Webb Pierce, Sonny James, Brooks & Dunn, John Denver, Ray Price, The Judds, Billie Jo Spears, Bill Monroe, Rodney Crowell, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Garth Brooks. Oh, and that’s just a partial list of who to expect on today’s show. Make sure you join me, online, beginning at 4p ET at Asheville Freemedia’s website (click the name to go there). I promise you’re gonna love it!
Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio Tags: Asheville Free Media, Bill Monroe, Billie Jo Spears, Brooks & Dunn, Eddy Arnold, Garth Brooks, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, Rodney Crowell, Ronnie Milsap, Sonny James, The Judds, Webb Pierce
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable, spinning at 33 1/3, 45, or 78 revolutions per minute. Today’s Single Of The Day actually touches on a previous Single Of The Day from October, 2012. To date, no one has scored more top ten hits in country music, than Eddy Arnold. Between 1945 and 1980, Eddy had an incredible ninety-two top ten hits, including twenty-eight number one hits. Several of his top ten hits from the 1940′s and 1950′s, came as double-sided hits, meaning both sides of the single charted, as is the case, here.
In October, we looked at one of those hits, 1953′s “Free Home Demonstration”, a number four hit during the Summer. The flip side, “How’s The World Treating You”, did just as well. Debuting on the chart in July, one month after the flip-side, it would also peak at number four.
Unlike the flip-side, “How’s The World Treating You” is a slower ballad, the kind Eddy specialized in, even during his days of singing at a higher key with a traditional arrangement. Eddy was an outstanding vocalist, period. But it’s these kinds of songs where he was at his absolute best.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where the good music is. Today’s Single Of The Day is the 1953 hit, “Free Home Demonstration” from Eddy Arnold. It, along with the flip side, “How’s The World Treating You”, was Eddy’s Summertime hit for that year. The RCA release became the 51st and 52nd chart entries for Eddy, not only that, but also his 51st and 52nd top ten singles.
“Free Home Demonstration” charted first, appearing in Mid-June, climbing as high as four. A high-octane piece, it’s in the lighter, more fun mode that Eddy would use, from time to time.
The flip-side, “How’s The World Treating You”, debuted almost a month later, and like the A-side, would also peak at four. It’s a slower, more serious ballad, the kind that Eddy specialized in.
The single was released on both 78 rpm and 45 rpm.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where the flow of vinyl never ends. Mix in some CD’s, a few tapes, even some MP3′s, and you’ve got Ultimate Twang. Today’s Classic Album Review culls from the vast discography of the man known as The Tennessee Plowboy, Eddy Arnold. Eddy, of course, is a legend in Country music. More top tens (92), more weeks at #1 (145), and a longer chart span (62 years, 11 months) than any other artist, he’s also still one of the top-selling artists of all-time. Today’s featured album hit the shelves in January, 1968. The Everlovin’ World Of Eddy Arnold became Eddy’s ninth straight number one album, spending four weeks on top of the Country album charts, becoming his final number one album. One single came from the album, “Here Comes Heaven”. The tracks were recorded in sessions throughout 1967, in sessions that featured an incredible array of hall-of-fame talent; Harold Bradley on guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano (whose work can be heard prominently on this album), and Chet Atkins at the production helm. Charlie McCoy also worked on a few of these stracks, plus most interestingly, on nine of the twelve tracks, none other than Ray Stevens is listed as playing vibes (vibraharp).
The album opens with a cover version of the Jack Greene hit “All The Time”. Of course, here, you get a richer, fuller arrangement from Eddy Arnold, more along the lines of an easy-listening type sound. That said, I’ve always liked this version, almost as well as the original.
“In The Misty Moonlight” is a song that is a natural fit for a smooth vocalist like Eddy Arnold. There is nothing to dislike, here, on his take on the Jerry Wallace hit, especially for Arnold fans. Nice piece of music.
One of the album’s possible Hidden Gems would be “There You Go”. Falling a little more to the Country side, though still heavy on the strings. What will grab you, here, though, is the main refrain. The way Eddy sings the line “There you go…”, is a hook at it’s best.
There’s nothing special, necessarily, about “A Song For Shara”, it’s just a nice little love song, performed well.
I have always liked Eddy’s take on the Bobby Hebb hit “Sunny”. A very smooth, relaxed performance.
It’s rather surprising that the track that has the strongest country sound is “Dear Heart” from the movie of the same title. Floyd Cramer’s piano work really sets the tone, here, starting in the intro and lasting throughout. And, let’s not forget, a great Eddy Arnold performance.
Side two opens with another Hidden Gem possibility in “How Is She”. Simply a great piece, with strong lyrics, and outstanding singing. Plus, some really fascinating chord changes.
The album’s only single, “Here Comes Heaven”, was released just a few months prior to the album, and was peaking at number two, as the album hit the store shelves. One of Eddy’s underrated hits.
“The World I Used To Know” came from the pen of singer/songwriter/poet Rod McKuen. A definite folk feel to this one, I really like Eddy’s take on this track.
“Secret Love” was a big, 1954 hit for Doris Day, as well as a country hit for Slim Whitman, that same year. Eddy’s version has just a slightly quicker pace than most; if you like the song or Eddy Arnold, I can’t imagine you won’t like this version.
