Various - Country & Western Hit Parade: 1967 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music
It was the year that thousands of kids obeyed the invocation to go to San Francisco and wear some flowers in their hair. Civil unrest spread like a medieval plague: riots in the cities and violent protests on campuses. We've all seen the footage: draft-card burning, anti-war protests, hippies offering flowers to National Guardsmen. Seismic changes in society were reflected in music, with the notable exception of country music. Rock singles were no longer two-minute jingles, and albums supplanted singles as the preferred sound-carrier. Lyrics tried to make sense of what was happening. A little of this made its way into country music, but only a little. The best country songs always had gritty blue collar poeticism, but a few new country songs, starting with John Hartford's Gentle On My Mind, tried to stretch the parameters of country songcraft. Some felt called to follow in Hartford's footsteps, few were chosen. Most carried on as if music and society were not realigning.
But 1967 saw significant shifts in the country music business. On March 1, Columbia's veteran country A&R chief, Don Law, retired. He'd started as a book-keeper for Brunswick Records in June 1926 before Brunswick was bought first by Warner Brothers and then by Columbia's parent, ARC. Law, though, didn't completely retire. He kept six Columbia artists, notably Ray Price, as production clients and started Don Law Productions from his apartment. Within a year or so, he scored a big hit with Henson Cargill's Skip A Rope on Monument (see 1968) and helped Price transform himself into a lounge act. Years of chain-smoking and hard drinking took their toll, and he died in Texas in 1982. His former boss and fellow Englishman, Art Satherley, who had been forced out of Columbia in 1952, lived until 1986. Law and Satherley had been in charge of Columbia's country A&R from 1929 until 1967, in other words all but seven years of recorded country music history. In his autobiography written decades later, Texas honky tonk singer Johnny Bush said, "Do you know why A&R men like Don Law were so great? They kept their fucking mouths shut and left it to the musicians to work it out, and let the artist be the artist." One month after Law retired, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opened its doors (admission one dollar). Satherley was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971 and Law in 2001.
Law's assistant, Frank Jones, expected to take over at Columbia, but Law had coasted to the finish line with artists he'd signed in the 1950s, leading Clive Davis and Ken Gallagher at Columbia in New York to go for some fresh thinking. They handed the job to Bob Johnston, who'd produced Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, and Leonard Cohen. Johnston's tenure at Columbia Nashville resulted in some of the worst country records ever made, none worse than Flatt & Scruggs' version of Dylan's Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. Some artists quit because Law was no longer there, others were dropped. Among those leaving were Little Jimmy Dickens, George Morgan, Billy Walker, and Marion Worth. "Rather than go about his work quietly," Columbia president Clive Davis wrote of Johnston, "building up a record of imposing artist signings, he kept giving interviews saying how he was going to shake things up in Nashville. He was going to create waves and change everything." When Davis went to Nashville for a BMI dinner, Minnie Pearl was entrusted with the task of telling Davis that Johnston irritated everyone. "It was," wrote Davis, "quite refreshing to get a dressing down in such a warm, personal way. I looked at Johnston's operation. In contrast to what he was saying, very little was happening." Even with Johnny Cash still on his roster, Johnston was eclipsed by Billy Sherrill at Columbia's poor-relation label, Epic. In July 1968, Sherrill was named head of the entire Nashville operation, and remained in charge until 1985.
Article properties: Various - Country & Western Hit Parade: 1967 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music
|Various - Country & Western Hit Parade - 1967 - Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music CD 1|
|01||Ode To Billie Joe||Gentry, Bobbie|| |
|02||Ruby (Don't Take Your Love To Town)||Darrell, Johnny|| |
|03||Mental Revenge||Jennings, Waylon|| |
|04||I Won't Come In While He's There||Reeves, Jim|| |
|05||Break My Mind||Hamilton IV, George|| |
|06||Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)||Ashley, Leon|| |
|07||Branded Man||Haggard, Merle|| |
|08||What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am)?||Lynn, Loretta|| |
|09||Pop A Top||Brown, Jim Ed|| |
|10||Danny Boy||Price, Ray|| |
|11||Little Ole Wine Drinker Me||Mitchum, Robert|| |
|12||Gentle On My Mind||Hartford, John|| |
|13||By The Time I Get To Phoenix||Campbell, Glen|| |
|14||Tonight Carmen||Robbins, Marty|| |
|15||Life Turned Her That Way||Tillis, Mel|| |
|16||Where Does The Good Times Go||Owens, Buck|| |
|17||What Does It Take (To Keep A Man Like You Satisfied)||Davis, Skeeter|| |
|18||The Chokin' Kind||Jennings, Waylon|| |
|19||Jackson||Cash, Johnny & Carter, June|| |
|20||Sing Me Back Home||Haggard, Merle|| |
|21||Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine||Jackson, Wanda|| |
|22||Guitar Man||Reed, Jerry|| |
|23||Jackson Ain't A Very Big Town||Jean, Norma|| |
|24||Walk Through This World With Me||Jones, George|| |
|25||My Elusive Dreams||Houston, David & Wynette, Tammy|| |
|26||It's Such A Pretty World Today||Stewart, Wynn|| |
|27||Sam's Place||Owens, Buck|| |
|28||I Don't Wanna Play House||Wynette, Tammy|| |
|29||Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger?||Pride, Country Charlie|| |
|30||Cold Hard Facts Of Life||Wagoner, Porter|| |
|31||Nashville Cats||Lovin' Spoonful, The|| |
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
Besser geht nicht.
Eine bessere Serie zur Countrymusik gibt es m.E. nicht.
Ich werde mir, nach und nach, die gesamte Serie zulegen.
Dringende Kaufempfehlung für die gesamte Reine!
Nur Richard Weize und sein Team trauen sich an eine so monumentale Aufgabe heran. Egal ob konservativ oder innovativ: Es ist viel fabelhafte Musik auf diesen CDs.
Rookie 11/13 Jörn Schlüter
Ein passendes Schlusswort einer tollen Serie!
R & R Musikmagazin 6/13 H.-G. Hartwig
An essential collection and well worth investing in the whole series to see and hear how country music progressed from 1945 throught to 1970.
Maverick 1-2/2014 Alan Cackett
Ohne Übertreibung darf man feststellen: Besser geht’s nicht!
Good Times 6/2013 Ulrich Schwartz
These CDs are both essential and things of beauty. Everybody should own them. All of them.
Country Music People 11/13 Duncan Warwick
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays
Item must be ordered
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays