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Country Chat - March 2013

Early March 2013.

Hi All,

Well, country music CD time has come a little quicker, three days earlier than usual to be precise. Yes the month of February is always a little shorter but with the weather being as it was it seems like two months joined into one. I was talking to a friend in Australia the other day and saying how I envied him there basking in the summer sunshine, but he told me it wasn’t all roses & violets there, the humidity at times was very high and the risk of fires in the outback caused a lot of damage and distress to people and wild life. So let’s forget February and put it down to one of those things that happens here once a year and look forward to the March winds instead.

Back at the archive though it’s always a busy time deciding which artists and songs are available to use in the coming month’s releases. A lot of the time here I spend on trying to find enough songs that were recorded before 1962, When I finally come up with what I think is a good idea I sometimes find myself short on say half a dozen tracks that I need to fill up a decent CD by a certain artist. Even when I find enough tracks on paper I still have to find audio copies of them. This is where my collector friends come in and without their help at times I guess there’d be no BACM CDs, or very few. I think that between Brian, Barry and myself, we can be proud of what we’ve achieved so far. I’m not blowing our own trumpet but it gives me a lot of pleasure to look at the 400 plus CDs that we’ve put together in the past 10-11 years and say, we’ve done our part in preserving the country music heritage.

A lot of people in the business today rather forget what’s gone before them and take it all for granted or as if they discovered the whole industry by themselves.  I love to see all the new talent coming through, but I only wish they’d keep their sounds a little more traditional. There’s nothing new in a song, it all derives from past composers. The only thing is that it’s presented slightly differently.  Faster slower, higher or lower, but for God’s sake don’t add your name to the composer’s credit just to get extra royalties. So many huge stars have done this in the past and I think it’s rather like blackmail. “I’ll sing your song if I can add my name to the credit”.

Here at the archive we like to think ourselves as straight forward easy going sort of guys who love the music and like to share it with others who haven’t had the chance to delve into the depths and dig out those precious sounds of bygone days. I for one do all this because I am addicted to the Hillbilly sound of all those years ago. I don’t really care if the song is a good one or not, just so long as it’s preserved for all to listen to.  Just think how much people go overboard upon hearing a new Elvis or John Lennon song or even part of although it may be rubbish. The same goes for me and all the minor Country performers that I get to listen to.

Enough talk, here’s our CDs for this month

CD 406    The Hi–Flyers
A little bit of old time here with some jazzy numbers done in pre 40s days.  Although Krazy Kat put out some of their music a few years back on a CD, we thought we’d follow up with a few tunes that they didn’t use.  Kevin Coffey has written some excellent notes so that it gives you an insider’s view to the time and place all this was going on. Country Music was still evolving and western swing was brought to the front by outfits like these in the 1930s.  Oh to hear a band play in this style now!

CD 407    Claude Gray
This was Mercury’s answer to the popular Jim Reeves sound that was on the air in the late 50s early 60s. The music had changed and the strong soft sound was what you heard on the radio of this era. Claude Gray started as Jim Reeves did on smaller labels but he had the potential to drop a key and sing similar songs to him but although they were all good sellers Jim had the edge on him although at least some of this must have been thanks to RCAs marketing.

CD 408    The Dome Label , Hillbilly From The Windy City.
Who else but our friend Al Turner & Phil Tricker would have thought of putting these together and coming up with a hillbilly gem.  Not all of these were great songs but as I said previously, that’s not what matters, it’s the songs and singers that survived the test of time. Here you’ll hear the music that some say was dragging it’s feet and not progressing in that period. The Dome label had some great musicians and vocalists but they didn’t have the backing of the likes of Decca or RCA to promote their songs, so most of them only survived locally in the mid west. A great collector’s piece.

In the next few months we’ll be launching our redesigned web site which we hope will promote a few more sales and at least get more people to view our work. I have to thank Michael Jones for all the effort that will have to go into it in the coming months. All this computer stuff is way above my head but upon seeing a preview of what’s been done so far I think that it will benefit all the dunderheads who like to press a button and get what they want, when they do it. I get so frustrated at doing something that I think is right only to see a lot of stuff come up that I can’t understand. They never had computers at school during the war when I last attended and I guess it’s too late to learn now, even if I could, but I’m trying to get by.

I guess that’s all the meaningless chatter I can sum up for another month, so to you all,

TAKE CARE

Dave, Brian & Barry The BACM Boys.

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