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John Wayne's Holster: Honky-tonk and Truckin' Tunes You Need to Hear
John Wayne's Holster
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Honky-tonk and Truckin' Tunes You Need to Hear

Here are a few reviews of some country albums from the 1960s and early 70s that seem to have gotten lost over time . These albums are really gems and need to be rediscovered. Get a hold of them if you can. Some of them are available in CD format, other are available only on vinyl (digital formats are available to the resourceful).

Marty Robbins – Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs. Picture the gunslinging heroes of the 50s and 60s cowboy movies. Now picture him with a guitar crooning songs about lonely nights on the cattle trail, tragic love affairs, or gun fights with outlaws. Overlay these stories with crafty guitar work. Rumor has it that Robbins recorded the album in a single afternoon. Featured on the album are classic songs like “El Paso” and “Big Iron” which have gone on to become country standards. This is country & western music in its truest form.

Dave Dudley – Songs About the Working Man. Dave Dudley debut album for Mercury in 1964. This album contains a collection of songs dedicated to the working man. Songs about the tedium of steel work, tragic songs about death in the coal mines, songs about truckers and cab drivers. And of course, the classic “Six Days on the Road”. Dudley would later go on to establish himself as singer of truck-driving songs. The same trucker beats and rhythms can be found here. This is a must have for every gear-jammer.

Red Sovine – The One and Only.
The master of spoken recitation. Sovine spins and weaves incredulous stories of tragedy into tear-jerking tales that are guaranteed to have you bawling your eyes out. In addition, Sovine has a commanding baritone voice that fits right in with the driving rhythm that will make you want to drive an eighteen-wheeler to California and back. While your at it, stop by a record shop and pick-up his albums “Giddy-up Go” and “I Didn’t Jump the Fence”.

Eddie Bond – The Legend of Buford Puser. This collection of honky-tonk songs chronicles the true story of Sheriff Buford Puser. Puser was a shit-kicking sheriff who fought corruption and moonshing in McNairy County Tennessee in the late 60’s. Puser's way of doling out justice was extreme – he did it with a hickory switch. Puser survived multiple assassination attempts – he was shot eight times, stabbed seven times, and struck by a car. Buford has also killed two people in self-defense. One one occasion, he fought six men at once, and sent three to jail and three to a hospital. Another time, he hopped on the hood of a speeding car, smashed the window and subdued the man who tried to run over him. A man’s man – without equal. A fantastic album – the only way it could have been better is if Johnny Cash sang it.

Other albums worth listening to

Dick Curless – Tombstone Every Mile. Classic ballads of truckin’ up in the woods of Maine.

Johnny Paycheck – She’s All I Got. Johnny Paycheck – the man sho taught George Jones how to sing. This album contains songs about drinking and lost love. Paycheck was the master of the county ballad. Had it not been for his rough and rowdy ways and unmarketable image, he would have gone down as one of the greatest country singers ever.

Flatt & Scruggs – Hard Travelin’. Album of unbelievable banjo and dobro songs. Features classics like Wreck of the Old 97, and the Ballad of Jed Clampett. Get it, you won’t be sorry


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