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Various - Country & Western Hit Parade 1951 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music

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1-CD-Album deluxe with 72-page booklet, 29 tracks, playing time: 79:57 minutes.... more

Various - Country & Western Hit Parade: 1951 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music

1-CD-Album deluxe with 72-page booklet, 29 tracks, playing time: 79:57 minutes.

Nineteen-fifty-one was the year that pop discovered country music. Many of the top pop songs of the year (Cold, Cold Heart, Beautiful Brown Eyes, The Shot Gun Boogie, Slow Poke, Mockin' Bird Hill, On Top Of Old Smoky, etc.) were country in origin. More bizarrely, Patti Page's Down The Trail Of Aching Hearts was a pop song written to sound country and was covered by country singers. The record that had started pop music's infatuation with country was Patti Page's Tennessee Waltz. Country star Pee Wee King had written and recorded the song in 1947 and released it in 1948 (see our 1948 volume for the original version). King and Cowboy Copas sold roughly 380,000 copies combined, but the song was dead in the water by the time jazz band leader Erskine Hawkins unaccountably recorded it in September 1950. Jerry Wexler, then a 'Billboard' columnist, heard Hawkins' record and suggested to Patti Page's manager that she put it on the flip-side of her 1950 Christmas single. By early 1951, it had become one of those inexplicable, uncontainable smashes. By May, Page's record and other versions had sold 4.8 million copies. Sheet music sales had topped 1.1 million, and it was the highest grossing song that BMI had ever represented. "It is," said 'Billboard' magazine in May 1951, "the biggest song in the modern history of the pop song business."

The idea of covering country records for the pop market had been gathering steam since Jimmie Davis' You Are My Sunshine and Al Dexter's Pistol Packin' Mama became huge wartime hits for Bing Crosby and other pop acts. Acuff-Rose published Tennessee Waltz but the company's first taste of pop action had come several years earlier with Jealous Heart. Written by Red Foley's sister-in-law, Jenny Lou Carson, it was a hit for Tex Ritter in 1945 (see our 1945 volume for Carson's version), but languished for four years before a Chicago pianist and singer, Al 'Mister Flying Fingers' Morgan, made it a top five pop record in 1949. Later in 1949, Acuff-Rose had another pop hit when Frank Sinatra and others covered Red Foley's Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy (see our 1949 volume for that). 'Billboard' was amazed that Acuff-Rose's only office was in Nashville. "The firm has no contact men or exploitation or business representation in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago," the journal noted incredulously.

Cold, Cold Heart followed on the heels of Tennessee Waltz. Tony Bennett's recording jumped to the top of the pop charts, and every record label had at least one cover version. The Fontane Sisters and Perry Como did it for RCA, Louis Armstrong and Eileen Wilson for Decca, Tony Fontane and Dinah Washington for Mercury, and so on. It served notice that Hank Williams' songs had a potential that was unthinkable when he sent his acetates of God, Mother, and Death songs to Acuff-Rose just five years earlier. The market had changed and Williams had astutely changed with it.

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Various - Country & Western Hit Parade - 1951 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music CD 1
01 The Shot Gun Boogie Ford, Tennessee Ernie
02 Rotation Blues Britt, Elton and the Skytopper
03 The Golden Rocket Snow, Hank
04 Cold Cold Heart Williams, Hank
05 Poison Love Johnnie & Jack and their Tenne
06 I Wanna Play House with You Arnold, Eddy
07 Mom And Dad's Waltz Frizzell, Lefty
08 Let's Live A Little Smith, Carl
09 Mockin' Bird Hill Pinetoppers, The (Vocal Chorus
10 Sick, Sober And Sorry Bond, Johnny
11 I Was Sorta Wonderin' Mullican, Moon
12 Step It Up And Go Big Jeff
13 Always Late (With Your Kisses) Frizzell, Lefty
14 Too Old To Cut The Mustard Carlisles, The
15 The Hot Guitar Hill, Eddie
16 Half As Much Williams, Curley
17 Rocket '88' Haley, Bill and the Saddlemen
18 Slow Poke King, Pee Wee and his Golden W
19 The Rhumba Boogie Snow, Hank (The Singing Ranger
20 Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms) Stewart Family, The
21 Chew Tobacco Rag Turner, Zeb with String Band
22 Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way Smith, Carl
23 (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me) Foley, Red with the Sunshine B
24 Electricity Murphy, Jimmy
25 Hey Good Lookin' Williams, Hank
26 Uncle Pen Monroe, Bill and His Blue Gras
27 Tis Sweet To Be Remembered Wiseman, Mac
28 Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor Willard, Jess
29 Down Yonder Wood, Del
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music Country & Western Hit Parade... more
"Various - Country & Western Hit Parade"

Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music

Country & Western Hit Parade

“Collecting an anarchic mix of sex and sentimentality, earnest paeans to family and fanciful tales of drinking and cheating, DIM LIGHTS… affords a fascinating glimpse into black-and-white ‘50s polemics… Established stars, inspired wannabes proffer an intoxicating brew of dancefloor honky tonk, hillbilly boogie, bluegrass, western swing, incipient rockabilly, goofball novelty, and sentimental country-pop.” (UNCUT magazine)

