesome Me”, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Sweet Dreams (Of You)”.  Today’s album is a 1960 release, Look Who’s Blue.  A couple of interesting notes about this album; even though Don had scored a top ten hit, two years prior, with the song, “Look Who’s Blue”, it was not included, on this album.  Also, it was the first of two albums for Don, with this title.  The second Look Who’s Blue release, would be his final album for Hickory Records, in 1978.  RCA Victor released this album in April.  The album did not chart on the pop side, and there were no country album charts, at this time.  The album contains two singles; “Big Hearted Me” and “Just One Time”.

The album opens with Don’s trademark sound of country, with just a little rock ‘n’ roll mixed in, on “My Hands Are Tied”.  A bouncy, infectious piece of music that rocks the speakers a bit.

Same can be said for “Big Hearted Me”.  A great track, it’s amazing, to me, that as a single, it could only muster a peak of twenty-nine in early 1960.  I should mention that it’s flip-side, “I’m Movin’ On” did break the Country 15.  This is Don Gibson at his best.  He’s got that country rockin’, mixed with that lonesome, bluesy sound that just seemed to be a natural part of his voice.

“It Only Hurts For A Little While” had been a 1956 pop hit for The Ames Brothers, and in 1978, a number one country hit for Margo Smith.  Here, Don gives a really good interpretation of this classic.  Again, that lonesome, bluesy sound that he was so good at, is perfect for this song.

“Never Love Again” is another ballad that’s not as strong as the previous track, but it’s not bad.  The guitar intro is rather cool and funky for early sixties country.

After becoming a pop hit for Andy Williams, “Lonely Street” became one of those songs that seemingly almost everyone recorded at some point.  Even though Carl Belew co-wrote the song and one listen makes it obvious that it’s a country song, it was never a country hit, until Rex Allen Jr.’s 1978 version.  Don Gibson’s version is more of a straight country approach, featuring a prominent steel guitar.  Good track that could have been a hit, in my opinion.

Side one ends with Don’s hit “Just One Time”.  In late Spring, it just missed number one, becoming one of his biggest hits.  You can’t help but love this record.  The tempo immediately hooks you in, while the melody and even the guitar work are so strong that you can’t resist it.  And of course, Don’s vocals on this are stellar.

Side two opens with the most rocking piece on the album, a rollicking, pounding version of Hank Williams’ “Why Don’t You Love Me”.  Good, strong recording.

This album actually is heavy on the slower ballads, including the bluesy “My Love For You”.  Very strong track, that really brings out the blues in Don Gibson’s vocals.  He could wail ‘em as well as any country singer ever could.

Never a hit for Hank Williams, but a song he co-wrote, “The Banks Of The Old Ponchartrain” is another slower song, that features a spoken segment.  Great performance of a decent song.

“If I Can Stay Away” has more of a straight pop feel to it, very much in the vein of what was playing on top 40, in those days.  A slow, ballad, the track comes off very well, with Don’s vocals being the highlight.

“The Streets Of Laredo” has a dramatic feel to it, but not overly so.  While the arrangement is slicker than the better known Marty Robbins version, it’s restrained enough, as to not overpower the lyrics or the vocal work.

The album gives a strong finish with Don’s version of “Everybody But Me”, which would later be a big hit in 1962 for Ernest Ashworth.  Now, why RCA didn’t issue this as a single….?  Great track, as good as the hit version.  I can’t help but think this could have been a big hit.

While not in print, domestically, this album can be found on CD, as an import.  As for used copies, they are not too difficult to find, mostly in the $10 to $20 range.

Both singles are strong, but I give “Just One Time” the Standout Track, since it was the bigger hit.  Again, several strong cuts, but the Hidden Gem has to be “Everybody But Me”.  I really can’t say that there’s a weak track, here, but “Never Love Again” may be the lesser of the twelve, yet still a decent track.

Overall, this is a nice piece of work from Don Gibson, during his commercial peak.  There’s really not anything to dislike, here, as the material is strong and the performances are excellent.  I rate it a 4.5 out of 5.

