A look back at this past week's Ultimate Twang radio program, heard on Asheville Freemedia's WSFM-LP, 103.3FM in Asheville and at http://ashevillefm.org, worldwide
Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio Tags: Anne Murray, AshevilleFM, Brooks And Dunn, Buck Owens, Chet Atkins, Conway Twitty, Country Music, Don Gibson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, Sonny James, Tanya Tucker, Ultimate Twang, Waylon Jennings, WSFM
Greetings from Asheville, where the good music is always on the turntable, or in the CD player, and sometimes, even on the computer. After a couple of weeks’ worth of issues with the blog site, all systems now appear to be go, and we are back with a new Classic Album Review for you. It’s one of the classics of Country music history, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s first full album, together, Waylon & Willie. Released by RCA Victor Records in January 1978, the album was a huge success, spending eleven weeks on top of the country albums charts, while peaking at twelve on the pop side, and selling over two million copies. The album featured eleven tracks; five were duets, while the remaining six were solo efforts, split evenly between Waylon and Willie. Three hits are found on the album, along with two additional tracks that charted as B-side “tag-alongs”.
The album opens with the classic “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”. One of the signature songs of country music in the 1970’s, it’s in the opinion of many, that this is their top duet, and with good reason. Even though Ed Bruce wrote the song and even had a moderate hit a couple of years, earlier, there’s something about this version that seems to lack in all other versions, including Willie’s solo version. Their version is the cowboy image of that era. By far the highlight of this album.
“The Year 2003 Minus 25″ is a Kris Kristofferson tune that isn’t as good as “Mamas…”, but is one of the album’s better album cuts. More of the Waylon-influenced sound, with a bit of country-rock coming through. Decent lyrical content, but a rather catchy melody.
Willie wrote “Pick Up The Tempo”, a song that comes off rather ordinary. I like it’s overall sound and it’s melody, but it’s lacking, lyrically, the second verse, in particular, sounding like it was crafted from a shortage of ideas.
“If You Can Touch Her At All” is a Willie Nelson solo effort, and was the third and final single from the album, reaching the top five in late Spring, 1978. An overall sound that is closer to a Waylon recording than Willie (it’s minus his trademark guitar), yet that does nothing negative for this track, a fine performance, featuring a some of the album’s best lyrics.
“Lookin’ For A Feeling” is a solo Waylon effort, that he also wrote. The up tempo piece is pure, vintage Waylon, mixing strong vocals, a great arrangement, and a solid composition. This was a “tag-along” chart entry, as the B-side to Waylon’s hit, “The Wurlitzer Prize”.
As a writer, Willie Nelson also contributed “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way”. Minimally arranged, which is exactly what this track needed. I think this is a great track! Strong lyrics, delivered as only Willie can. A great piece of music.
Side two opens with “I Can Get Off On You”, a track that not only do Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson team up on behind the mic, but also with the pen, as they co-wrote this track. a medium-up tempo track, it’s not overly strong, from a lyric sense, yet a rather catchy melody helps make up for that. This track was also a “tag-along” as the B-side to “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”.
“Don’t Cuss The Fiddle” is a decent, slightly novelty-ish piece about stealing each other’s songs.
Waylon is given the solo reins on “Gold Dust Woman”, a song that I admit had trouble holding my attention. Lyrically, just okay, but a decent melody and the overall feel is country, with just a small dabbling of rock.
Willie delivers a solid performance on the Shel Silverstein song “A Couple More Years”. One of the more interesting break-up songs you’ll hear. I rather like this one; featuring that laid-back style that Willie perfected like no one else.
The album comes to a very strong end with Waylon’s hit “The Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You)”. Hitting number one in late 1977, this is nearly as good as “Mamas…”. Certainly near the top of Waylon’s best solo efforts. You can just hear the pain pouring out of this track in a truly haunting way. Folks, this is as good as it gets.
Still on the market, both in MP3 and CD format. Used copies are plentiful, as well, particularly vinyl. Pretty much all I saw were under $10, save for one copy that was pressed on gold vinyl. It was listed at $99. This album was also released on 8-track and cassette, as well. But, if you are looking at a used CD, be careful, because in it’s earliest days of CD release, it contained only nine of the eleven tracks.
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” gets my Standout Track nod, while the Hidden Gem goes to “It’s Not Supposed To Be That Way”. “Gold Dust Woman” gets my Weakest Track nod, since it had trouble holding my attention.
Overall, the album is a good piece of work, yet, strictly from a music standpoint, it’s not as strong as one might have thought it would have been. The main reason is the songs, themselves, which vary in quality. While it’s impossible to expect eleven tracks at the level of “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”, there are tracks, here, that could have been easily replaced with stronger pieces, and would not have really been missed. That said, though, there is some good, very good, and down right great music, here, as well. This album is a classic, though, and deservedly so, as it sold over two million copies (a real achievement for a country LP, in those days), and was a refreshing change of pace from what could be heard on much of country radio in those days. I rate this one a 3.5 out of 5.
Categories: Classic Album Reviews Tags: 1978, classic country, country albums, Country Music, country oldies, If You Can Touch Her At All, Kris Kristofferson, Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, RCA Victor Records, Shel Silverstein, The Wurlitzer Prize, Waylon & Willie, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. We are digging into the Waylon Jennings stax for today’s Single Of The Day, pulling out one of his later hits from his time with MCA. Of course, Waylon’s greatest success had come during his time at RCA, with the string of big hits that came during the second half of the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Waylon’s association with RCA ended at the end of 1985, as he would join the MCA roster. While his success, there, wasn’t to the same level, he would still enjoy some hits, including six top tens, the second of which is today’s Single Of The Day.
