Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Tiffany Transcriptions, Vol. 4: You're From Texas!
Genres: Country, Pop
When Kaleidoscope Records first issued these live-in-the-studio records on vinyl, they were grouped by theme, however loosely. This particular set centers around the subject of--what else?--Texas, making it more "country" ... more »
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When Kaleidoscope Records first issued these live-in-the-studio records on vinyl, they were grouped by theme, however loosely. This particular set centers around the subject of--what else?--Texas, making it more "country" than the other volumes though it still boasts the jazz-oriented musical interplay that defined the Playboys. Therefore, there are a number of fiddle tunes, cowboy songs, and Mexican melodies included, along with a few of Wills's most famous Texas-centric classics, such as "Home in San Antone," "Across the Alley from the Alamo," and "San Antonio Rose," retitled here as "Lum & Abner Special." --Marc Greilsamer
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A Selection of a selection
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 07/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Without getting into the history: this is just good music suitable for anyone at any time with ears.
This is the real deal in regard to Western Swing. The Tiffany recordings were done for the Tiffany Furniture Company of Oakland, California in the mid 1940s. They were sold to radio stations as music to play over the air along with or without commercials for the furniture company. This was back when playing normal commercial records on the radio was still a novel thing.
If you look on the discography you will find there were more than a hundred of recordings done by Wills over the years for this operation. So even if Rounder has put out seven or eight volumes of this music, they are still just offering the best of the collection. These were rare treats among the collectors. I remember first hearing about them around 1977 when a friend of mine who lived in NYC mentioned he knew someone in Indiana who had taped copies of these records. I remember how I treated the tape he made me like a golden jewel, carrying it with myself personally when I moved.
People I know who actually heard the Texas Playboys play during the 1930s and 1940s say the Tiffany recording are the closest to the way the Playboys sounded live of all their recordings.
This is the repertoire. Since the Tiffany transcriptions were not commercial recording, they recorded all the songs the Playboys would play at live dates, and not just songs they recorded which were usually filtered by the Columbia, MGM, and MCA operation to make sure they recorded songs that had the right publishing and were charting for others.
This recording is atypical of the Tiffany recordings in that there are no non-Western Swing pop hits and I think almost every tune here was actually recorded on the Playboys' Columbia Records. On other Tiffany recordings you can hear the Playboys make wonderful music on Nat King Cole's Straighten up and Fly Right, Basie's Swing Blues, Ellington's Take the A Train, Dinah Shore's Sentimental Journey, and even a great instrumental on the theme from the movie Mission to Moscow!
There is one masterpiece on this CD that is worth the whole price, and that is the great Along the Navajo Trail. While it sounds like a Western tune, it was actually a hit first done by one of the minor white swing bands. However, on this cut Tommy Duncan's singing and the supurb unison and solo work of Noel Boggs, Tiny Moore, and Lester Barnard Junior make this a treat. This is a fervent passionate, beautiful, bluesy cowboy song. It needs more recognition and repetition.
The recording quality isn't always as good as the Columbia and or even the MGM sides. They were recorded in a local studio in the same building as Oakland's Fox theater. The Playboys simply recorded them all day whenever the tour schedule took the Playboys into the San Fransisco Area. They cut tunes without rehearsals, on the first take, cutting five or six or seven sides in a day, as opposed to the standard recording studio concept of 4 sides in three hours.
Yet, on a number of these tunes they really cut lose in instrumentals they way they don't on the commercial disks. If you love the repartee between Bob and the Band, you get a lot more of that on these tunes than on the commerical records.
What these records represent for the history of Western Swing is priceless. The guitar trio sound grew out of the duos that Eldon Shamblin and Leon MacAufliffe did with Wills before WWII. When Jimmy Wyble (who went on to be one of the key Jazz guitarists of the 1950s and 1960s) and Cameron Hill came in during the War and were joined by Noel Boggs, that sound was perfected. On these sides we hear it bluesier and hotter played by Junior Barnard or Eldon on guitar, Tiny Moore on Mandolin, and Boggs or Herbie Remington on steel guitar. You don't get as much of this on the contemporary Columbia sounds, although you did on the first MGM sides there was a revival"
The Best of Tiffany
Tony Thomas | 10/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A long time fan of Bob Wills, I keep coming back to the Tiffany Transcriptions in general and volume 4 in particular. This one is the best! It has what I consider the best version of "San Antonio Rose" recorded by Bob and the Boys. Also "Home in San Antone" and "You're from Texas" are stand-out performances."