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Don Gibson Don Gibson & Los Indios Tabajaras (LP)

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​(Bear Family Records) 15 Tracks -  The annals of country music are full of...more

Don Gibson: Don Gibson & Los Indios Tabajaras (LP)

​(Bear Family Records) 15 Tracks - 

The annals of country music are full of experimental duet sessions that didn't quite come off. Some, like the Johnny Cash-Bob Dylan collaborations, and the Earl Scruggs-Pete Seeger efforts, have been talked about for years, but others have languished in company vaults, virtually unknown and forgotten. Such is the case for this set of 1966 tapes done by Don Gibson with the famed Brazilian guitarists, Los Indios Tabajaras. Only in this case, the music was quite successful, and only the lack of enough tracks to make up an LP prevented the session from being issued. We are proud to present this unusual and effective collaboration to the public for the first time. 

In late 1965, when Don Gibson and the Los Indios met for the first time, Don was riding a string of 22 hits, the most recent of which was ''Watch Where You're Going''. Based in Knoxville, booking with Lucky Moeller, trading his Opry spot for a series of carefully chosen concerts, Don was one of the most respected figures in the business; Elvis Presley and Ray Charles were making his songs into pop standards, and he was giving interviews which he was saying, ''People should listen to all types of music. It is idiotic to like only one thing, one way." Don's own musical influences showed that: his favorite guitar players were jazzman Django Reinhardt and Grady Martin

Los Indios, for their part, had come from an isolated province in northeastern Brazil; their names were Musiperi and Herundy, and they were sons of a Tabajares chief. Their press releases made much of the fact that they had discovered the guitar when they found an old instrument that had been discarded by a white explorer shortly before World War II. They soon became proficient enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro, where they sung their tribal songs to guitar accompaniment. There a booking agent heard them, and began promoting them throughout Mexico and South America; they signed with RCA Victor in 1943, recording primarily for the Latin American market. During the 1940s they learned classical guitar techniques, and added Chopin, Bach and Beethoven to their repertoire of Brazilian folk songs. 

In 1963 RCA released a single of their version of ''Maria Elena'' and to everyone's amazement, it became a giant hit, winning the brothers a gold record. A long string of RCA albums followed, and by 1965 the brothers were living in New York City. They had changed their names to Natalicio and Antenor Lima, feeling that their original names were too hard to pronounce. Don recalls how the idea for the session came about. ''I was in New York doing several TV shows with Jimmy Dean; this one he had decided to do in Carnegie Hall. Me, Chet Atkins, and Floyd Cramer had gone up there, and one night Chet said, 'What do you think about recording an album with the Los Indios?' They had just had a big hit on ''Maria Elena''. and I thought they were great. I said, 'You're kidding.' He said, 'No.' So we all went over to his hotel room that next night, and we all started singing and playing together. Afterwards, I told Chet, 'Well, that'd be a good idea; let's do it.' And he said, 'Ok, I'll set the session.'' 

The sessions took place on Don's turf, in Nashville, on January 19 of the next year. The Los Indios sound was supplemented by studio men Junior Huskey on bass and Buddy Harman on drums and, on three of the songs, Richard Morris on marimba. ''They took to my music pretty fast," recalls Don. „In fact, they loved it. One of them wanted to sing on ''Lonely Street;'' he just had a fit over it." The repertoire Atkins chose was conspicuous in its absence of Spanish standards — with the exception of the western favorite ''My Adobe Hacienda,'' all the songs were straight country pieces by people like Johnnie Wright, Jack Anglin, Carl Belew, Gene Autry, and Don himself. But the sessions wore on, tension began to develop. „They had to have an interpretor," says Don. ''Everything had to go through him, and we weren't gettin' along at all. None of us were happy about it. It made me nervous, and the tension kept getting so tight, that I finally told Chet, 'Heck, I just can't work with 'em.' We were back then having an awful time with RCA — unless it was something that was going to sell 100,000 copies, they wouldn't do a thing. So it didn't surprise me that they didn't issue it. But listening to it today, it sounds fresh, and interesting. I think if they would put ''Lonely Street'' out, it would be a hit." 

Los Indios returned to New York, and Don returned to the Nashville studio two months later to record the album that would be called 'Don Gibson with Spanish Guitars.' (LPM/LSP 3594). This album was the replacement for the ill-fated Los Indios album, and even included a remake of ''I Can't Tell My Heart That,'' as well as a Gibson version of ''Maria Elena." The Spanish guitars, though, were merely Nashville session men Harold Bradley, Grady Martin, and Ray Edenton. 

