CD Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1954 [4000127169594] (CD 6260896), Audio Other
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Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1954 [4000127169594]

  • 1. This Ole House - Stuart Hamblen
    2. Rose Marie - Slim Whitman
    3. Bimbo
    4. Oh Baby Mine (I Get So Lonely)
    5. I Really Don't Want to Know
    6. Release Me
    7. Idaho Red - Wade Ray
    8. Slowly
    9. Looking Back to See
    10. Take Me as I Am (Or Let Me Go) - Little Jimmy Dickens
    11. I Wouldn't Change You If I Could
    12. You Better Not Do That - Tommy Collins
    13. One by One - Kitty Wells
    14. I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)
    15. I Closed My Heart's Door
    16. If You Ain't Lovin (You Ain't Livin) - Faron Young
    17. I Don't Hurt Anymore
    18. Good Deal, Lucille
    19. Sparkling Brown Eyes
    20. Cry, Cry Darling
    21. Too Hot to Handle - Sonny Burns
    22. If You Don't Somebody Else Will
    23. Blue Guitar
    24. Two Glasses Joe
    25. Truck Drivin' Man
    26. Take It Away, Lucky - Eddie Noack
    27. Loose Talk
    28. That's All Right - Elvis Presley
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 16959

  • Credits

    Recording information: Audio Company Of America Studio, Houston, TX (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Bradley Recording Studio, Nashville, TN (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Castle Studio, Nashville, TN (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Gold Star Studio, Houston, TX (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); KWKH Studio, Shreveprt, Louisiana (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Memphis Recording Service, Memphis, TN (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Nashville, TN (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Rainbow Place, Nashville, TN (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); RCA Studio, Hollywood, CA (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); RCA Victor Studio #1, New York City, NY (09/08/1953-??/??/1954); Thomas Productions, Nashville, TN (09/08/1953-??/??/1954).
    Bear Family's Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music series is one of the great treasures of hardcore honky tonk music recorded during the golden years of country & western. Each volume is packed to the gills with original versions by the original artists. In addition, these single-disc sets are lavishly illustrated and exhaustively annotated; they are packaged in a handsome hardbound book-style digipack. Sonically, they are remastered with loving care and up-to-the-minute technology, all while keeping the full integrity of the original recording in the final mix. Compiled chronologically, this volume covers the year 1954, when jukeboxes throughout the south, west, and Midwest were stocked with what we now consider to be pillars of hard country sound. Hank Williams may have been gone by this time, but the music was still in full flower as evidenced by the 28 tracks included here. Radio was breaking new artists all the time, while furthering the careers of established ones. There are great tracks from Slim Whitman ("Rose Marie"), Webb Pierce ("Slowly," and "Sparkling Brown Eyes" with the Wilburn Brothers), and Hank Snow ("I Don't Hurt Anymore"). That said, newer voices and sounds were emerging onto the scene in a big way, as honky tonk singers established themselves as great balladeers -- who were still firmly entrenched in the honky tonk sound. For instance, Ray Price's "Release Me" and "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)" are included here, as is Little Jimmy Dickens' "Take Me as I Am or Let Me Go." Elsewhere, voices like Jim Reeves with "Bimbo," and Roy Acuff with "I Closed My Heart's Door" reflect an earlier, more folk-oriented style of country that still scored with listeners and the record-buying public. But it's the final two cuts on this set that really showcase how the music was changing: the skittering double-time rhythms of the snare and cymbal on Carl Smith's "Loose Talk," and "That's All Right," by a trio known simply as Elvis, Scotty & Bill, that showcases the movement away from the fiddle as the primary upfront instrument on records to guitars and drums -- whether it be the steel guitar in the former or the electric six-string in the latter. In the middle of the '50s, honky tonk was beginning to shift and change shapes, and this volume illustrates that fact beautifully. This entire series has proved itself invaluable as documentary evidence of the evolution of country music, and this volume adds to that argument. ~ Thom Jurek

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