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Country Chat - January 2018

January 2018. Here’s hoping that you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I’m afraid that I’m not a big fan of Christmas holidays as I don’t  like crowds where everybody is swarming through the shops like they are crazy and mothers shouting at the top of their voices at their noisy children, and so many people with those infernal telephones stuck in their ears.  After a bout of Christmas shopping I breathe a sigh of relief when I get home and finally hit my favourite arm chair.

My other grouse this month is the CMA who’ve just had their annual show of rubbish acts. How can they call this ‘Country Music” beats me – they ought to call themselves the PMA” Pop Music Association”.  As usual I got several letters from our Archive Buddies telling me what they thought of it – I’d better not mention the words that they used.  I didn’t bother to watch as I knew what to expect.

With my seasonal moaning out of the way, let’s move on to our three new releases.

Smilin’ Eddie Hill – Mountain Jam (CD 581). First on our list comes a man that was so popular in the 50s on the Grand Ole Opry  mainly as an announcer – but he was also a recording star.  Both Bear Family and Cattle Records have released selections of his songs. Our new CD more or less covers the remainder of his recordings.

Jimmy Thomason – The Early Years (CD 582). For our second CD, you have the choice of some wonderful Western Swing from Jimmy Thomason. A very bouncy collection of songs played by big bands of the day with banjo, electric guitar, piano & bass being the foremost instruments. Big thanks to Kevin Coffey for all the hard work putting together the compilation and the liner notes.

Custom Made Hillbilly Vol 11 (CD 583). A very rare compilation of up and coming country artists in the 50s taken from the Dixie,  Mar Kay,  Jamboree, Bluegrass and Blazon labels.  Big thanks to those two country buffs in London, Al & Phil Tricker who dug deep into their collections to put this together. On their selection there are dozens of artists that I’ve never even heard of.  Of course we’ve all heard of the Cackle Sisters but that’s about all on this very rare compilation of up and coming country artists in the 50s. This selection was taken from the Dixie, Mar Kay, Jamboree, Bluegrass and Blazon labels.

Everything seems to be on a rush here – more than usual this month – but we are glad we can look back on a year when we never  once failed in our mission to bring you three new CD productions every month. Here we are now, getting close to the 600th CD, something we never thought would happen when we started back in 2002. We do make silly mistakes from time to time like getting a spelling wrong or getting a track out of order and if one slips through it always gets spotted by a knowledgeable customer/collector.

One other piece of news, the new box set of 20 Louisiana Hayride CDs from Bear Family looks very good indeed and it is always amazing to see how much care and research they put into their productions. Of course oldie collectors like myself find we have many of the tracks already, in this case mainly singles on Mercury, Starday or D Records. But we’ll enjoy hearing them again and also find some performers new to us.

So, I’ll cease to bore you anymore and wish everyone a very prosperous new year.  From all of us at the BACM -

That’s Dave, Barry and Brian, & with the helping hands of

Kevin Coffey, Phil Tricker,  Al Turner, Bryan Chalker and Robin Jones

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