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. Today, we look back at one of the many releases from the legendary Loretta Lynn. Woman Of The World/To Make A Man was Loretta’s fourteenth Decca release (excluding compilations). Released in June, 1969, it was also her final release of the decade. The album did well, peaking at number two on the bestseller lists, while also just breaking into the Top 150 on the Pop side. The album features two hit singles, which, in this case, are both of the title cuts.
One of the title cuts lead off the album, Loretta’s number one hit from Spring of 1969, “Woman Of The World”. One of Loretta’s best, right here. It’s that simple.
“Johnny One Time” is a song that both Willie Nelson and Brenda Lee had singles on, and while Loretta’s version was only an album cut, I would argue it’s as good as the other two versions. Great vocal job, in fact, you’d swear it was written with Loretta in mind, it’s that good.
I also like the ballad “If You Were Mine To Lose”. The song isn’t quite as strong as the first two, but it’s still a very good track, and Loretta’s performance is excellent.
Pretty good, is how I would describe “The Only Time I Hurt”. A steady track that may not stand out, but not likely to skip over, either.
“No One Will Ever Know” was already an old song, when Loretta recorded it for this album, having been released back in the late 1940’s by Roy Acuff. The song would eventually enjoy hit status in 1980, when Gene Watson just missed the top ten with his version. For me, Gene’s is the definitive version, but I really like Loretta’s take; a fine performance.
Side one ends with “Big Sister, Little Sister”, which starts with how the big sister would always make way for the little sister, so the little one could have her way, now they’re adults, a man’s involved;…do you know where this is going? Yep, big sister loves the man, but little sister marries him. That said, for a song that’s pretty easy to peg, it’s not as bad as one might think. Not the album’s best, but not a terrible track.
Side two opens with the album’s other hit single/title track, “To Make A Man (Feel Like A Man)”, which became a top five hit in late Summer, 1969. A bouncy track that I would describe as a typical Loretta song; in this case telling women how they should treat their men.
Next, Loretta Lynn covers the Merle Haggard classic “Today I Started Loving You Again”. A little quicker paced than most version, it almost feels a little rushed, which is unfortunate, because her vocals are good, and with a pace closer to the Haggard original, I think this could have been a killer track. Still decent, though.
Another cover track features Loretta giving her take on the Tammy Wynette classic “Stand By Your Man”. While no one will ever come close to Tammy’s version, this one is decent.
“Ten Little Reasons” is classic Loretta. The self-penned tear-jerker is a great album cut; one of the highlights of the album.
The album has a fine wrap-up with “I’m Lonesome For Trouble Tonight”, which Loretta co-wrote with Doyle Wilburn of the Wilburn Brothers. Good, solid track to put the wraps on this album.
Somewhat surprising that this album has yet to join the ranks of reissues; having been out of print for many years. Used copies are relatively numerous, most that I saw were in the $10 to $15 range.
“Woman Of The World” gets my Standout Track nod, while “Johnny One Time” is the Hidden Gem of this disc. Weakest Track? “Big Sister, Little Sister”; not a terrible track, but lags a bit behind the other ten.
Overall, a solid performance from one of the great legends of the genre. While I wouldn’t consider this to be her best long-play, it’s still a worthy collection of tracks that if you like Loretta Lynn, you’ll most likely enjoy this album. I rate it a 4 out of 5.
“What Kind Of A Girl (Do You Think I Am)” is vintage Loretta, standing up for the woman’s point of view, in this case, against a man who wants the goods.
Written by Loretta Lynn (Teddy Wilburn is listed as co-writer), the record debuted in October, climbing as high as five, by the end of the year.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always on the turntable. Today’s Single Of The Day became the only top ten hit for Oklahoma singer/songwriter Kenny O’Dell. Kenny O’Dell is best remembered as a songwriter, thanks to penning hits such as the Charlie Rich classic “Behind Closed Doors”, as well as Rich’s 1st top ten hit, “I Take It On Home”, and the Loretta Lynn number one hit, “Trouble In Paradise”. Kenny, though, had some success as a singer, scoring several chart singles during the 1960’s and 1970’s, on both the Country and Pop charts. In 1967, his “Beautiful People” made a brief appearance on the Pop top 40, but he wouldn’t score another top 40 hit on any chart until 1975, when “Soulful Woman” climbed as high as eighteen on the Country charts.
Kenny’s most successful single came during the Summer of 1978, with a song he also penned, “Let’s Shake Hands And Come Out Lovin’. The standard Country-Pop sound of the time, yet I think it’s a somewhat underrated record, featuring a great hook that is a take off of the an old boxing line. In my opinion, great hooks are something that Country music generally lacks, today.
