Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Essential Carl Smith 1950-1956
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
The "gentleman honky-tonker" pulls off a rather difficult feat on these 20 tunes: he polishes up the primitive honky-tonk style of Hank Williams and mentor Ernest Tubb without completely pulling up the roots. He achieves a... more »
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The "gentleman honky-tonker" pulls off a rather difficult feat on these 20 tunes: he polishes up the primitive honky-tonk style of Hank Williams and mentor Ernest Tubb without completely pulling up the roots. He achieves a refined and graceful sound without resorting to overblown arrangements, oceans of strings, or sappy material; he handles delicate ballads with sensitivity, not sentimentality. Much of his success results from his tight-knit, subtly charming band, which includes electric guitarist Sammy Pruett and pedal-steel man Johnny Sibert. Tubb gave Smith his first chart-topper, "Don't Just Stand There," while the expressive "Are You Teasing Me" comes from the Louvin Brothers. Little-known Freddie Hart provided Smith's biggest hit, "Loose Talk," and Boudleaux Bryant, Nashville's original full-time songwriter, penned five of these gems. Rather than ignore tradition, Smith infuses it with elegance. --Marc Greilsamer
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The title is accurate this time
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Record companies use titles like Essential, Best of and Greatest hits out of habit, even where the contents do not fit the title. On this occasion, they got it right. Carl Smith was hugely successful at the time but he has now faded into obscurity, leaving a vast legacy of recorded music and a magnificent daughter, Carlene Carter, who had some notable successes in her own singing career and who eventually covered You are the one (the last song on this collection). Yes, Carl was married to June Carter, better remembered as the wife of Johnny Cash, for a time.Time plays strange tricks in popular music and less successful (at the time) artists like the Louvin Brothers are better recognized. Of course, the Louvin brothers deserve their recognition, which owes a lot to excellent cover versions of their songs by Emmylou and others. Actually, one of their songs is included here (Are you teasing me) so Carl is also grateful for their songwriting skills. Carl has been less lucky in having his legacy immortalized via cover versions, although Porter and Dolly did a great cover of If teardrops were pennies, while Mickey Gilley was more successful with I overlooked an orchid than Carl had been.One of the other interesting aspects of this collection is that several of the songs were written or co-written by Boudleaux Bryant - this was before the Everly brothers came along to enchant the world with the classic Bryant songs like Bye bye love and All I have to do is dream. Among the Bryant songs here are Hey Joe (revived in the eighties by Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley with a modified title, Hey Moe Hey Joe) and It's a lovely lovely world (also revived in the eighties, this time by Gail Davies). This is a collection of fifties country music at its most traditional. Perhaps the appeal of this type of music is limited these days but Carl was one of the best country singers of his generation. If you enjoy the music of Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb, you will surely enjoy this collection."
The REAL Nashville Sound!
Charles Wilder | Dover, NH United States | 01/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the real Nashville sound before it became over-contrived, over-arranged, over-produced, over-voiced and over the top! They didn't come any better than Carl. If I had to pick one 50's country singer to have in my collection it would be Carl Smith. And I remember them all! From the most famous to the most obscure. You have it all with this CD. A great singer, Great songs, great (simple, straight ahead) arrangements, and a great band. You can't miss! As an added bonus you get to experience one of the great steel guitar players of the era, Johnny Sibert. This was the Golden Age of the steel guitar before it got it's pedals and lost it's soul. Believe me, I'm not one to gush, but this one's a must!
An easy five stars!!"
Country the way country SHOULD be!
Nathan Laney | Northern Cambria, PA USA | 06/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Next to Hank Williams, this is THE man! Carl Smith!! I've been a real fan of his since I was about 7 or 8. He was a big favorite with my dad. It rubbed off.
Believe it or not, we only had one Carl Smith album the whole time I was growing up. We had "The Carl Smith Special" which as near as I can tell by using Columbia's numbering system was released in late '67 or early '68. It was a superb record. I still have it! So when I heard this disc for the first time, even though it was a bit different due to the changes in style and recording and so on, I didn't need any time to settle in to its sound. Man, he was gooood!
I really hope that eventually some day some company will release some of the 60's country albums in their original form. Country music was phenomenal during that decade! Carl Smith's albums (I've since acquired more) were among the cream of the crop at that time. Their release is long over due.
As for this disc, FANTASTIC!!!"