5-CD box (LP-size) with 76-page hardcover book, 123 tracks. Playing time approx. 348 mns.
Bill and Earl Bolick, popularly known as the Blue Sky Boys, stood at the center of one of country music’s greatest vocal traditions, that of the Brother Duet. These 5 CDs contain the Blue Sky Boys’ complete recordings for Bluebird and RCA Victor from 1936 – 1950. -- To many, they were the best. Their impeccable, precise, and poignant harmonies, accompanied usually by only a guitar and mandolin, won them a host of fans in their own day and have captivated listeners who discovered them in the wake of the 1960s folk revival. The Blue Sky Boys performed the most interesting body of songs of any act in the 1930s and 1940s. Folklorists seized upon their material back in the early 1960s, and their songs are still recorded. Their storehouse of traditional ballads, mournful Victorian parlor songs, shape-note gospel hymns, and sentimental minstrel tunes have always appealed to fans who value the traditional roots of country music, and who appreciate the vital ways in which the Bolick Brothers carried the music and the tradition forward. Songs such as Midnight On The Stormy Deep, The Knoxville Girl, Sunny Side Of Life, Are You From Dixie?, and Mary Of The Wild Moor are still sung, and the Blue Sky Boys’ wonderful duet singing still influences bluegrass and country music. Their influence can be heard directly or indirectly in The Everly Brothers, The Louvin Brothers, Ray and Ina Patterson, Everett and Bea Lilly, Don Reno,
Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Charlie Moore, Tom Gray of the original Country Gentlemen, Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice, and Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard …most of whom openly acknowledge their indebtedness to the Blue Sky Boys. Even Johnny Cash recorded a Blue Sky Boys song, Mary Of The Wild Moor, on his recent American Recordings CD'.
'No country music act was more popular on radio during the prewar years than the Blue Sky Boys, and another generation learned of their music during the folk revival of the early 1960s when they made a few appearances on college campuses and at folk festivals. Still others have heard them in our own time on random CD reissues. This, though, is the first time that all of the Blue Sky Boys’ music recorded for Bluebird and Victor Records has been gathered in one place. Bill C. Malone, author of 'Country Music USA'.
Nearly all of the 123 recordings are making their first appearance on CD. The sound has been digitally restored by Juergen Crasser without damaging the integrity or purity of the original recordings. The metal part transfers were done by Seth Winner. The 76-page hardcover book contains a full-length, newly-researched Blue Sky Boys biography by country music’s preeminent historian, Bill C. Malone, plus all known photographs of the original Blue Sky Boys, including those from Bill Bolick’s personal photo collection.