Thursday, February 2, 2012
2:01 PM Christian Lamitschka No comments
BEAR FAMILY KEEPS ON SHAKING THE SHACK
New CDs by Tommy Collins, George Jones and Wynn Stewart
The latest releases in Bear Family Records highly popular “Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight” series features recordings by three of country music’s iconic artists – Tommy Collins, George Jones and Wynn Stewart.
The “Shake This Shack” series was created to spotlight the generally overlooked country boogie genre – disproving the myth did country boys didn’t get hip to the jive until Elvis arrived on the scene. This series clearly proved that many of the acclaimed ‘50s rockabillies followed in the footsteps of their earlier country music cousins!
TOMMY COLLINS Black Cat (Bear Family BCD 16897 AH)
Campus Boogie • Black Cat That's The Way Love Is • Smooth Sailin' Let Down (& WANDA COLLINS) • You Gotta Have A License • Let Me Love You • You Better Not Do That • Untied I Always Get A Souvenir • Whatcha Gonna Do Now 0 I Love You More And More Each Day Love-A-Me, S'il Vous Plait • You're For Me • I'll Be Gone I'm Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail • It's Nobody's Fault But Yours • All Of The Monkeys Ain't In The Zoo Wait A Little Longer • What Kind Of Sweetheart Are You • A Love Is Born • Heart's Don't Break • You Belong In My Arms • It Makes No Difference Now • I Guess I'm Crazy • Mary Don't You Weep (& WANDA COLLINS) • Oklahoma Hills • I Got Mine • Black Cat (Stereo) • Think It Over Boys
Although he was one of the architects of the Bakersfield Sound, the commercial West Coast alternative to country music originating out of Nashville, Tommy Collins never reached the stardom that he so richly deserved. Probably best known for his humorous and novelty songs, Collins’ career wavered between religion and a dependency on drugs and alcohol, resulting in a decision to join the Ministry in 1956 (though he was to return to songwriting a few years later and just recognition thanks to Merle Haggard who not only enjoyed hits with a couple of Collins’ songs but also wrote a worthy tribute, Leonard, the title referring to Collins real first name).
The 30 recordings featured in this collection are culled from years with Capitol Records, although the set kicks off with 1951’s Campus Boogie, which marked the singer's debut on the independent Morgan Records. Veering more towards Collins’ light-hearted work, the cd includes his two biggest hits – You Better Not Do That and Whatcha Gonna Do Now (and a further original novelty, All Of The Monkeys Ain’t In The Zoo, not a hit!) – as well as two other charts titles, Untied and I Guess I’m Crazy. There’s also a couple of duets with Wanda Collins, his wife, one being a version of the old gospel song Mary Don’t You Weep. And, providing a more rockier side of the artist, both the original and overdubbed versions of Black Cat are included, a recording that’s more Gene Vincent than Bakersfield honky-tonk. With biographical notes by Todd Everett, photographs and discography in the accompanying 34 page booklet, this cd provides an ideal overview of Tommy Collins’ distinctive recordings of the 1950s/early ‘60s.
GEORGE JONES Heartbreak Hotel (Bear Family BCD 16858 AH)
Rock It (alt) • Tall Tall Trees • White Lightnin' • Vitamins L-O-V-E • Sparkling Brown Eyes • Why Baby Why • Heartbreak Hotel • Jesus Wants Me • Too Much Water • Just Little Boy Blue • Revenooer Man • If I Don't Love You (Grits Ain't Groceries) • You Gotta Be My Baby • Hold Everything • No Money In This Deal • Maybe Little Baby • One-Woman Man • How Come It • Please Take The Devil Out Of Me • Time Lock • Who Shot Sam • Slave Lover • Did I Ever Tell You (& MARGIE SINGLETON) • Eskimo Pie • That's The Way I Feel • Taggin' Along • Gonna Come Get You • Nothing Can Stop Me • Someone Sweet To Love • You Better Treat Your Man Right • Baby (You've Got What It Takes) • Poor Man's Riches • I'm Ragged But I'm Right • Mexican Boogie (Boogie Woogie Mexican Boy) • You All Goodnight
Of course George Jones needs no introductions and, at 81, has enjoyed the status of world's greatest living country singer for more than half-century. Much of that reputation is rooted in raw, emotional ballads like He Stopped Loving Here Today, Walk Through This World With Me and She Thinks I Still Care but that's only one part of the story. In the early days of his career, back on Starday and Mercury Records, he was raw, rough edged and sometimes rocking. It’s that genre of material that makes up the generous 35 tracks in this cd collection.
