Major Role in Preserving the Music

country music has moved on, and difficult to find connections between
its past and its present, the genuine article still lives on at the
British Archive of Country Music (BACM), one of the world’s foremost
sources for the music.
in Dover, Kent, BACM not only houses a great library of recordings,
books, magazines and other references sources, but also releases cd
product of considerable historic value that stretches over a 40 year
by Dave Barnes, who turned a lifetime collection hobby into a valuable
source for all similarly minded enthusiasts and others interested in the
music, BACM not only provides a invaluable source of reference but also
makes the music available through its own record label, a joint
enterprise that Barnes runs with veteran musician Brian Golbey, playing a
vital role in ensuring the music’s preservation.
Now boasting a catalogue of over 450 cds covering country’s widest horizons including Western
Swing, Cajun, Gospel, Cowboy Songs, Duets, Nashville Sound and other
regional recordings, all culled from the archive’s library of more than
500,000 titles.
three cds a month, and featuring artists ranging from the obscure to
the famous that originally saw the light of day on similarly defined
record labels, such variety can be heard among its most recent releases,
which include:
CONNIE HALL – Heartache Avenue (CD 403)
A super but sadly underrated country girl , this cd features 28 songs selected from her 1958/62 Mercury and Decca years.
CLAUDE GRAY – The Tall Texan (CD 407)
28 tracks early 60s tracks from this Gold Record balladeer, Mercury’s answer to Jim Reeves.
JAN HOWARD – Belle of The Ball (CD 409)
tracks from her early career (1959-62), mainly songs written by her
then husband Harlan Howard including the classic hits ‘Pick me up on
your way down’ and ‘The one you slip around with’.
recordings of  Cooley’s classic Columbia Records-era band, with vocals
by such  Tex Williams, Smokey Rogers, Colleen Summers (AKA, Mary Ford)
alongside great sounds from teel guitar wizard Joaquin Murphey (steel
guitar), Johnny Weis (guitar), George Bambi (accordion) and, of course,
Cooley (fiddle).
country from a talented artists who never made the big time. On offer
here, 23 tracks (late 40’s and early 50s), several written and produced
by Fred Rose during Johnson’s spell with MGM.
voices don’t come more ‘Country’ than that of Jimmie Logsdon, friend
and devotee of Hank Williams. This collection (23 tracks recorded
1050s/early 60s) includes both sides of his poignant tribute single “The
Death of Hank Williams” b/w “Hank Williams will sing The Blues no
of the all-time great Bluegrass/Old-timey performers, these rare 28
tracks were recorded in New Zealand and feature Clifton performing with
superb NZ bluegrass band.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Cowgirl Shuffle (CD 421)
bunch of 28 female vocalist recordings from the early 30s through to
the late 50s, including a  couple of early Mary Ford tracks (before she
teamed up with Les Paul) and a duet between legendary songwriter Cindy
Walker and Red River Dave.
collection from the man often dubbed Canada’s “King of the Yodelers”,
includes his first American hit single, ‘Texas Yodel.’
pop/crooner vocalist who focused on western material during a brief
movie career. This cd covers his 1946/47 RCA sessions and includes
western standards alongside Williams’ originals.
and individualistic musician whose recordings spanned an amazingly
diverse range: western-swing, comedy and jazz and even ‘bop’ – this CD
provides an excellent cross section of his output.
of the great pioneers of the steel guitar and mainstay for several
years of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys, McAuliffe had a long and
distinguished career, well showcased on this selection
second Grandpa Jones CD , all culled from his King label recordings –
nice mix, old timey and folk, novelty and comic. Most of the tracks
never issued before on cd and several feature the legendary Merle
tracks featuring Hall variously as pianist, singer, band leader between
1949 and the mid ‘50s in Detroit and Nashville before signing with
Decca as a rock ‘n roller in 1955. Upbeat country with honky tonk piano.
BACM cd from this talented fiddle player, guitarist and melodic tenor,
featuring a wide range of material from ballads to jazz tinged western
swing as well as hilarious novelty numbers.
Jones and her Western Sweethearts was probably the first all-girl band
in country music, with her recording sessions also featuring top West
Coast musicians like Speedy West and Joe Maphis. She possessed one of
the best country voices of her (early ‘50s) era.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Cool Hillbilly (CD D451)
New Jersey label which released a mix of rockabilly, rock ‘n roll,
white gospel and country between 1958 and the early ‘60s. This
collection features the best of the label’s country recordings.
HOYLE NIX & WEST TEXAS COWBOYS – A Big Ball’s In Cowtown (CD D453)
Swing in the authentic style of Nix’s idol, Bob Wills; nice mix of
songs and tempos, mainly upbeat swingers but with some smooth ballads.
releases include recordings by many of country music’s legendary
figures, including Roy Acuff, Gene Autry, Bill Boyd, The Browns, Skeeter
Davis, Red Foley, Don Gibson, Patsy Montana, Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers,
Carl Smith, Ernest Tubb, Porter Wagoner,  Jimmy Wakely, Billy Walker,
Kitty Wells and Bob Wills.

cds come with booklets featuring biography information penned by much
respected country music historians, journalists and writers. The cds 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.

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