Rounding out this collection are ten other pieces of prime Gibson, including two never before issued, ''When Will This End'' and ''That's How It Goes." ''That one was written by Tompall Glaser," recalls Don. „I had forgotten I recorded it. When I saw Tompall three or four years ago, I told him that ''That's How It Goes'' was a good song, and that I had always been sorry I didn't cut it. But it turns out that I did cut it." ''I Couldn't Care Less,'' ''So How Come," and ''The Same Old Trouble" all come from the 1959-1961 era, and all were issued by RCA only as rare singles, and never collected on LPs. ''Hurtin' Inside'' is Don's reading of a Brook Benton song and shows why the Moeller agency billed Don as The King Of Country Soul.. The last three cuts, ''Fireball Mail,'' ''Above And Beyond,'' and ''Camptown Races,'' come from the classic LP 'Girls, Guitars, and Gibson,' an innovative compilation in which jazz great Johnny Smith came to Nashville to join country jazz pioneer Hank Garland in backing Don for a set of exciting standards. 

Charles Wolfe; June 1986 

Article properties:Don Gibson: Don Gibson & Los Indios Tabajaras (LP)

  • Interpret: Don Gibson

  • Album titlle: Don Gibson & Los Indios Tabajaras (LP)

  • Genre Country

  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Preiscode BFX
  • Geschwindigkeit 33 U/min
  • Vinyl record size LP (12 Inch)
  • Record Grading Mint (M)
  • Sleeve Grading Mint (M)
  • Artikelart LP

  • EAN: 4000127151933

  • weight in Kg 0.21
Gibson, Don - Don Gibson & Los Indios Tabajaras (LP) LP 1
01I Can't Tell My Heart ThatDon Gibson
02Cryin' Heart BluesDon Gibson
03My Adobe HaciendaDon Gibson
04Lonely StreetDon Gibson
05Address UnknownDon Gibson
06That's How It GoesDon Gibson
07When Will This EndDon Gibson
08So How Come (No One Loves Me)Don Gibson
09What About MeDon Gibson
10I Couldn't Care LessDon Gibson
11The Same Old TroubleDon Gibson
12Hurtin' InsideDon Gibson
13Fireball MailDon Gibson
14Above And BeyondDon Gibson
15Camptown RacesDon Gibson
Don Gibson  As a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Don Gibson has been a major... more
"Don Gibson"

Don Gibson 

As a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Don Gibson has been a major force in country and pop music for over three decades now. His song catalogue includes some 150 or so 'working songs' - songs, that are continually recorded and performed by everybody from Ricky Skaggs to Ray Charles. His discography numbers over 500 items, and includes sidemen as diverse as jazz guitarist Johnny Smith, piano stylist Floyd Cramer, bluegrass banjoist Hubert Davis, and Brazilian guitarists Los Indios Tabajaras. His single releases first appeared on the hit charts in 1957, and continued to roost there through the 1970s. But the golden age of Don Gibson's career was the time from 1957 to 1966, a decade which saw a vertiable explosion of creativity. Every month, it seemed, saw innovative new songs and strong, exciting recordings, double-sided chart hits and crossover pop hits, efforts that literally changed the very landscape of country music. This is the era celebrated on the present collection, the Compact Disc retrospective of the Gibson sound. When Don Gibson signed on with RCA Victor in 1957, he was already a veteran of ten years in the music business.

Born Donald Eugene Gibson in 1932 in Shelby, North Carolina, Don Gibson started playing music with some pool-hall buddies when he was sixteen. Soon he was working with a radio band called 'The Sons Of The Soil,' and in 1949 made his first records with them on the old Mercury label. By 1950 he had formed his own band - the King Cotton Kinfolks - and was playing out of Shelby on a radio network of 25 southeastern stations. More recordings helped him land a job on Knoxville's powerful station WNOX, where he gradually worked his way up to a featured role on 'The Tennessee Barn Dance' and the 'Mid-Day Merry Go-Round'. By the mid-fifties, Don Gibson's music was centered around his singing - warm, smooth Red Foley like baritone - and his sophisticated rhythm guitar playing. [He was, and is, a devotee of jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt.] The summer of 1955 he decided to add songwriting to his resume.

