6 GEORGE JONES Birth Of A Legend (1954-61) I won't apologise for listing a second George Jones release in my "Best of the Year" especially as its the long awaited complete Starday/Mercury recordings, a catalogue that had been poorly represented over the years with haphazard compilations. Now it's all here, 195 tracks (including 20 previously unissued recordings) with a magnificent 172 page, hardcover book — a presentation that only Bear Family could create.
7 WILLIE NELSON God's Problem Child There seems no stopping Willie
GEORGE JONES BIRTH OF A LEGEND Bear Family COUNTRY
Bear Family have already released box sets detailing the '60s career of country great George Jones. For their first box set release of 2017, the label has finally gone back to the early years on Starday and Mercury with a 6 CD set. Over the last 40 years this has been the most requested box set for Bear Family. Due to the difficulty in locating many of these early recordings this has been a set 20 years in the making!
GEORGE JONES Birth Of A Legend - The Truly Complete any And Mercury Recordings 1954-1961 ****
6 CDs - 200 tracks - 174 pages hardcover book Producer: Various Bear Family 7:38:00
This six CD boxed set is one of Bear Family's most requested sets ever. Charting the beginning of the greatest career in country music, it includes all of Jones' classic early recordings including Why Baby Why, White Lightning, Window Up Above, and 22 more charted hits. It also includes the Thumper Jones rockabilly single and duets with Janette Hicks, Bobbie Ellison, Margie Singleton, and Virginia Spurlock and comes with a whopping 174 page book and a newly researched biography and discography. Bear Family first started working on this discography more than 20 years ago and have spent goodness knows how many man hours figuring out who owned what and making sense of tapes logs and session contracts.
This exhaustive anthology offers a fascinating overview of Jones' progression as he graduated to Mercury, especially his mastery of the heart-tearing ballad ("Cup Of Loneliness"; "Colour Of The Blues"; the majestic "The Window Up Above"). Legendary names like Grady Martin, Hank Garland and Buddy Emmons are at hand to shape the music, from rockabilly to honkY-tonk, and there's alsothe first appearance
Wall Street Journal
When George Jones died in 2013, at the age of 81, his standing as the greatest of male country vocalists had been in place for decades. As color artwork in this typically lavish new Bear Family Records set “George Jones: Birth of a Legend—The Truly Complete Starday and Mercury Recordings 1954-1961” illustrates, by the mid-1960s the Starday and Mercury labels for which he first recorded were touting him on LP covers—reasonably—as “King George” and “Country and Western #1 Male Singer.” In the decades that followed, the Texan’s singular, even mysterious genius for lyric interpretation, emotional nuance in performance and communication with audiences—and the evidence of over a hundred singles and even more albums—cemented that reputation.
In May 1956, the Texan label Starday issued a wild rockabilly single by Thumper Jones. Its top side, the kinetic “Rock It”, was primal, uncontrolled and wild. The flip, “How Come It”, was less frenzied but still driving and infectious. Original pressings of the two-sided pounder in either its 45 or 78 form now fetch at least £200. This is not your usual rockabilly rarity though. The record’s label credited the songs to a Geo. Jones. Thumper Jones was a pseudonymous George Jones (1931–2013), who was cashing in a hip style: the only time he did so with rockabilly.
German record label Bear Family has assembled a new George Jones box set that compiles the recordings Jones made early in his career for Starday and Mercury Records.
Six-disc 'Birth of a Legend - The Truly Complete Starday and Mercury Recordings 1954-1961' arrives in February
In the 40 years that acclaimed German record label Bear Family has been reissuing classic, career-spanning CD boxed sets, one of the artists whose early work has been on customers' wish lists is country legend George Jones. Christmas has come early for Jones fans as the label announces the February release of a sprawling six-disc collection encompassing all of Jones' early recordings from the Starday and Mercury labels.