VA – Dim Lights, Thick Smoke & Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Hit Parade 1968 (2013) Lossless

Artist: VA
Title: Dim Lights, Thick Smoke & Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Hit Parade 1968
Year Of Release: 2013
Label: Bear Family Records
Genre: Country, Bluegrass, Hillbilly, Progressive Country
Quality: Flac (image, .cue, log)
Total Time: 85:53
Total Size: 512 Mb (scans)


01. Waylon Jennings – Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line
02. Tammy Wynette – D-I-V-O-R-C-E
03. Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues
04. International Submarine Band – Luxury Liner
05. Henson Cargill – Skip A Rope
06. Merle Haggard – Mama Tried
07. George Jones – Beneath Still Waters
08. Glen Campbell – I Wanna Live
09. Jeannie C. Riley – Harper Valley P.T.A.
10. Doug Dillard & Gene Clark – Train Leaves Here This Morning
11. Porter Wagoner – The Carroll County Accident
12. Jerry Lee Lewis – Another Place Another Time
13. Merle Haggard – I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am
14. Loretta Lynn – Fist City
15. Charlie Louvin – Will You Visit Me On Sundays?
16. Johnny Darrell – The Son Of Hickory Holler’s Tramp
17. Roger Miller – Little Green Apples
18. Tom T. Hall – Ballad Of Forty Dollars
19. The Byrds – Hickory Wind
20. Osborne Brothers – Rocky Top
21. Jerry Lee Lewis – What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)
22. Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman
23. Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton – Holding On To Nothin’
24. Johnny Cash – Daddy Sang Bass
25. Merle Haggard – I Started Loving You Again
26. Buck Owens – How Long Will My Baby Be Gone?
27. George Jones – When The Grass Grows Over Me
28. Marty Robbins – I Walk Alone
29. Conway Twitty – Next In Line
30. Tammy Wynette – Stand By Your Man
31. Jim Alley – Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line

What happened in country music in 1968 was this: it got harder and leaner in some places and much softer in others, a schism Bear Family’s wonderful 1968 volume in their ongoing Dim Lights, Thick Smoke & Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Music Hit Parade quite ably illustrate. It’s not so easy to say that the West Coast preferred lean, electrified twang while Music City liked things a little more polished. The opening Waylon Jennings hit "Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line" — nicely bookended on this 31-track collection by Jim Alley’s barely known version — shows how the Nashville crew were happy to deliver tough hard rockers, while the California contingent were eager to overload their arrangements with strings, echoed guitars, and effects, all showcased on the brilliant, near-psychedelic "Wichita Lineman" by Glen Campbell. These two singles were perhaps the strongest evidence of how all the rules were changing — and that includes the incongruous inclusions from two Gram Parsons projects, the International Submarine Band and the Byrds, neither of which came close to the charts and neither of which fit in with the rest of the material here even if they did suggest where country music would eventually go — but apart from the strangely defiant George Jones, who feels utterly divorced from the zeitgeist, there isn’t a song here that doesn’t reflect the shifting sensibilities of the ’60s in some fashion. Traditionalists like Charlie Louvin and the Osborne Brothers open up their sound to accommodate the changing times; Johnny Cash’s spiritual hoe-down "Daddy Sang Bass" carries an electric charge; Loretta Lynn and Jeannie C. Reilly tackle feminism with "Fist City" and "Harper Valley PTA," but so does Tammy Wynette, whose "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" captures the pain of a splintering marriage, while "Stand by Your Man" illustrates its flipside. But the songs that still sound vital belong to Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Tom T. Hall, acts that bridge classic traditions — whether it’s honky tonk music or folk songs — with a modern sensibility, and "Mama Tried," "Another Place, Another Time," and "Ballad of Forty Dollars" all feel rich, fully realized, and alive, songs that still speak to modern sensibilities decades after their initial release.



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