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Sad that another pioneer in the world of country music passed away last month. Rodney McElrea was one of a whole string of devotees that published journals and magazines which were issued in the 60s. He and I never saw ourselves as competitors but as fellow enthusiasts who would happily share information and records during those years. It was like being on a treasure island with all of us looking for those elusive record gems. Of course we all knew of Jimmie Rodgers and his yodelling skills, but we were looking for others of the era with the same talent, for putting over the white country blues. Rodney, you sure did your share of the work involved right up to the end and we all thank you for that.
Whilst reading Country Music People this month I came across an article in which they agreed Country Music had been on a downhill slope for the past twenty years or more.
The truth is there are many variations of country music and the roots of recorded country dig right back to around a hundred years back. There are some musicians today who understand this and they help keep alive this great heritage. But the big labels aren’t interested – they just look for the shallow sounds of pop and how to make a quick hit; any talented young performer who comes from a country background, you can be sure the marketing people will soon squeeze out the ‘Country’.
So let’s stop thinking about pop-country and get on with our selections for August.
Bill Cox and Cliff Hobbs were a prolific pair that recorded a whole bunch of songs in the 20s/30s. Recording in Richmond / Chicago and New York they were a branch from the tree that Jimmie Rodgers styled himself on. The public were getting to love the sound of Rodgers so much during the depression days and led to a whole host of other singers trying to be like him. I think you will agree Bill Cox is one of the best of the bunch, a nice choice if you ever get tired of listening to JR.