1-CD-Album deluxe with 72-page booklet, 30 tracks. Playing time: 74:10 minutes.
Wesley Rose's 1956 prophecy about rock 'n' roll killing country was ringing true and the music was at its lowest ebb. Nevertheless it couldn't be ignored. Songwriter Don Gibson put the Nashville Sound firmly on the map with Oh Lonesome Me while its "B" side I Can't Stop Loving You became a massive hit for Kitty Wells. More smooth sounds came from Jim Reeves (Blue Boy) and Hank Locklin (Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On) while Ray Price remained undeterred by musical changes, having made the 4/4 shuffle an art form, and newcomer Charlie Walker followed in finest honky-tonk tradition. Johnny Cash and George Jones were both well established with their highly distinctive vocal styles. Veteran Roy Acuff couldn't be anything but country, as heard on Once More, as were the Louvin Brothers' harmonies (My Baby's Gone).
Simon Crum (aka Ferlin Husky) humoursly stated that "country music was here to stay" and Wayne Raney and his family group's religious thoughts about rock 'n' roll became - ironically - a much sought after rockabilly record. And a couple of 1958 industry notes: stereo was introduced after 30 years of experimentation and, after 60 years, 78s were on the way out.
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!