COUNTRY MUSIC FROM BACM
More Than Just Old-Timey!
To those country enthusiasts who believe that BACM Records – the label outlet from the British Archive of Country Music – mainly concentrates on old-timey and traditional releases, a quick check through its considerable catalogue (now totalling 342 releases) reveals otherwise. Western Swing, Cajun, Gospel, Cowboy Songs, Duets and Record Label compilations are just a few of the genres to be found in its highly diverse catalogue.
Then there’s the hit-making artists of the 1940s/50s and the emerging Nashville Sound, alongside its West Coast rivals …… artists that’ll be instantly recognisable to many of today’s country music enthusiasts. Among these recent releases are:
CARL BELEW Cool Gator Shoes (BACM CD D335). 28 tracks from prominent Nashville singer/songwriter that crosses between hardcore country and rockabilly, the latter including I’m Long Gone and the title track. Plus covers of such songs as Release Me, Just Out Of Reach and his own classic originals Am I That Easy To Forget and Lonely Street.
THE BROWNS Bonnie, Jim Ed & Maxine (BACM CD D275). The family act from Sparkman, Arkansas, was one of the Nashville Sound’s biggest successes, scoring a massive international hit with The Three Bells. Here’s the chance to hear their earlier recordings – 27 of them – including the hits Looking Back To See (when The Browns were a duo featuring Jim Ed and Maxine), Here Today And Gone Tomorrow, I Take The Chance, Just As Long As You Love Me and I Heard The Bluebirds Sing.
SKEETER DAVIS Lost To A Geisha Girl (BACM CD D337). One of the Grand Ole Opry’s most beloved entertainers, Skeeter Davis was a foremost exponents of the Nashville Sound. This 27 track selection comprises recordings from the period 1957-60, including the chart successes Lost To A Geisha Girl, Set Him Free, Homebreaker, Am I Easy To Forget and (I Can’t Help it) I’m Falling Too.
AL DEXTER High Price Of Love (BACM CD D322). Dexter achieved one of the biggest hits of the war years with Pistol Packin’ Mama (included here, alongside the inevitable follow-up, New Pistol Packin’ Mama), selling over a million copies within six months. Unfortunately this fine exponent of honky-tonk never matched up to that initial success although he did return to the charts with such as Calico Rag, also included in this 26 track compilation.
ROY DRUSKY Swing Wide Your Gate Of Love (BACM CD D332). Another leading Nashville Sound exponent, the smooth voiced Drusky is highlighted with 30 recordings from the Columbia, Decca and Starday catalogues including the hits Another, Anymore, Three Hearts In A Tangle, I’d Rather Loan You Out and a cover of Hank Thompson’s Swing Wide Your Gate of Love.
BILLY GRAMMER A Thousand Miles Ago (BACM CD D325). This Illinois born singer/songwriter/guitarist established his reputation with the 1959 country-pop crossover Gotta Travel On and this 29 track selection includes other Monument label recordings alongside several extremely rare late 40s/early 50s recordings.
GOLDIE HILL It’s Only A Matter Of Time (BACM CD D301). The second BACM collection from Goldie Hill, one of the very few female chart artists of the 1950s who recorded spasmodically after marrying Carl Smith and settling down to become a farmer’s wife. Her solid vocal styling is clearly heard on this 26 track Decca selection which also includes a couple of hitherto unissued items.
HOMER & JETHRO Volume 3 (BACM CD D227). Kenneth Burns and Henry Haynes cast aside their fine instrumental skills to bring humour into country music during the 1950s, frequently parodying chart material under the guise of Homer & Jethro. Here they add their distinctive touches to Gone, I’m My Own Grandpa, Love And Marriage, Oh My Pappy, Ramblin’ Rose, Sifting Whispering Sand and A Bushel & A Peck among this cd’s 29 tracks.
GEORGE MORGAN One Woman Man (BACM CD D313). The smooth voiced Morgan, father of contemporary chart act Lorrie, perfectly fitted the Nashville Sound mantle, his chart career beginning in 1949 with the smash Candy Kisses and continuing up to his tragically early death in 1975. This 28 track collection, from the Columbia archives, displays his fine ballad styling, with some of the songs possessing slight novelty touches.
JEAN SHEPARD This Has Been Your Life (BACM CD D170). Latest inductee into Nashville’s prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame, Jean Shepard began her recording career on West Coast’s Capitol label, her first hits being A Dear John Letter and the answer, Forgive Me John, both duets with Ferlin Husky. These titles, together 23 other recordings (including further hits A Satisfied Mind, Beautiful Lies, Take Possession and I Thought Of You) provide an excellent representation of her early work.
SUE THOMPSON Angels Cry (BACM CD D238). Although she was to achieve chart success with “poppish” material on Hickory in the 1970s, Missouri’s Sue Thompson began her recording career some 20 years earlier. This 24 track selection presents the rare opportunity to hear her initial work on Decca, duetting with western swing bandleader Hank Penny, and Mercury when she recorded with Dude Martin’s Roundup Rangers and the David Carroll Orchestra.
THE WILBURN BROTHERS The Knoxville Girl (BACM CD D254). Brothers Teddy and Doyle were the most successful duo act of the Nashville Sound era, mixing hit recordings with successful business enterprises (management, music publishing and tv show). This 26 track Decca selection includes the hits I’m So In Love With You, Go Away With Me, Which One Is To Blame and The Knoxville Girl.
TEX WILLIAMS Badman’s Country (BACM CD D334). The third BACM release from the former Spade Cooley band vocalist who went on to give the fledgling Capitol Records its first million seller with Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) in 1947. The 26 tracks included here comprise Capitol and Decca recordings, as well as a handful of instruments with his band The Western Caravan that showed Williams still carried on western swing traditions.
All cds come with booklets featuring biography information penned by much respected country music historians, journalists and writers. They are available from the British Archive of Country Music, post free, and each cost £10.00 (UK), $16.00 (USA) or €14.00 (Europe) – or, at half price, for regular buyers thanks to a special subscribers scheme.
BACM Records was created by collector/archivist David Barnes and stalwart country musician Brian Golbey, and is an offshoot of Barnes’ British Archive of Country Music, a vast museum of recordings and artefacts that matured out of his exhaustive 60 year personal collection. The Archive has over 500,000 recordings and everything, including artists and songs, is listed on its extensive database. The Archive is available for use (by appointment) by the media, record, TV & film producers, serious collectors and university students.