Your thoughts?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - November 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

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Classic Album Review-Roy Acuff “Sings Famous Opry Favorites”

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. Today’s Classic Album Review is a mere one year younger than yours truly (the album, not the review). From 1967, it’s time to remember Roy Acuff’s Hickory Records release Roy Acuff Sings Famous Opry Favorites. It’s an album of The King Of Country Music singing cover versions of hits from the likes of Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, and Don Gibson, just to name a few. The album failed to crack the Country bestseller lists as did both singles from the album.

Opening things on this album is Roy’s take on the Hank Snow classic “I’m Movin’ On”. It’s interesting to hear Roy sing these songs as most are a departure from the type of songs he normally sang. In addition, the arrangements are nothing like the typical Smokey Mountain Boys sound, but rather a contemporary traditional sound (for 1967). The aging is starting to creep into his voice, at this point, but there’s still enough in the tank that the vocals are still quality stuff on this track. I like Roy’s take on this track. This was the album’s first single, but failed to chart.

The Ernest Tubb’s “Tomorrow Never Comes” has more of the traditional Acuff sound, but here, I think they keyed the song too low, as he seems to struggle to hit the lowest nights. Decent track, but I think a little higher key would have done wonders for this one. It’s nice, though, how they ended the song very similar as to how the Texas Troubadours would have.

Roy Acuff gives a nice interpretation of the George Morgan hit, “Candy Kisses”. The vocals are good, here, and again, the arrangement, a mix of of the traditional Acuff sound and contemporary sounds, melds extremely well, giving you a very enjoyable track to listen.

Pretty much the same story with “I Love You Because” as it was with “Candy Kisses”. Even as his voice aged and lost it’s luster, Roy could still sell a song as well as anyone, this album is no exception. One note, the album credits Jim Reeves as the hit man for “I Love You Because” and while Jim did, indeed record the song, the hit version was actually the song’s writer, Leon Payne, along with another version by Ernest Tubb.

“Filipino Baby” may be Roy’s best vocals on the album. Roy simply nails this track, where he actually uses the vocal repeats that Cowboy Copas had used, but Ernest Tubb had not. Roy’s version is quicker than either of the other mentioned versions, as well. The banjo, featured prominent here, gives the track an almost bluegrass feel.

Side one ends with “I’ll Go On Alone”. The song was written by Marty Robbins and was one of his first hits, while also hitting for Webb Pierce. This is another good track that really melds everything ranging from Roy’s vocals to the arrangement and the song, very well. This was the album’s second single, hitting the market in the Spring of 1968.

“Foggy River” is the track that opens side two. The album mentions a 1946 version by Red Foley, but the biggest hit version was actually Carl Smith’s 1968 version. Roy gives a pretty decent version, here.

If there’s a track, here, that could be a potential train wreck, it would likely be Don Gibson’s Country-rocker “Oh Lonesome Me”. And while it’s not the best track on the album, it’s far from a train wreck, as Roy Acuff gives a more than credible performance, here. Not really Roy’s style of song, but it works okay.

Next, Roy tackles the Hank Locklin hit “Send Me The Pillow You Dream On”, featuring a heavy dose of dobro, likely Bashful Brother Oswald. This track isn’t quite as good as the others, Roy’s vocals sound a bit tired, here.

However, on “A Satisfied Mind”, the voice is as strong as anywhere on the album, as Roy gives another of the album’s best performances. A great song for Roy Acuff to cover.

Another song that might surprise some as to how well Roy handles is the Carl & Pearl Butler classic “Don’t Let Me Cross Over”. In fact, I’ll go so far as to call it another of the album’s standout tracks. Roy Acuff nails it, here.

To finish off this album, Roy and the band let it all out on Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen”. A rousing version where it sounds like everyone is having fun doing some picking and singing.

Not on the market, but I did find a few used copies, mostly under $10.

My pick for Standout Track is “Don’t Let Me Cross Over”. As for Hidden Gem, I’m going with “Uncle Pen” and here’s why; my 6 year old daughter has fallen in love with this version, in fact, I’ve had to play it 4 or 5 times while finishing this post! As for Weakest Track, I’m going with ‘Send Me The Pillow You Dream On”, Roy’s voice just sounds off or tired, here.