A nice, catchy beat and melody, “Baby That’s Livin’” is an easily-likable track.
“Nothing But Time” is the final track on the album. An alright cut, but quality-wise, the song is just a bit below the other eleven. The one track on this album that didn’t do much for me.
Long out of print, used copies seem somewhat plentiful. The ones I found ranged in price between $2 and $20.
“Here Comes Heaven” gets the Standout Track nod, while “There You Go” gets the Hidden Gem nod, and ‘Nothing But Time”, the Weakest Track.
Overall, with Eddy Arnold albums, they were always well produced, but some could come off a little bland or monotonous. I don’t think this album falls into that area, at all. Yes, all of the tracks are in that Country/Nashville Sound/MOR mix, but each track is a little different from the others. Nearly all of the songs, themselves, are strongly written, and each track stands well on it’s own. I rate this one a solid 4 out of 5.
Categories: Classic Album Reviews Tags: 1968, Charlie McCoy, Chet Atkins, classic country, country albums, Country Music, country oldies, Eddy Arnold, Floyd Cramer, Here Comes Heaven, Ray Stevens, RCA Victor Records, Rod McKuen, The Everlovin' World Of Eddy Arnold
Greetings from Asheville, where there’s always good music on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. Today’s Classic Album Review goes way back to the 1950′s, 1957 to be exact. The Song Of Robbins was the second Marty Robbins album to be released, the first on 12″. Released in April, by Columbia Records, the album did not chart, nor were any of the track released as singles, which, in the early days of albums was not at all unusual. This is pre-western, pre-Hawaiian, pre-pop, pre-racing Marty; pure country Marty Robbins.
The album kicks off with Marty’s take on the Hank Williams classic “Lovesick Blues”. This is one of those songs where I always say that it shouldn’t be recorded, again, because no one, outside maybe Charley Pride, has ever been able to do the song justice. That said, upon hearing Marty’s version, I’ll add him to the list, even maybe slightly above Charley, as Marty comes as close as anyone not named Hank Sr. in nailing this one.
Marty’s nickname, early in his career, was Mr. Teardrop. Recordings like his version of another Hank classic, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, are a prime reason. In addition to Marty’s stellar performance, I really like the arrangement, here; a blues/pop-style piano, mixed with steel guitar, and an acoustic guitar being played in a style and sound very similar to how Hank Snow played.
“It’s Too Late To Worry Any More” is a pretty decent track, straight-ahead country music, featuring a stellar performance by Marty Robbins, on a song that isn’t as strong as the first two, but benefits from having Mr. Robbins doing the singing.
While the arrangement is straight country, the feel of “Rose Of Ol’ Pawnee” has a western feel to it, a snippet of things to come.
Again, a preview of future sounds, as Marty’s vocals on “I Never Let You Cross My Mind” have a smoother, pop edge, despite the hard country sound. A mid tempo track, by now, if one is new to the music of Marty, this album, if nothing else, has already shown his incredible vocal talents.
Side one’s final track shows just a tad more twang in the vocal, though not a large amount. ”I Hang My Head And Cry” possesses a great melody that you can’t help but like. You’ll also notice the steel guitar playing that sounds very similar to early 1950′s Eddy Arnold records. That may well be due to the fact that Eddy was one of Marty Robbins’ influence.
Side two opens with Marty’s take on the Gene Autry hit “You Only Want Me When You’re Lonely”. Something not always mentioned about Marty’s vocals, but I think should be, is the soulfulness that often comes out. I think Marty could have been a good R & B singer, had he wanted to. This track is a prime example.
Side two is heavy on covers, including a third Hank Williams track, “Moanin’ The Blues”. Here, Marty gives more of a rockabilly performance, giving that feel entirely with his voice; the music is straight country.
The Ernest Tubb hit “I’ll Step Aside” is next up. Performed at a quicker pace than the original, Marty returns to a traditional country vocal style, here, and gives a stellar performance.
“All The World Is Lonely Now” is a very strong composition, with a fine medium-up pace. It feels like Marty’s wanting to cut loose, but is holding back, here, trying to stay pure country.
As I mentioned, earlier, Eddy Arnold was one of Marty’s influences, and here, you get a taste of Eddy with Marty’s cover of “Bouquet Of Roses”. Ironically, it’s only track that I have any level of apathy about. Not a bad take, yet it comes off with a neutral feel, to me.
The Lulu Belle And Scotty classic, “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You”, wraps this album, doing so in exceptional style. Though keyed a bit higher than I’d prefer, it still is a recording that one finds hard to come up with any faults about.
You might be surprised to know that this album is still available on CD. That would likely be the easiest way to grab a copy, as I didn’t find too many used copies and those I did were pricey, mainly over $40.
My Standout Track goes to his version of “Moanin’ The Blues”. I’ll give “I Never Let You Cross My Mind” my Hidden Gem nod, and as far as the Weakest Track goes, I guess I’d pick “Bouquet Of Roses”, only because of the twelve tracks, it’s the one I had the least reaction to.
Overall, this album is a vintage piece of classic country music. Even though Marty had already been around a few years, this album feels like a preview, in a way. It’s almost like he’s saying, “Here’s what to expect in the coming years, from me”. Some straight country, some pop, some rock ‘n roll, and of course, western. And as we’d soon find out, he could sing them all with ease and style. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5.