The record debuted in July, and would peak at nine, becoming one of three Country 20 hits for Kenny O’Dell, and his only top 10 hit.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Categories: Single Of The Day Tags: 1978, Beautiful People, Behind Closed Doors, Capricorn Records, Charlie Rich, classic country, Country Music, country oldies, I Take It On Home, Kenny O'Dell, Let's Shake Hands And Come Out Lovin', Loretta Lynn, Trouble In Paradise
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always around. It’s a various artists collection for today’s Classic Album Review. Classic Country Duets, a 1985 MCA release, featured ten tracks from artists affiliated with MCA, as well as it’s predecessors, Decca and Dot.
The album starts out with a hit from Don Williams and Emmylou Harris, their 1982 top five hit, “If I Needed You”. Their voices work pretty well, together, but the real highlight of this track, is the composition, itself. Great piece of writing.
Next, a track lifted from the Barbara Mandrell Spun Gold album, is a Mandrell duet with Steve Wariner, “Overnight Sensation”. An average piece that really has very little country to it, the sound is mainly 1980’s Adult Contemporary.
While the previous track really couldn’t be considered a “classic”, the next track has not problem falling into that category. “For Loving You”, the first in a series of duets for Bill Anderson and Jan Howard, spent a month at number one, at the end of 1967. Great track.
Remember, this album was released in 1985, when older performances weren’t nearly as readily available as they are now, so it was great to see the inclusion of the Jack Greene and Jeannie Seely hit “Wish I Didn’t Have To Miss You”. Easily the best of their duets, together, this just missed number one, at the start of 1970. Hank Cochran co-wrote the song; he and co-writer Dave Kirby surely had these two in mind when writing it, as it’s perfect for their vocals.
Side one ends with a track that features Ernest Tubb and Loretta Lynn. I guess using the term “classic”, they were referring more to the performers, as opposed to the performances. “Sweet Thang” was a single, but missed the Country 40 in 1968 (whereas the version by Nat Stuckey was a top five hit). While it’s a decent performance, I would have rather seen “Mr. And Mrs. Used To Be” included.
The other really inexplicable addition opens side two, a Lee Greenwood and Barbara Mandrell duet from their Meant For Each Other album titled “Soft Shoulder”. Not even the best track on their album, why someone at MCA would use this over, say their hit, “To Me”, is beyond me. A fast-paced track, the performance is good, but the song is average.
There is a level of redemption, though, with the inclusion of the Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn number one classic “After The Fire Is Gone”. Do I really need to say anything about this outstanding recording?
Though not a hit, I am glad they did include the 1956 single from Roy Acuff and Kitty Wells, “Goodbye Mr. Brown”. Great piece of country music; one has to wonder why it wasn’t a hit.
While The Kendalls didn’t have any real success until “Heaven’s Just A Sin Away” on the Ovation label, they did spend time with Dot in the early 1970’s, releasing several singles, including three minor chart entries on covers of “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane”, “Two Divided By Love”, and “Everything I Own”. Yet, rather than one of those, a track from their only Dot album, a cover of “Never Ending Song Of Love”, was used, instead. Actually, the strongest of the three non-singles included on this album. Good bouncy, infectious track.
The album ends with a 1978 top ten hit for Merle Haggard and then-wife, Leona Williams. “The Bull And The Beaver” is an up-tempo piece of a man and woman flirting (to say the least) on their CB’s. Not the greatest song of Merle’s career, but it is a likable song.
Now out of print, I did run across a few used copies, most in the $5-$10 range. I found used copies on vinyl, cassette, as well as compact disc.
Albums like this are difficult to pick a Standout or Hidden Gem (though you could argue the Kendalls track, here), since there are usually a plethora of hits, though not so much, here.
Overall, it’s a decent compilation that really could have been better, by simply exchanging a couple of tracks, but still utilizing the same artists. With the advent of digital technologies, most, if not all of these tracks are available, elsewhere. I rate it a 3 out of 5.
Categories: Classic Album Reviews Tags: 1985, After The Fire Is Gone, Barbara Mandrell, Bill Anderson, classic country, Classic Country Duets, Conway Twitty, country albums, Country Music, country oldies, Decca Records, Don Williams, Dot Records, Emmylou Harris, Ernest Tubb, For Loving You, If I Needed You, Jack Greene, Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely, Kitty Wells, Lee Greenwood, Leona Williams, Loretta Lynn, MCA Records, Merle Haggard, Roy Acuff, Steve Wariner, Sweet Thang, The Bull And The Beaver, The Kendalls, Wish I Didn't Have To Miss You