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Country Chat - January 2015

January 1st 2015. WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR -2015 is here so we can at last close the door on 2014 and start again!  That’s the idea anyway, not so easy in practise but still, we cannot change the past but the future is in our hands.

Here at the Archive, our New Year’s resolution is to continue our mission to rediscover lost treasures  and excavate and produce another 1,000 or so country tracks for the 36 collectible CDs we’ll produce for your enjoyment during the year. Well that’s how it works out, three new CDs a month for 12 months  with around 30 tracks each. Many thanks to our Archive Buddies who help keep the show on the road by signing up for all the new releases – for about half the normal price. A great way to build a country music collection and a bargain in any language. And there’s the enjoyment of opening the little surprise package which drops through the letterbox each month.

I’ve always been an individual and not a follower of trends, and I first started to like Country music when everyone else was listening to the Big bands and their pop vocalists. Hardly anyone had even heard of the country artistes I was listening to – but I just couldn’t get enough of it and my collection began to grow.

Back in those days – and I’m talking of the 1940s and 50s, the market wasn’t exactly saturated with Country music but there was just enough to keep your mind active and your pocket half empty. Records in those days were just a shilling or two to buy, but you had to be careful not to break them whilst carrying them home. I’ll always remember my wife stepping on one of my 78s and breaking it in two, It was called “Never Trust A Woman” by Tex Williams! Given how fragile they were, it’s amazing  that there are still 78s around. Here at the archive we have many thousands and they are treated with great care and attention.

As I’ve said before we have some really nice music coming your way, including by some artists who have unfairly been passed over during the years. So we’ll start off with this month’s (January) CDs.

CD 472. COUNTRY JOHNNY MATHIS. Come On In.

Here’s our first CD of Country Johnny Mathis, not to be confused with the pop artist Johnny Mathis. Most of these songs feature the heavy nasal sound of Country music in the 50s with hardly any of the posh studio features. This was recorded like he was singing at a Honky Tonk or to himself in the fields of Tennessee. There are a few songs with a folkish feel to them here including songs of the day like Caryl Chessman who spent many a year on death row in prison.  So if you like cult songs like this then this has to be one of your favourites . Yes Country Johnny Mathis became a great favourite of fans here in the UK during the 70s & 80s.

CD 473.  THE EXCELLENT LABEL – Vol 2.

Whilst the likes of Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe The Stanley Brothers and Don Reno & Red Smiley were hitting the big time in bluegrass music, there was an abundance  of smaller bands all around the country digging their banjo’s fiddles and guitars out from the barn and forming a band. Some never made it, but quite a few did appear on their own or small labels everywhere. The Excellent label was one that helped many on their way to stardom. Thanks to Al Turner for providing the songs for this excellent bluegrass/country presentation.

CD  474. MARION WORTH  – Tennessee Teardrops

This is the sort of music which caught the public by storm in the 70s /80s. The Nashville Sound. Pure studio music without a false note or out of tune backing group. Although many people were brainwashed into thinking this was country music, it really wasn’t. It was the likes of Chet Atkins and other record producers putting their hands in their pockets and jingling the money that they were making for themselves and the company. Yes just like 90% of Jim Reeves music this was the Columbia version. Now I’m not saying that Marion Worth didn’t have a wonderful voice, she did and this release is just for the fans that did like the smooth touch that she gave it all those years ago.  In short, it’s Country of sorts but not mine I’m afraid.

It seems that we’re all getting old and we tend to like the music that we grew up with after hearing a snippet on the radio. I wish I could shake the hand of those great artistes who were making the music that got me into a lifetime of country music.  The likes of The Hill Billies  Big Bill Campbell & his troupe, The Four Ramblers on  Riders of the Range, or just maybe the big band vocalists like Frankie Laine and Bob Mallin or any of those who jumped on the band wagon when a new film came out with a feature song. There were many in the 50s when they made the great westerns in Technicolor.

Well that’s all for now, we all appreciate your support, those of you who buy our CDs and especially the Archive Buddies who sign up to get our three new CDs. We hope that you enjoy the music as much as we try very hard to please everyone with our selection.

FROM US ALL HERE TO WHEREVER YOU ARE, HAVE A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

The BACM BOYS, that’s Dave,  Barry,  Brian and  Robin - and all who have contributed to making our CDs the most enjoyable music  around.

LOOK OUT we’re going to be digging out lots of great country music for you this year!

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