He had tried an occasional song before - in fact, Hank Snow had recorded an early effort - and now he found himself working on one called Sweet Dreams. It was a simple song, but with a haunting melody, and he began featuring it at a local Knoxville club called Esslinger's; it was there that Nashville publisher Wesley Rose heard Don Gibson sing the song, signed him to a songwriting contract with Accuff-Rose, and a record contract with MGM. Rose also got Sweet Dreams to Faron Young, who had a big hit with it in the summer of 1956. Don Gibson's MGM sides, on the other hand, were having little success, and this encourraged him to try to write more songs. It was a good move. One afternoon in June of 1957, while he was living in a trailer back up in the woods of Knoxville, feeling down and out, he tried his hand at doing a lost love ballad. He sang into the tape recorder the words, I Can't Stop Loving You, and said to himself, "That would make a good title." He soon finished that song, then started on another one which he would end up calling Old Lonesome Me.

When he sent the tape to Acuff-Rose to be transcribed and copyrighted, a staff copyist misunderstood the title, and wrote it as Oh Lonesome Me. "It was the kind of a day I could use a few more of." recalls Don Gibson; he had just composed two of the most popular songs in country music history. The songs came at a turning point in his recording career as well. After signing with RCA Victor in January of 1957, he and producer Chet Atkins had tried one session in the traditional country style of Don Gibson's earlier records: fiddle, steel guitar, Hank Williams-sounding songs. Atkins came to Don Gibson and said, "Don, they're not selling. Let's try one more thing. Let's put voices behind it and get rid of the fiddle and steel guitar." A June session had yielded Blue Blue Day done in this new style, and when Chet heard Oh Lonesome Me, he decided to try this as well with the more modern backing. Backed only by rhythm guitar, bass, Floyd Cramer's piano, and Knoxville drummer Troy Hatcher's jazz-like drumming, Don Gibson cut his classic of Oh Lonesome Me and I Can't Stop Loving You on the same afternoon of a chilly December day in 1957. It was released at once, hit the charts in February, and remained a double-sided hit for over 30 weeks. It established Don Gibson's ability as a songwriter and as a recording star, and its clean, spare sound helped establish the so-called 'Nashville Sound' as a new style in country music.

This album contains the original versions of these first Gibson hits as well as some of the many that followed it: Look Who's Blue and Give Myself A Party, another two-sided back-to-back hit from 1958; Sweet Dreams, Don Gibson's second recording of this classic, which became a hit in 1960; Sea Of Heartbreak, his third biggest hit, from 1961; Lonesome Number One, a number two hit from 1961; I Can Mend Your Broken Heart, which spent four months as a hit in 1962; and A Legend In My Time, heard in Don Gibson's original 1960 version. A Legend In My Time never charted for Don Gibson, but he continued to think it was one of the best songs he had ever written; his confidence was validated years later when Ronnie Milsap found it and made it into one of his biggest hits. There also some Gibson rarities here. Sittin' Here Cryin' was the B side of a single from Don Gibson's first 'pure country' February 1957 session. Sweet Sweet Girl, an attempted follow-up to Blue Blue Day, was a gem that was first issued on an obscure 45rpm EP album, while If You Don't Know It was never issued as a single at all, but was used as filler on Don's first RCA LP in 1958. I Sat Back And Let It Happen, a 1961 side, was never issued by RCA, and has appeared only on BFX 15089 - Rockin' Rollin' Don Gibson.

And rarest of all, four sides heard here have never been issued in any form whatsoever before, and appear here for the first time. These are I'm Crying Inside [1965], If You Knew Me [1964], If You Don't Know The Sorrow [1964] and Think Of Me [1964]. They are prime Gibson, and they serve to remind us of how rich and varied the Gibson legacy is.

Charles Wolfe, October 1987


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Gibson, Don - Don Gibson & Los Indios Tabajaras (LP) LP 1
01 I Can't Tell My Heart That
02 Cryin' Heart Blues
03 My Adobe Hacienda
04 Lonely Street
05 Address Unknown
06 That's How It Goes
07 When Will This End
08 So How Come (No One Loves Me)
09 What About Me
10 I Couldn't Care Less
11 The Same Old Trouble
12 Hurtin' Inside
13 Fireball Mail
14 Above And Beyond
15 Camptown Races