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June 1st. Hi Everyone! Another month passes by and I sometimes feel I’m getting older quicker than anybody else but on the plus side I’m lucky to be really enjoying what I am doing every day, getting so engrossed with the music and still discovering new things. Yes, I still come across names and bands I’ve never heard of – leading me into researching them to find photographs and life history. I then might start hunting for tracks to see if there’s enough to fill one of our CDs.
It’s no mean task but I get help from BACM’s network of friends and collectors around the world – the likes of Kevin Coffey, Al Turner, Phil Tricker and Bryan Chalker and many more. With a bit of luck it eventually comes together and yet another Country musician/star gets a new lease of life. In the 15 years since we first started we have rekindled the fire of hundreds of country performers – a total of more than 560 CDs. When Brian Golbey and I began the venture we really had no idea it would turn into such a long running project. If we had a trumpet, I think we would sometimes be giving it a good blow – along with our third Director, Barry Farnes.
We’ll do our best to get July’s CDs out on time. Brian will be off an another of his “way up north” holidays again soon but he’s doing his utmost to get the July’s tracks all cleaned up on time so with luck all will be well.
Now onward we go to our June CDs. A superb collection of old time recordings and some rare Western Swing plus a long overdue third collection of Shelton Brothers recordings. Thanks are due to Kevin Coffey for this last – and in my opinion it is one of the best CDs we have released.
THE PANACHORD LABEL Vol 2 – Various Artists BACM. CD 560
Our long awaited volume two of the fantastic wealth of old time music on the Panachord label has finally come together. This style of yodelling old time music was very popular in England just before the war. Finding enough tracks, across a wide range of artistes and in good condition was proving very difficult. Then recently musician/collector Chris Coomber kindly offered his collection to the Archive. So thanks to him we were able to complete the compilation – some great music here which I am sure you will enjoy – and plenty more to come. Thanks Chris!
SWINGING ON THE BRAZOS – Various Artists. BACM CD 561
Here’s a little selection of western Swing songs that you would not have been able to pick up at your local record shop, or any other shop in fact. Kevin Coffey has put together a great bunch of songs that were being played on radio around the Waco area in Texas some fifty odd years ago. It’s mostly western swing but from time to time you can hear the tinkling piano creeping in as it did during the late 50s and early 60s. I find this a great little CD to listen to as the songs are mostly unknown to me. There are a couple of tracks on this CD where despite our best efforts the sound quality is not up to our usual standard – but being so rare I hope that you’ll bear with us and make allowances.
THE SHELTON BROTHERS – Volume 3. BACM CD 562
This is a gem, with faultless vocal and haunting music by the Sheltons. The music was gathered together by Kevin Coffey who really put his heart into this as he usually does with the items that he passes down to us. You will hear an original of “No Foolin”, some 20 years before the Wilburn Brothers made a hit of it in the 60s. Just one example of many where country hits in the 50s and 60s were remakes of songs recorded in the 30s – this should be the real meaning of ‘American Roots music’ in my opinion.
We try hard to give our friends and customers music they will like – and give a good spread of different styles and eras for the 36 CDs we produce a year. Of course not everyone likes every style – but even folks whose first taste is not Old Timey music, they should give it a listen and I’m sure they will find some of it to their liking. Songs about love and hate or about disasters like railway crashes and mining accidents and the Sinking Of the Titanic – musical snapshots of their era and given everything they’d got by the singers and musicians. Our hope is that our work will mean this legacy gets passed on to new generations, to be discovered and played again by young musicians.
From us all here at the Archive and from those who assist us from around the world
Dave, Brian &; Barry, The BACM Boys