1-CD-Album deluxe with 72-page booklet, 29 tracks. Playing time: 76:22 minutes.
This was the year that the Nashville Sound was born, Music City's fightback to rock 'n' roll with strings and vocal choruses, providing a pop market appeal, although Eddy Arnold had shown this way some years earlier. RCA Victor - with Arnold on its roster, was about to set recent signing Jim Reeves on take a similar vocal route - became the first major label to open its own Nashville studio (and equipped for the next innovation: stereo), with Chet Atkins overseeing productions as well as occasionally recording himself.
Top songs of the year, all breaking through to the pop charts, included Young Love (Sonny James), A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation (Marty Robbins), Walkin' After Midnight (Patsy Cline), Gonna Find Me A Bluebird (Marvin Rainwater), The Auctioneer (Leroy Van Dyke) and My Special Angel (Bobby Helms), all possessed that "pop" ingredient. Felice and Boudleaux Bryant were the most prolific of Nashville's songwriters, with many of their songs finding a home with the Everly Brothers, the first rock 'n' roll act to be produced and managed out of Nashville. Meanwhile Hank Snow, Ray Price, Ferlin Husky, Carl Smith and Jimmie Skinner continued recording in their usual styles.
After the volumes covering 1945-1955 were released, the word was out. This series is definitive, fabulously packaged, and faultlessly remastered! Everything you'd expect from Bear Family...and more!
Jack Clement, who produced Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, and many others, said, 'This is the best country series of all time. No doubt. No question.' Robert Hilburn in the 'Los Angeles Times' said, 'An invaluable album project...enables fans to step back in time and listen to the radio just like Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan did.'
Now the story continues from 1956 until 1960. Every CD is generously full. Every booklet is extensive and chocked full of rare photos and illustrations, as well as complete stories behind the songs!
In addition to the hits, the series contains rarities that went on to influence country music...and all music...in the years ahead, like Wanda Jackson's original version of Silver Threads And Golden Needles,
Carl Belew's original Lonely Street, and Chet Atkins' influential Walk, Don't Run. This series is designed to introduce new listeners to the very best that country music has to offer... while keeping longtime fans entertained. Every volume is a fabulous time capsule.
Here's the story. For many years, we'd received requests to do a truly definitive country series, but it wasn't until the success of our year-by-year R&B/Soul series, 'Blowin' The Fuse' (now 'Sweet Soul Music' and soon to be continued into the Funk era) that we decided we needed to do something comparable for country music. The first volumes of 'Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Hillbilly Music' took us from 1945-1955, and now the story continues into the era of the Nashville Sound.
The series has been compiled with today's fans in mind. Sure, the big hits are there, but so are the classic performances that weren't necessarily hits at the time, but became influential in the years ahead. Every volume has incredibly detailed behind-the-scenes stories, fabulously rare photos, and an ongoing history of country music set against the backdrop of the broader American music business. The booklets alone are 72 pages! Definitive You bet!
Superlatives are often overused, but we feel that this series is part of our mission to bring this incredible music to new fans ... as well as entertaining older fans. We pick up the story in 1956....just as country music was coming to terms with the upset of rock 'n' roll!