Overall, it’s pretty decent collection by the King Of Country Music, Roy Acuff. Before the first time I ever heard this album, I had some reservations, as Roy Acuff is best, singing those “mountain” type songs like “The Precious Jewel”. But he gave some very good performances on this album, definitely worth giving a listen to, especially if you are a Roy Acuff fan. I rate it a 4 out of 5.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - February 2, 2012 at 7:30 AM

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O What A Show It Was…

…this past week, as another opportunity to experience Ultimate Twang arrived.  It was a great mix of classic Country & Christmas tunes from Country music’s day’s past.  If you missed the show, you can still catch it.  It will re-air on Sunday morning, December 18, at 8am EST, and again on Wednesday morning, December 21, at 10am EST.  Simply go to http://ashevillefm.org, under shows, click on Ultimate Twang, then click on listen, under stream link.  I’ve also included a link, below.

So, what popped  up on this past week’s show?  Let’s take a look…

 

Ricky Skaggs Get Up John 1997
Elvis Presley All Shook Up 1957
Mel Tillis Ain’t No California 1978
Hank Williams Jr. All My Rowdy Friends (Have Settled Down) 1981
Roger Miller Old Toy Trains 1967
Tom T. Hall A Bar With No Beer 1985; Almost Hit
Donna Fargo Mockingbird Hill 1977
John Anderson She Sure Got A Way With My Heart 1984
Charley Pride Christmas In My Hometown 1970
Merle Haggard I’m A Lonesome Fugitive 1967
Gary Morris & Crystal Gayle Makin’ Up For Lost Time 1986
Freddie Hart Easy Lovin’ 1971
Tex Ritter Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie 1959; Classic Album Track
Bill Anderson Christmas Time’s A-Comin’ 1969
Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton We’ll Get Ahead Someday 1968
Eddie Rabbitt Two Dollars In The Jukebox 1977
Bobby G. Rice Pick Me Up On Your Way Down 1976
Lynn Anderson Ding-A-Ling (The Christmas Bell) 1971
Dottie West Would You Hold It Against Me 1966
Roy Acuff The Streamlined Cannonball 1940
Don Gibson Oh Lonesome Me 1958
Vernon Dalhart Wreck Of The Old 97 1924
The Browns Blue Christmas 1960
Jim Reeves Distant Drums 1966
Janie Fricke What’re You Doing Tonight 1977; Almost hit
George Strait I Hate Everything 2004
Skeeter Davis I Can’t Believe That It’s All Over 1973
Bobby Helms Jingle Bell Rock 1957
Jerry Lee Lewis Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On 1957
Statler Brothers Let’s Get Started If You’re Gonna Break My Heart 1989
George Jones The Door 1975
Hank Snow The Reindeer Boogie 1967
Willie Nelson Old Five And Dimers Like Me 1985; Classic Album Track
David Ball Riding With Private Malone 2001
Buck Owens Waitin’ In Your Welfare Line 1966
Captain Stubby & The Buccaneers Brazen Little Raisin 1946; Almost Hit
Collin Raye & The Beach Boys Winter Wonderland 1996
Billie Jo Spears Blanket On The Ground 1975
Osborne Brothers Rocky Top 1968
Webb Pierce & Wilburn Brothers Sparkling Brown Eyes 1954
Waylon Jennings Come With Me 1979
Ray Stevens Santa Claus Is Watching You 1985
4 Runner Cain’s Blood 1995; Almost Hit
Kenny Rogers Daytime Friends 1977
Ed Bruce You’re The Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had 1982
Chet Atkins Silver Bells 1960
Oak Ridge Boys Sail Away 1979
Don Williams The Shelter Of Your Eyes 1972
Alabama Why Lady Why 1980
Buck Owens Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy 1965
Billy Crash Craddocck Home Is A Lonely Place To Go 1974; Classic Album Track
Barbara Mandrell Operator Long Distance Please 1982
Ray Price Big Shoes 1962; Almost Hit
Eddy Arnold I Want To Go With You 1966
Hank Thompson White Christmas 1964
Jimmy Newman Come Back To Me 1956

To hear the replay of the show on Sunday morning at 8 EST or Wednesday morning at 10 EST, just click here; Asheville Free Media.

To hear the archived version, anytime, just click here; Asheville Free Media/Ultimate Twang.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - December 17, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12 Shows Already! This Week’s Recap.

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player.

