5-CD box (LP-size) with 44-page book, 143 tracks. Playing time approx. 360 mns.
One of the pioneers of West Coast country music and an archetypal honky tonk singer, Skeets McDonald is chiefly remembered for his 1953 hit Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes. Over an 18-year recording career from 1949 to 1967, though, he recorded 143 songs. All of them are in this long-overdue complete career retrospective. Taken together, Skeets' output not only shows how country music changed over two decades, but how one man could rise above the trends to make simply great beerhall country music.
Born in Arkansas, Skeets' recording career began in Detroit, cutting risque jukebox hits like The Tattooed Lady and Birthday Cake Boogie. He moved to the west coast in 1951. Signed immediately to Capitol, he helped define Bakersfield-styled country music, recording classics like I'm Hurtin' (later recorded by Nat 'King' Cole) and Looking At The Moon And Wishing On A Star, as well as Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes. He later turned to rockabilly with You Oughta See Grandma Rock and Heartbreakin' Mama (both featuring Eddie Cochran on guitar). His fabulous 1958 Capitol LP, 'Goin' Steady With The Blues' (featuring Buck Owens and Joe Maphis on guitar) is widely acknowledged as one of the great Fifties country albums.
In 1959, Skeets moved to Columbia Records where he recorded Ray Price-styled shuffles for a few years (several of them actually featuring Price on harmony vocals) before scoring another major hit in 1963 with Call Me Mister Brown. The set is rounded out with his last recordings for Uni, made shortly before his death in 1968.
A newly-researched biography by Colin Escott and photos and ephemera from family, friends, and fans complete this long-overdue retrospective of a Post-War country music pioneer....and one of the best pure singers in country music history.