Classic Country: 1960-1964
The beginning of the 1960s witnessed a tremendous growth of country music. Enjoy Marty Robbins’s #1 hit El Paso, the Everly Brothers’ gold record Cathy’s Clown, Skeeter Davis’s poignant pop hit The End Of The World, and more!
List Price: $ 15.97
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Clint Black ~ No Time To KillAfter an acrimonious legal battle with his former manager and an ill-advised move toward adult-contemporary pop threatened to sink his career, Clint Black has righted himself on the delightful No Time To Kill. This outing returns Black to the modern Texas honky- tonk that made 1989’s Killin’ Time one of the best debut albums of that decade. Stuart Duncan’s fiddle and Paul Franklin’s pedal steel are pushed forward in the mix; a skipping swing beat is injected and Black sounds like he’s back in the Houston saloons where he started his career, singing about heartaches and stubborn pride with one of the state’s strongest, most flexible tenor voices. —Geoffrey Himes
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Nobody likes Christmas more than Canadian singer Anne Murray, who first came into the public eye back in 1970 with the million-selling crossover single “Snowbird.” Since that time, Murray has recorded three Christmas albums, each soothing, unassuming celebrations of the holiday. For this two-CD collection, Murray has gone back into her own vaults and dusted off some of her personal favorites from past albums and tied them up in tinsel and a big red bow. But she didn’t just rely on her existing catalog, instead heading into the studio to record some new material, giving old standards like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Let It Snow,” and a well-chosen medley of children’s holiday songs her same straightforward approach. While there are few surprises under this tree, it’s nice to have some traditions that you can count on, and Murray’s warm heart and steady voice is one of them. Also on board for this sleigh ride is the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra, which is featured on six songs, including “Silent Night,” “Away in the Manger,” and “Winter Wonderland.” –Jaan Uhelszki
List Price: $ 19.98
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NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILEIt’s an interesting concept: George Jones, still the gold standard for country singers after nearly half a century, finally recording material submitted to and rejected by him from the ’60s through the ’90s–songs that would go on to become hits for others. Superbly produced by Keith Stegall, Jones masterfully tackles Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away”; Randy Travis’s “On the Other Hand”; “Detroit City,” the Mel Tillis composition that became Bobby Bare’s signature tune; and Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again.” A new version of Hank Williams Jr.’s “The Blues Man” with a cameo from Dolly Parton is reflective and thoughtful. Jones does equally well with “Too Cold at Home,” the introductory hit for his friend Mark Chesnutt. While the remake of his own 1981 landmark hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is austere and dignified, the biggest surprises are finding Jones had first crack at Henson Cargill’s socially relevant 1968 ballad “Skip a Rope” and “Pass Me By,” Johnny Rodriguez’s 1972 debut hit. Jones’s brief notes on each tune provide some interesting hindsight perspectives. –Rich Kienzle
List Price: $ 17.98
Let’s Live a Little was the Appropiate Title of his First Smash of Many, Totally around 18 Million Discs. In a 29-track Programme, Living Era’s Collection Presents all the Hits his Vintage Years of 1951 to 1955. Although He Went on to have More in the Later 50s And, to a Lesser Extent , Into the 60s and Even the 70s, his Biggest all Stem from this Fruitful Five-year Period. These were Five Number Ones: Hey, Joe!, Loose Talk, Let Old Mother Nature have her Way, Don’t Just Stand There and Are You Teasing Me?, And, in All, 20 Top Ten Records, Such as Mr. Moon, Back Up Buddy, Trademark, Kisses Don’t Lie, If Teardrops were Pennies and Satisfaction Guaranteed.
List Price: $ 11.98
From Bebop to Big Band, Funk to Monk, this comprehensive CD showcases The Many Moods of Benny Golson. Whether playing his original tunes or interpreting standards from Duke Ellington or John Coltrane, saxophonist / composer Benny Golson illustrates the diverse genius that has made him one of the most influential artists in modern music and an unquestionable giant of Jazz. The album also features performances by Branford Marsalis, Art Farmer, Monty Alexander, Curtis Fuller, Marvin Smitty Smith, Nat Adderley, Mulgrew Miller, and many more. Philadelphia native Benny Golson (whose performance on this CD with Branford Marsalis was nominated for a Grammy award) is every bit as famous for his compositional brilliance as the sound of his tenor saxophone; and this release from Benny aptly showcases both. This CD, Benny Golson: The Many Moods of Benny Golson showcases the musical vision, virtuosic playing, and triumphant leadership that have made Golson one of the preeminent personalities in the Music world!
List Price: $ 9.98
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NEW Combo BLUWAVS CD and FLAC FILE”Country rocks … but bluegrass rules.” If Ricky Skaggs was looking for a manifesto for his long-awaited bluegrass comeback, he couldn’t have done much better than this disc’s five-second preamble. Contractually barred from recording bluegrass for more than 12 years, Skaggs has obviously been champing at the bit. After the aforementioned introduction, he promptly unleashes an instrumental “Get Up John” that still has smoke wafting from my CD player. Dandy versions of “Little Maggie,” “If I Lose,” and “Rank Stranger” follow, to single out just a few. The musicianship here is uniformly superb, especially Skaggs’s own mandolin playing, the guitar work of Bryan Sutton, Bobby Hicks’s fiddling, and even a nice guest turn from Jerry Douglas. If there’s any justice, the commercial success of Bluegrass Rules will send a strong message to record companies: Bluegrass music can and does sell records, especially when it’s as flawlessly executed as Skaggs’s latest. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next one. –Mary Park
List Price: $ 13.98
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