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January 2020. Another year and I’m pleased to say I’m still here everyday, working to keep the BACM wheels turning, restoring more of the forgotten treasures of country music. One of the best things is getting letters or emails of appreciation from country fans around the world although I am nowadays aware most of the messages are from people of the older age group. I wish that the younger generation would sometimes give a try to listening to our music, I think many of them would discover lots there to enjoy – great musicianship and authentic heartfelt songs with great melodies and very different to the electronic and angry stuff that seems to fill the airwaves these days.
When looking through the shelves and the country histories we sometimes come across artists worth hearing but with not enough tracks to fill a whole CD on their own – so in 2020 we might put out a few more Various Artistes compilation CDs – watch this space!
We begin our 2020 releases with our first from Billy Wallace, the Oklahoma-born singer, songwriter and guitarist fine singer, whose early influences were the country stars of the 1930s/40s like Roy Acuff, the Delmore Brothers and Rex Griffin. He moved to Nashville around 1950, cutting his first recordings on the Tennessee label in 1950. He had a distinctive sound, one of those deep nasal voices somewhat in the Hank Snow mould coupled with a blues-influenced guitar style. Undeservedly , he is nowadays largely forgotten although many of his compositions have become country standards, recorded by the likes of Patsy Cline, Red Foley, Kitty Wells and Little Jimmy Dickens. Hank Williams was regularly including Wallace’s co-write Back Street Affair on his radio shows around he time of his passing although he never got around to recording it in the studio. It became a big hit for Webb Pierce in 1952 and later as a duet between Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. Our CD showcases the best of Wallace’s recordings from 1950 to 1962.several of them not previously released on CD.
Our second CD is that of steel guitarist Herb Remington. Herb delivers a nice collection of songs & instrumentals that he recorded in the 50s/60s. Thanks to Kevin Coffey we all have the chance to give them a second spin. Maybe a first for some of you and myself although Herb used to have me on his mailing list back some 50 years ago when I was putting out the magazine Country Western Review. On this CD you’ll find plenty of fine steel guitar instrumentals.
The third CD was the idea of Tony Byworth who advised me that the box set by Rex Griffin on Bear Family was no longer available. We have selected the Decca recordings for this CD as we had them all here at the archive on 78 rpm. Rex was a follower of the great Jimmie Rodgers in his singing style and guitar work. He was never a big seller but had one monster hit with the song “The Last Letter” this was covered by hordes of country and pop artists over the years. We have even added “The Answer To The Last Letter” in for you as a bonus.
As I said in my last note to you all, it came as a great shock to hear the news of Phil Tricker. He was a great character in the world of music from a past generation. You’d find him at most record fairs around the London area and he often travelled as far as Austin Texas to dig out the rarities from the recording world. Phil and Al Turner were considered to be the absolute King Pins of their work and hobby.
We here at BACM records have lost a great friend who just cannot be replaced. So, OK Al, we’ll be putting you to twice as much trouble over the coming months of BACM CDs. I hope you’ll be up to it. We are all so sorry that you have lost a true friend and colleague.
BEST WISHES FROM THE BACM BOYS FOR ANOTHER MONTH .
Dave , Barry & Brian May 2020 be a Good Year for everyone.