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Country Chat - January 2021

January 2021. Sadly, we announce the passing of BACM’s co-founder Dave Barnes, long time collector and promoter of traditional country music.  BACM began as his personal record collection in the early 1950s and has grown to over a million items, books, sheet music, photographs, films and recordings (over 660,000 tracks at the latest count!)

In the late 1980s he turned the collection into a formal archive, the British Archive of Country Music (BACM) as a non-profit to preserve and catalogue the recordings and other country materials for posterity and to be of use to researchers, record companies, radio and TV presenters and students.

Then in early 2002, Dave launched the BACM record label in partnership with his friend, country musician and fellow-collector Brian Golbey. The aim was to unearth historic recordings, both from the Archive and from the collections of other country enthusiasts around the world, and make them available on CD to new audiences.  Now, 19 years on, these BACM releases have reached 670 CDs and represent one of the most extensive sets of roots country music available anywhere. They cover all genres and all eras from the 1920s to up to 1963. Around 20,000 recordings have now been released, many rare and never previously available in CD format, all acoustically researched and expertly restored (thanks to Brian’s expertise and musician’s ear).

We also have our second label, the Chart Memories series covering the ‘Top 100 country/pop crossover hits for each year from 1950 to 1963. We have so far released years 1955 to 1963 inclusive. The four 1954 discs (with the 100 top country ‘hits of that year) will follow in the next month or so.

The BACM team are dedicated to continuing the work making our CDs available to country collectors around the world.


Returning to Dave Barnes, those of us who had the privilege of working with him knew him to as an authentic good man and loyal friend, a true gentleman. He often cited Gene Autry as his role model for the ideals of decency, hard work and fair play and carried this fair play ethic through to how he treated customers, for example guaranteeing that if they ever had a problem with their purchase, the customer would be “ in the right”.

He continued working at the Archive right up to the last, loving what he was doing. His philosophy is well reflected in the comments he made in an interview with Martin Hawkins a few years ago: “I’m just a backroom boy. I’m trying to preserve what I bought and what I’ve got – music that otherwise might be lost. It’s been fun, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m in ‘Cowboy’s Heaven,’ which was the first record that I purchased by Gene Autry.”


Directors BACM, The British Archive Of Country Music

All Country Chat newsletters

January 2021

January 2021. Sadly, we announce the passing of BACM’s co-founder Dave Barnes, long time collector and promoter of traditional country music.  BACM began as his personal record collection in the ea... Read the newsletter

Nov/Dec 2020

November 2020. How is it that folks in this era of computers and electronics can be so stupid? Here we have a situation with coronavirus that the world has perhaps never seen before and yet peopl... Read the newsletter

Sept/Oct 2020 (1st Sept 2020)

September 2020. The year is hopping along at great speed and, as far as I’m concerned, I’d like to see the back of it. A very dear cousin has just passed away as well as two friends who were perha... Read the newsletter

1st July 2020

1st July. The coronavirus has just taken one of my dearest friends John Dodds, who I had known through Country Music for 60 years. We didn’t see much of each other because he lived in North East En... Read the newsletter

May (April/May 2020)

1st May. Hi Everybody, I’m back to say a few words on the new releases for May/June. It seems it always happens that I hit some blockages when putting together the new releases.  Sometimes it... Read the newsletter

March 2020 (for Feb and March)

1st March. Well, after 18 years of producing three new CD’s every single month – we’ve decided to reduce the pressure and from now on we'll give ourselves... Read the newsletter

January 2020

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 thin... Read the newsletter

December 2019. The sad news of the month for us at BACM is the passing of our old sidekick, Phil Tricker.   Phil lived and breathed country music for the best part of his life and left a legacy of C... Read the newsletter

November 2019

Hi Everyone, We’re back to the wet and dismal days of November and with summer it’s always nice to get back inside and put your feet up by the fire and listen to some real good music, country musi... Read the newsletter

July 2019

July 2019. This month’s three new releases kick off with a CD of novelty songs which are a bit like Marmite, you either hate it or love it (Hillbilly Novelty Bands In New York Vol 1 (1935-39... Read the newsletter

June 2019

JUNE 2019. Here we are and a bit under half the year gone by already. Our three new releases brings to 18 the number of CDs we’ve produced so far this year – which means another 500 or so recordin... Read the newsletter

May 2019

May 1st 2019. Here we are again and yet another month has slipped by. Why is it that the older you get, time goes faster or at least it does to me. It seems not so long ago that we started off this ve... Read the newsletter

April 2019

April 2019. Whilst reading the other day I noticed that an old friend had passed away aged 86. He was Pennsylvania’s King of Country Music, Cowboy Howard Vokes. I first met him in 1961... Read the newsletter

March 2019

1st March. Over the past 17 years we’ve grown to be a leading source of authentic early country music, thanks to our dedicated team – a small group of country music devotees who put in the hours t... Read the newsletter

February 2019

1st February. It’s back to normal right now with the holidays over with for a while. The supermarkets and travel companies keep reminding us that it’s not the case as they rummage around getting e... Read the newsletter

Jan 2019

1st January 2019.  Another year done and dusted and each year they seem to fly by faster than ever. Once again we’ve achieved our mission – producing 36 new CDs, three each month and nearly alway... Read the newsletter