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Country Chat - SEPTEMBER 2014

September 2014. Hi Everybody. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a new friend awaiting me when I turn up at the Archive each morning, ready to start unlocking the  doors. He knows nothing about country music or recording but he’s there with a friendly purr and we’re really getting along fine together. Mainly because he hasn’t had any breakfast. Once sorted, he gives me a reward in rolling over at my feet and trying hard to trip me up whenever I walk anywhere. My granddaughter has named him Jeffery although she hasn’t seen him.  Maybe he will keep the mice at bay during his stay here. I keep my eyes open in the “Lost Cats” column of the local newspaper in case someone has lost him as I’ve a feeling he may return there – although it’s possible he’ll get to like country music and decide to stay!

So on the music,  I’m working a little far ahead at present with items that some of our USA collectors have sent us, but as usual we are one pork pie short of a picnic trying hard to find some missing items.

Some of our regular contributors are having a difficult time healthwise. Our thoughts go to Al and Phil the BillHilly Boys (whom we thank for this month’s Starday Custom release); they are a bit  under the weather at present and we wish them better health in the near future. Also, time to express appreciation of Kevin (Coffey) who is rather overworked and needs a break. We are lucky in having such a good back up team for our product and we certainly miss them when they are not on call!

Our thoughts also go out to our friends and Archive partners Brian and Sandi Golbey; first on the passing of  Sandi’s mother who was in her mid nineties. She was always on hand to pick up the phone when Brian was out.  Secondly, Sandi herself has just had to go into hospital for a small operation – our best wishes to her for a speedy recovery. Brian and Sandi both put in lots of work for to prepare each month’s three new CDs, restoring and cleaning up the audio and doing the artwork for the covers and editing and proof-reading the cover notes.

The show must go on and here I go with some words on our new releases for September.

Starday Custom Series Volume 7.   CD460

Phil tells me that this might just be the last one in this series, although he may dig out enough tracks for a Volume 8. The problem is keeping within the copyright dates which we are bound to. I feel that this one is possibly the best so far, kicking off with a great hillbilly/ country song  “I’m A Sad Sack” from Shorty Barnhill.  Followed by lots of good solid country songs recorded in the  early 60s. Although they produced some whittling good country music, most of the  artists here were from minor labels and never hit the big time but. One exception is Dick Damron, heard here in his early years doing some great rock a billy – Dick did go on and made the big time and is still going strong.

Country Gospel Volume 2. CD  461        

This one has been in the mill for a few months as I had lots to choose from, many of them requests or proposals from fans of the genre. As always it comes down to personal liking – in the end I’ve gone for a generally blue grass feeling to the disc rather than the Sunday morning sing along  sound. I feel that if you don’t like gospel music then the picking of mandolin guitar and banjo might override that side of it and give you a good hour’s entertainment. We shall see by your comments on this.

Idaho Call & Boots Faye. CD 462        

Well we can’t mistake this as being anything else than pure country music from the period of just after the war to the early fifties. Idaho on most of this CD gives a good account of himself with some popular songs of the day and Boots Faye pops in to say hello on a few numbers later on. If you want ‘Real country’  then this is for you, 40s style, bang in the middle of the golden age. Bryan Chalker wrote the cover notes, largely drawing on the earlier research done by Al Turner for a previous article.

This is an example of how much we at the archive owe to the hard work and dedication of our network of collectors and discographers. Thanks to them we are able to continue our work preserving the great legacy of country music without which so much historic music would be lost and many great performers  forgotten forever.

Strangely enough the place where old songs are still sung is by the crowds at football matches.  Yet they’d never play songs from that era back at home nor do you hear them played much in the pub, not like the old days when  the old pub piano was the best thing for old time music and everyone would join in and sing. Sad those times are gone!

Well we’ve just overrun our space so I must sign off. Good luck everyone & keep the flag flying!

DAVE BRIAN & BARRY The BACM BOYS.

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