CD Music to Die For: Death Discs 1914-1960 [Slipcase] (CD 7017379),
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Music to Die For: Death Discs 1914-1960 [Slipcase]

  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Excelsior! - Ernest Pike/Walter Miller
    2. Don't Go Down the Mine Dad - Frank Miller
    3. Wreck of the Old '97 - Vernon Dalhart
    4. St. James Infirmary - Louis Armstrong
    5. Tallahatchie River Blues - Mattie Delaney
    6. Miss Otis Regrets - Ethel Waters
    7. Wreck on the Highway (I Didn't Hear Nobody Pray) - Dorsey Dixon
    8. Ol' Man Mose - Eddy Duchin - (featuring Patricia Norman)
    9. We Mourn the Loss of Sir Murchison Fletcher - The Lord Executor
    10. Gloomy Sunday - Artie Shaw - (featuring Pauline Byrne)
    11. Black Girl - Leadbelly
    12. Goin' Down Slow - St. Louis Jimmy Oden
    13. Frankie and Johnny - Lena Horne
    14. Death of Little Kathy Fiscus, The - Jimmie Osborne
    15. Riders in the Sky - Vaughn Monroe
    16. Old Shep - Red Foley
    17. I Hold Your Hand in Mine - Tom Lehrer
    18. Sinner's Dream - Eugene Fox
    19. Drunken Driver, The - Ferlin Husky
    20. Their Hearts Were Full of Spring - The Four Freshmen
    21. Death of an Angel - Donald Woods & the Vel-Aires
    22. Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots - The Cheers
    23. Sweeney Todd the Barber - Stanley Holloway
    24. Message from James Dean - Bill Hayes
    25. Down Bound Train - Ken Colyer's Skiffle Group
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Knoxville Girl - The Louvin Brothers
    2. Wild Dogs of Kentucky - Nervous Norvus
    3. Chicken - The Cheers
    4. Ballad of Thunder Road - Robert Mitchum
    5. Grave, The - Tony Casanova
    6. Tragedy of School Bus 27, The - Ralph Bowman
    7. No School Bus in Heaven - The Stanley Brothers
    8. Down in the Willow Garden - The Everly Brothers
    9. Endless Sleep - Jody Reynolds
    10. Music to Be Murdered By - Alfred Hitchcock
    11. Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
    12. Don't Take Your Guns to Town - Johnny Cash
    13. Take a Message to Mary - The Everly Brothers
    14. Three Stars - Ruby Wright
    15. Who Shot Sam? - George Jones
    16. Mort, La - Jacques Brel
    17. Two Hour Honeymoon - Paul Hampton
    18. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Gene Vincent
    19. Teen Angel - Mark Dinning
    20. Sail Ho! - Robert Horton
    21. Grandpa's Grave - Peter Sellers
    22. Running Bear - Johnny Preston
    23. Tell Laura I Love Her - Ray Peterson
    24. Tell Tommy I Miss Him - Marilyn Michaels
    25. Car Crash - The Cadets
    26. Water Was Red, The - Johnny Cymbal
    27. Wreck of the Old '97 - The Creed Taylor Orchestra
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5058

  • Credits

    Liner Note Author: Alan Clayson.
    So called "death discs," commercial recordings dealing with fatal car and train wrecks, shootings, hangings, doomed and drowning lovers, and myriad other tragedies, have been around since the advent of recording (and long before that -- there are countless ancient ghost-filled old ballads floating around in the Appalachians and elsewhere), and whether they're maudlin, nostalgic, macabre, tragic, romantic (think Romeo and Juliet), or just plain silly, they serve as cautionary tales of a sort, and we remain fascinated by them. This two-disc set collects 52 of these death discs, going as far back as 1914 and running through 1960, and it's a surprisingly varied playlist, given the gloomy nature of the subject matter, with classic sides from Vernon Dalhart ("Wreck of the Old `97" from 1924), Louis Armstrong (a majestic "St. James Infirmary" from 1928), Lena Horne ("Frankie and Johnny" from 1946), Red Foley ("Old Shep" -- yep, all good dogs go to Heaven -- from 1949), Donald Woods & the Vel-Aires ("Death of an Angel" from 1955), the Four Freshmen ("Their Hearts Were Full of Spring," also from 1955), Gene Vincent ("Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" from 1960), and many others. No, it's not a particularly cheerful set, but in a way it is -- one can't help but think "well, I'm still here" while listening to it, and it's all pretty fascinating in a graveyard humor kind of way. ~ Steve Leggett

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