 

The reviews are in and everyone from Australia to Los Angeles to London is raving about Bear Family’s definitive year-by-year country series. Starting in 1945, DIM LIGHTS, THICK SMOKE, AND HILLBILLY MUSIC (COUNTRY & WESTERN HIT PARADE) tells the real story of country music record-by-record. The hits are here, but so are groundbreaking records that went nowhere at the time. This is the true and uncensored history of country music. Everything you need to hear, year-by-year. Stars like Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, and Hank Snow are here, but so are beerhall legends like Eddie Noack and Sonny Burns, and roots music mavens like Charlie Feathers and the Stanley Brothers, as well as overlooked giants like Carl Belew and Floyd Tillman. You’ll also hear the incredible original versions of songs like Duelin’ Banjos, Release Me, Lonely Street, and many more!  Every CD is full to the brim with great music, and they’re all individually packaged in hardcover 72-page books by Colin Escott that tell the story of every song as well as the broader music history of the time. Fabulous photos, original record labels, and period advertisements round out the packages.

Bear Family began its journey into year-by-year anthologies with its groundbreaking and award-winning BLOWIN’ THE FUSE/SWEET SOUL MUSIC series that tells the story of R&B from 1945-1970. Look for the series to continue into the Funk era. And look for a year-by-year Rock ‘n’ Roll anthology coming soon.

# After the volumes covering 1945-1955 were released, the word was out. This series is definitive, fabulously packaged, and faultlessly remastered! Everything you'd expect from Bear Family…and more!

# Jack Clement, who produced Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, and many others, said, "This is the best country series of all time. No doubt. No question." Robert Hilburn in the 'Los Angeles Times'said, "An invaluable album project…enables fans to step back in time and listen to the radio just like Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan did."

# Now the story continues from 1956 until 1960. Every CD is generously full. Every booklet is extensive and chocked full of rare photos and illustrations, as well as complete stories behind the songs!

# In addition to the hits, the series contains rarities that went on to influence country music…and all music…in the years ahead, like Wanda Jackson's original version of Silver Threads And Golden Needles, Carl Belew's original Lonely Street, and Chet Atkins' influential Walk, Don't Run.

# This series is designed to introduce new listeners to the very best that country music has to offer… while keeping longtime fans entertained. Every volume is a fabulous time capsule.

 

Here's the story

For many years, we'd received requests to do a truly definitive country series, but it wasn't until the success of our year-by-year R&B/Soul series, 'Blowin' The Fuse' (now 'Sweet Soul Music' and soon to be continued into the Funk era) that we decided we needed to do something comparable for country music. The first volumes of 'Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music' took us from 1945-1955, and now the story continues into the era of the Nashville Sound.

The series has been compiled with today's fans in mind. Sure, the big hits are there, but so are the classic performances that weren't necessarily hits at the time, but became influential in the years ahead. Every volume has incredibly detailed behind-the-scenes stories, fabulously rare photos, and an ongoing history of country music set against the backdrop of the broader American music business. The booklets alone are 72 pages! Definitive? You bet!

Superlatives are often overused, but we feel that this series is part of our mission to bring this incredible music to new fans ... as well as entertaining older fans. We pick up the story in 1956....just as country music was coming to terms with the upset of rock 'n' roll!

And, keeping in the spirit of the releases, some of the artists' listings are as they originally appeared - like Jim Edward and Maxine Brown and Bonnie, Wayne Raney - Raney Family (Wayne, Wanda and Zyndall) and Marty Robbins with Ray Conniff -  while the cd in each set is stored in a reproduction of a 45 rpm record label bag appropriate to that year.

Country music author and historian Colin Escott is responsible for these remarkable releases, an obvious labour of love that has taken considerable research effort, offering a valuable insight into the development of country music over the years. Many of country music's foremost entertainers are included alongside others who may have only earned a place in the footnotes of country music history, but all present a variety of voices and differing musical styles that have virtually disappeared, over half a century later, in contemporary country music's conveyor belt output. The songs were also different back then: sometimes relating to current events, they also regularly centred upon themes like boozin', honky-tonking and slippin' around, now generally considered non-pc in these over sensitive times.

Country & Western Hitparade - CD-Album-Series by Bear Family

Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/bear-family/country-series/country-und-western-hitparade/
Copyright © Bear Family Records

 

 

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Tracklist
Various - Country & Western Hit Parade - 1951 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music CD 1
01 The Shot Gun Boogie
02 Rotation Blues
03 The Golden Rocket
04 Cold Cold Heart
05 Poison Love
06 I Wanna Play House with You
07 Mom And Dad's Waltz
08 Let's Live A Little
09 Mockin' Bird Hill
10 Sick, Sober And Sorry
11 I Was Sorta Wonderin'
12 Step It Up And Go
13 Always Late (With Your Kisses)
14 Too Old To Cut The Mustard
15 The Hot Guitar
16 Half As Much
17 Rocket '88'
18 Slow Poke
19 The Rhumba Boogie
20 Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)
21 Chew Tobacco Rag
22 Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way
23 (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)
24 Electricity
25 Hey Good Lookin'
26 Uncle Pen
27 Tis Sweet To Be Remembered
28 Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
29 Down Yonder