“Will The Wolf Survive” was Waylon’s second single for MCA, as well as the title cut to his first album for the label. The song had been a 1984 single for the group, Los Lobos, having garnered some significant play on Rock stations for the group. Waylon’s version debuted in June, 1986, and would peak at five on the Country charts.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
Bet the title got your attention, right? That, of course, is the actual title of a Roy Clark hit from 1972, and one that will on today’s Ultimate Twang show.
And what a line-up that is waiting for you! Today’s show is running the gamut from traditional to Pop-Country to Bluegrass to Country-Rock and all points in between. I’m talking Bill Anderson, Confederate Railroad, Conway Twitty, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Flatt & Scruggs, Merle Haggard, Waylon, Kathy Mattea, Crystal Gayle, Ernest Tubb, and even more.
Here in Asheville, today, the weather should be unseasonably warm, so if you have a front porch, grab the lap top, grab a drink of your choice (I’m seriously considering bringing me a Cheerwine), and simply plop down on the swing or the yard chair and just let everything go for 3 hours and enjoy today’s edition of Ultimate Twang, which kicks off at 4p EST.
Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio Tags: Asheville Free Media, Bill Anderson, Confederate Railroad, Conway Twitty, Crystal Gayle, Ernest Tubb, Flatt & Scruggs, Kathy Mattea, Radio, Roy Clark, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Waylon Jennings
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. Did you catch this week’s show on Asheville Free Media? If not, some great music was spun during our three hours, together. Fear not, though, as this week’s show will be rebroadcast on Sunday morning at 8 EST, and Wednesday morning at 10 EST. Simply go to the Asheville Free Media site and click on listen. You can also go the the Ultimate Twang page at the Asheville Free Media site, and listen anytime.
What came up on this week’s show?
|Bellamy Brothers||Do You Love As Good As You Look|
|George Jones||Color Of The Blues|
|Conway Twitty||Slow Hand|
|Restless Heart||When Somebody Loves You||Almost Hit|
|Ronnie Milsap||Back On My Mind Again|
|Mel Tillis||Old Faithful|
|Hank Williams||I Just Don’t Like This Kind Of Livin’|
|Floyd Cramer||MEDLEY: This World Is Not My Home, I’ll Fly Away, Down In My Heart, Do Lord, Give The World A Smile|
|Rodney Crowell||Above And Beyond|
|Waylon Jennings||The Taker|
|Johnny Cash||I Got Stripes|
|Louise Mandrell||This Bed’s Not Big Enough||Classic Album Track|
|Unknown||Wagon Train Theme|
|Sheb Wooley||That’s My Pa|
|Alabama||Feels So Right|
|Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers||Nothing But Your Love Matters|
|Little Jimmy Dickens||Country Music Lover||Almost Hit|
|Ernest Tubb & Loretta Lynn||Mr And Mrs Used To Be|
|Jerry Lee Lewis||Lonely Weekends|
|Homer And Jethro||Take The A Train|
|Dave & Sugar||Golden Tears|
|Cristy Lane||Simple Little Words|
|Bobby Goldsboro||Muddy Mississippi Line|
|Tanya Tucker||Blood Red And Goin’ Down|
|Cates Sisters||I’ve Been Loved||Almost Hit|
|Bobby Bare||Miller’s Cave|
|Roy Drusky||There’s Always One (Who Loves A Lot)|
|Jimmy Martin||The Shut-In’s Prayer|
|Eddy Arnold||Older And Bolder|
|Crystal Gayle||When I Dream|
|Vern Gosdin||Slow Burnin’ Memory|
|Barbara Mandrell||You Are No Angel||Classic Album Track|
|Lonestar||I’m Already There|
|Hillary Kanter||Good Night For Falling In Love||Almost Hit|
|Hank Thompson||Where Is The Circus|
|Webb Pierce||I Haven’t Got The Heart|
|Boots Randolph||Walking The Floor Over You|
|Merle Haggard||I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am|
|Johnny Lee||Cherokee Fiddle|
|Homer And Jethro||I’m Movin’ On #2|
|Patsy Cline||She’s Got You|
|Jim Stafford||Little Bits And Pieces||Almost Hit|
|Bill Phillips||The Company You Keep|
|C. W. McCall||Convoy|
|Charley Pride||Amazing Love|
|The Three Suns, Rosalie Allen, & Elton Britt||Beyond The Sunset|
|Hank Williams Jr.||I’m For Love|
|Eddie Rabbitt||Pour Me Another Tequila|
|Elvis Presley||The Impossible Dream||Classic Album Track|
|George Jones||A Girl I Used To Know|
|Deborah Allen||Heartache And A Half||Almost Hit|
|Sons Of The Pioneers||Cool Water|
|Boots Randolph||Y’all Come|
Categories: Artists, Music, & Radio Tags: Alabama, Asheville Free Media, Barbara Mandrell, Bellamy Brothers, Bill Phillips, Bobby Bare, Bobby Goldsboro, Boots Randolph, C. W. McCall, Cates Sisters, Charley Pride, classic country, Conway Twitty, Country Music, country oldies, Crystal Gayle, Deborah Allen, Eddie Rabbitt, Eddy Arnold, Elton Britt, Elvis Presley, Ernest Tubb, George Jones, Glen Campbell, Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Hillary Kanter, Homer And Jethro, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jim Stafford, Jimmy Martin, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Johnny Duncan, Johnny Lee, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lonestar, Loretta Lynn, Mel Tillis, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline, Ronnie Milsap, Rosalie Allen, Sons Of The Pioneers, Tanya Tucker, The Three Suns, Vern Gosdin, Waylon Jennings, Webb Pierce