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A History of Country Vol. 13: 1972-74

October 26th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The traditional country stars “” Conway Twitty, George Jones, Tammy Wynette Charlie Rich, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride “” were still selling many records in the 1970s, and periodically crossed over to the pop charts. Singers like Donna Fargo evoked the good old days with happy songs like The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA.  These were still the Opry years “” in fact, in 1972 the Grand Ole Opry opened a theme park called Opryland, and wo years later moved out of its long-time home, the Ryman Theatre, to Opryland.

But the Nashville scene no longer monopolised country, nor did it define it. In the introduction to his live recording of Me And Bobby McGee, Kris Kristofferson deadpans: “If it sounds country, man, then that”s what it is: a country song.”Â  So John Denver, with his songs about the Rocky Mountains, was regarded as a country singer, and even won the 1975 Country Music Association”s Entertainer of the Year award (Australian-born songbird Olivia Newton-John had won the female award in 1974). At the ceremony, the battle lines were drawn. Presenting Denver with his CMA award, 1974 winner Charlie Rich “” the Silverfox who had started his career as a rockabilly singer on Sun Records and now crooned his way through chart fodder “”  set fire to the card announcing Denver”s name, holding it up for the TV cameras. The act, which Rich attributed to medication and Gin & Tonics, all but killed his career.

Rich and his Nashville cohorts had no trouble crossing over to the pop charts with their housewife-friendly formula, which they shared with Denver. But a different constituency was now claiming the soul of country. The Outlaw Movement hit its stride in the 1970s, led by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kristofferson. It was Jennings” song Ladies Love Outlaws, also the name of his 1972 album, that gave the movement its official name (some say it was invented by Tompal Glaser”s publicist, Hazel Smith). While traditional Nashville was suffocating from a lack of new ideas (and even Johnny Cash”s output was suffering), it was the Outlaws, many with contractual links to Nashville, that kept the genre going.

While the Nashville production line kept on churning out mostly uninteresting music (occasionally producing gems, such as George Jones” 1980 hit He Stopped Loving Her Today), the Outlaws insisted on exercising artistic control, with Bobby Bare being the first to negotiate his freedom from the Nashville formula, shortly followed by fellow RCA artists Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.  Their freedom would create a new process of making country music, one that would give an answer to Jennings” question, You Sure Hank Done It This Way?

Other artists, well out of the Nashville mainstream, began to record country music, often fused with folk. The likes of Gram Parsons, Townes van Zandt (who died in 1974 and 1997 respectively), and John Prine would have massive influence further down the line, on people like Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett in the 1980s, and on the alt-country scene that sprung up in the 1990s.

1. Bobby Bare – Music City USA
2. Skeeter Davis – My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You
3. Faron Young – It’s Four In The Morning
4. George Jones – A Picture Of Me (Without You)
5. Charlie Rich – I Take It On Home
6. Tom T Hall – Old Dogs Children And Watermelon Wine
7. The Flatlanders – Dallas
8. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Dark As A Dungeon
9. John Denver – Goodbye Again
10. Kris Kristofferson – Josie
11. Tony Joe White – I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby
12. Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn – Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man
13. Dolly Parton – Daddy’s Working Boots
14. John Prine – A Good Time
15. B. W. Stevenson – Shambala
16. Barbara Mandrell – The Midnight Oil
17. Lynn Anderson – Keep Me In Mind
18. Don Williams – I Wouldn’t Want To Live If You Didn’t Love Me
19. Johnny Cash – Oney
20. Gram Parsons – She
21. Tanya Tucker – Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)
22. The Statler Brothers – Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott
23. Merle Haggard – If We Make It Through December
24. Stoney Edwards – Honkey Tonk Heaven
25. Willie Nelson – Undo The Right
26. Porter Wagoner – Lonelyville
27. Barbi Benton – The Teddy Bear Song

(includes front and back covers. PW here)

GET IT: https://rapidgator.net/file/c5f4d93c10137b2f43715cdfd490f088/Cntry72-74.rar.html


Previously in A History of Country
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  1. October 26th, 2011 at 09:55 | #1

    Love it! Love it! Love it! Keep on going, Dude.

  2. Stephan Pflug
    October 26th, 2011 at 12:17 | #2

    I am looking forward to listening to this!
    Just a quick remark: Townes van Zandt died in 1997 not in 1977.
    Thank you for your work!


  3. halfhearteddude
    October 26th, 2011 at 12:39 | #3

    Thanks for spotting the error, Stephan. It was, as you will have guessed, a typo. Either that, or I have benefited from the recording studios and distribution networks situated in the afterlife.

  4. October 26th, 2011 at 14:09 | #4

    Another solid set, Dude. You’re doing my digging for me and helping me assemble a first-class country collection. (I have some of these but not most.) Good stuff, indeed!

  5. Deb
    October 26th, 2011 at 21:22 | #5

    You wanna hear some country? Have you heard the song by Charlie Allen? It’s called “Grandpa’s Recipe.” Check it out at http://www.charlieallenmusic.com/index.htm

  6. Sonic
    October 27th, 2011 at 18:01 | #6

    Barbi Benton! That is all I need to get me to download this collection. Thanks again for your dedication. Your depth and breadth of music is amazing.

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