A number of the recordings will be instantly familiar, with Why Baby Why, You Gotta To Be My Baby, Gonna Come Get Me, White Lightnin’ and Who Shot Sam among the songs that first put the Jones name into the national country charts. Then there those titles that should have been hits – Tall Tall Trees, Revenooer Man and No Money In This Deal among others while, for Starday’s budget priced Dixie EPs, he covered other artists hits like Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel and Johnny Horton’s One Woman Man. He duetted a couple of times with Margie Singleton - Did I Ever Tell You and Baby (You’ve Got What it Takes) – and made a brief excursion into rockabilly territory, recording Rock It and How come It under Thumper Jones pseudonym.
Produced by H. W. “Pappy” Daily, and often featuring the classic East Texas honky-tonk sound, these recordings were the launch pad for a hardly-to-be-equalled career that now stretches over seven decades and more than 160 hit titles. Rich Kienzle provides informative notes in the accompanying 46 page booklet that also includes photographs, label reproductions and a discography.
WYNN STEWART Come On (Bear Family BCD 17252 AH)
Come On (alt) • After All • It's Not The Moon That Makes The Difference • Slowly But Surely (& EDDIE COCHRAN) • That Just Kills Me • Why Do I Love You So • I Wish I Could Say The Same • She Just Tears Me Up • School Bus Love Affair (alt) • Donna On My Mind • I Keep Forgettin' That I Forgot About You • We'll Never Love Again (& JAN HOWARD) • I Done Done It • Rain, Rain • Big, Big Love • Playboy • Hold Back Tomorrow • Wrong Company (& JAN HOWARD) • Three Cheers For The Loser • Wishful Thinking • You're That Someone Else • Heartaches For A Dime • Man, Man, Mr. Sandman • Slightly Used • Open Up My Heart (basic track) • Wall To Wall Heartaches • Another Day, Another Dollar • Take It Or Leave It • Uncle Tom Got Caught • Don't Spook Me • Come On (master) • Wild One (JACKIE BURNS)
Another of the West Coast innovators that created the Bakersfield Sound, Wynn Stewart has been hailed as one of the greatest pure voiced singers in the history of country music. He was equally well respected and influential, regarded highly by such as Buck Owens, Harlan Howard, Merle Haggard (who began his career in Wynn's band) and Dwight Yoakam. This 32 track collection reveals why he’s regarded in such high esteem, with particular emphasis on his uptempo recordings.
Moving from Stewart’s first recording After All (1954, on the independent Intro label), this cd covers a period up to the mid 1960s with material compiled from the archives of Capitol, Jackpot and Challenge. It includes the chart hits Wishful Thinking (1959), Big Big Love (1961), Another Day, Another Dollar (1962), I Keep Forgettin’ That I Forgot About You (1965) and a duet with one-time secretary and demo singer Jan Howard, Wrong Company (1960). (We’ll Never Love Again, the duet “B” side, is also included). Among the other recordings featured, Come On – his first record on Jackpot – was originally intended for the rockabilly market while rock ‘n’ roller Eddie Cochran played guitar on Slowly But Surely. The cd concludes with Wild One, an unissued demo recorded by Stewart’s support act Jackie Burns.
Wynn Stewart was a mere 5I years old when he died in 1985, a victim of a heart attack brought on by alcoholism, and never lived to hear such as Dwight Yoakam praise him as a great originator nor realize that the Bakersfield Sound would become a cornerstone of current alternative country. Todd Everett provides the facts in the accompanying 42 page booklet that also contains photographs and a discography.
Each of the above artists also have Bear Family box sets available:
TOMMY COLLINS Leonard (5 cds)(BCD 15577 EI)
GEORGE JONES She Thinks I Still Care (United Artists: 5 cds)(BCD 168198 EK)
GEORGE JONES Walk Through This World With Me (Musicor Part 1:5 cds) (BCD 16928 EL)
GEORGE JONES A Good Year For The Roses (Musicor Part 2: 4 cds)(BCD 16929 DI)
WYNN STEWART Wishful Thinking (10 cds) (BCD 15886 JI)
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