•Backed by Marty Stuart and members of his Fabulous Superlatives band, Kenny Vaughan, Chris Scruggs, a.m.o.
There neither is nor has been an independent country music record label more prolific or exceptional than Starday Records. Musician and scholar Nate Gibson wrote the book on Starday, literally, and now he’s focusing his efforts on what made Starday so great–the music and the musicians. Backed by some of country music’s finest pickers including Marty Stuart and members of his Fabulous Superlatives band, Gibson re-recorded 24 of Starday’s most beloved songs with 14 of the original Starday artists including Betty Amos with Judy & Jean, Bill Clifton, Rudy ’Tutti’ Grayzell, Wade Jackson, Sleepy LaBeef, Little Roy Lewis, Jesse McReynolds (of Jim & Jesse), Darnell Miller, Frankie Miller, Arnold Parker, Margie Singleton, and June Stearns.
Producer, scholar and musician, Nate Gibson recorded his first record back in 2001 with Yodelin’ Kenny Roberts and his stories about Starday and the country music industry had him hooked. He spent the next ten years interviewing everybody he could find with a relationship to the label. He wrote a book about it called ’The Starday Story: The House That Country Music Built’ (University Press of Mississippi), and he produced a radio documentary and several radio programs about it. Nate booked multiple Starday artists at music festivals and even backed up a few of them himself. The artists, musicians, employees, and family members forming the Starday community became lifelong friends and he made a lifelong commitment to being their advocate whenever he could.
Around May of 2017, Nate Gibson began brainstorming ways that he could celebrate Starday in a way that honored and called attention to the music and the musicians.
After making a few phone calls, he decided to visit with his Starday friends who were now living in Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oregon, Georgia, and Arkansas, and he recorded extended oral histories with everyone he could find. Nate booked studio sessions and brought many of the musicians back into the studio. They went to the older studios where Starday sessions took place, like Gold Star Studios in Houston, and he made video tours.
Nate Gibson tracked down 14 Stars of Starday and with them re-recorded 24 of his favorite Starday songs. Together they laid down some really fun rockabilly, country, bluegrass, honky-tonk, and gospel tracks. Backing them on the various sessions were some of the best musicians in country music including Marty Stuart and members of his Fabulous Superlatives band, Kenny Vaughan and Chris Scruggs, as well as Steve Hinson (Randy Travis, Dolly Parton, George Jones), Dave Roe (Johnny Cash), Kevin Smith (Willie Nelson, High Noon), Pete Finney (Patty Loveless, Vince Gill) and many more talented friends!
About halfway into the project, Nate was introduced to an amazing marionette maker in his hometown of Madison, WI named Ken Vogel. He became a huge fan of Ken’s ornate and detailed puppets and commissioned marionettes to be made of all of the Starday artists, himself, and many of the musicians. Over time, this became a fascinating and unexpected aesthetic for the overall project and he called on several of his folklore colleagues in Wisconsin to become amateur puppeteers and help him make music videos for many of the songs.
Finally, Bear Family offered to press and distribute the CD (Nate released the double vinyl version himself) and both Marty Stuart and Frankie Miller wrote very kind introductory words. So sit back and relax and enjoy the new moving recordings with some of the stars from the heyday of country music.
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Much like Starday Records, whose slogan was "Preserving Our Nation's Musical Heritage," so too is Nate Gibson. Nate has spent more than a dozen years researching and writing about American roots music and during that time he has continued to tour, record, and write original music. Whether playing frantic rockabilly, traditional country, honky-tonk, western swing, bluegrass, southern gospel music, or any other genre under the mighty "Americana" umbrella, the sound is sure to put a smile on your face and rhythm in your step. Nate has performed at numerous festivals including the Screamin' Weekender (Spain), Green Bay's Rockin' '50s Fest (USA), Viva Las Vegas (USA), Montreal's Red Hot & Blue Weekender (Canada), Helsinki Rockabilly Week (Finland) and others, and his albums have been released by Goofin' Records (Finland), El Toro Records (Spain), Cow Island Music (USA), and his own Gibson label. Listen to any album just by clicking on the album cover below!