Can you believe it? 12 editions of Ultimate Twang, already, since the program began on Asheville Free Media, back on September 1st.  Each week has gotten better and more exciting, playing some great classics, along with a few forgotten faves, as well.

Now, if you haven’t listened, yet, here’s the deal.  The show is online, every Thursday afternoon, beginning at 4 EST.  You will hear Country music that is all pre-2005, with a catalog that goes back into the 1920′s.  Mostly hits, but some Almost Hits, Gospel faves, and Classic Album Tracks are lightly mixed in, as well.  And the really cool part (at least I think so), is that while I use many CD’s and a few MP3′s, I mix in a good amount of vinyl, as well, 33′s, 45′s, and even an occasional 78.

If you have not heard the show, yet, you can listen to the archived copy of this week’s show, right now, or anytime before next Friday, simply by going to the Ultimate Twang page on the Asheville Free Media site, and clicking on “listen”, right under “stream link”.

Simply click on Asheville Free Media, to go to the Ultimate Twang Show page, to hear this week’s program.

Now, for the list of songs that were spun, this week….

Dave & Sugar The Door Is Always Open 1976
Faron Young Occasional Wife 1970
Holly Dunn Heart Full Of Love 1991
Walter Brennan Old Rivers 1962
Kentucky Headhunters Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine 1989 Almost Hit
Webb Pierce Bye Bye Love 1957
Bellamy Brothers Lovin’ On 1978
Charley Pride Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone 1970
Tennessee Ernie Ford Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen 1960
Jeanne Black He’ll Have To Stay 1960
Flatt And Scruggs Cabin In The Hills 1959
Eddy Arnold I Couldn’t Believe It Was True 1947
Buck Owens I Don’t Care 1964
Hank Thompson Swing Wide Your Gate Of Love 1971 Classic Album Track
Reba McEntire Just A Little Love 1984
Toby Keith My List 2002
Bobby Bare I Hate Goodbyes 1973 Almost Hit
Anne Murray Daydream Believer 1980
Johnny Bond Hot Rod Lincoln 1961
Johnny Cash Sunday Morning Comin’ Down 1970
Barbara Mandrell Crackers 1980
Mel McDaniel I Wish I Was In Nashville 1983
Marty Robbins El Paso 1959
Roy Drusky New Lips 1967 Almost Hit
Rhett Akins That Ain’t My Truck 1995
Olivia Newton-John Something Better To Do 1975
Deana Carter Strawberry Wine 1996
The Johnson Family Singers He Put The Sunshine In My Soul 1947
Vern Gosdin Way Down Deep 1983
Highway 101 (Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes 1988
Conway Twitty Slow Hand 1982 Classic Album Track OK, it was a hit, but the LP was #1′s The Warner Years.
Charlie Rich My Elusive Dreams 1975
Billy Walker Charlie’s Shoes 1962
Harry Weger The Ballad Of Jimmy Bryan 1961 Almost Hit
Pee Wee King Slow Poke 1951
Tommy Overstreet

 

Statler Brothers

Ann (Don’t Go Runnin’)

 

You Can’t Have Your Kate And Edith, Too

1972

 

 

1967

 

Waylon Jennings Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way 1975
Johnny Carver Your Lily White Hands 1968 Almost Hit
Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers What Are We Doin’ Lonesome 1981
Nat Stuckey She Wakes Me With A Kiss Every Morning 1971
Cal Smith It’s Time To Pay The Fiddler 1975
Jim Reeves I’d Rather Have Jesus 1962
The Judds I Know Where I’m Going 1987
Earl Thomas Conley After The Love Slips Away 1982
Don Gibson Far Far Away 1960
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan Tennessee Bird Walk 1970
Amazing Rhythm Aces

 

Buck Owens

Hit The Nail On The Head

 

Ruby (Are You Mad)

1975

 

1971

Classic Album Track

 

Loretta Lynn One’s On The Way 1972
Jeannie C. Riley The Rib 1969 Almost Hit
Alison Krauss Teardrops Will Kiss The Morning Dew 1989
George Hamilton IV Break My Mind 1967

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - November 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

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Classic Album Review-Ronnie Milsap “Inside”

Here's a guy who was equally influenced by Country, Rock, and R & B.

Read more...

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Mike The Country Musicologist - September 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

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