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Best of Floyd Cramer
Floyd Cramer
Best of Floyd Cramer
Genres: Country, Pop
 

      
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All Artists: Floyd Cramer
Title: Best of Floyd Cramer
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: PAIR
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Album Type: CD
Genres: Country, Pop
Styles: Classic Country, Instrumental, Easy Listening
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 088826121024

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CD Reviews

Nashville's All-Time Favorite Session Pianist
09/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Any time anyone of any significance cut a record in Nashville in the 1950's, chances are the man they wanted if a piano was called for was Floyd Cramer, born on October 27, 1933 in Samti, Louisiana and raised in Huttig, Arkansas. That included the likes of Elvis Presley, Perry Como, Johnny Cash, and guitarist Chet Atkins, among many others.

He didn't fare too badly on his own, either, chalking up 11 Billboard Pop Hot 100 hits, and another four that made the Adult Contemporary (AC) or Country charts, from his first in May 1958, Flip Flop And Bop (# 87 Hot 100 b/w Sophisticated Swing), to his last in 1980, Dallas (# 32 Country/# 34 AC from the TV series), and all for RCA Victor.

This early CD release from RCA repeats the same 12 tracks that appeared on an early 1970's vinyl LP and, in so doing, repeated the same mistake made back then. That is, to include tracks that were not among his "best" - at least from a hits aspect (2, 4, 5, 10 and 11). These were not, in fact, even the B-sides of any of his hits.

After that initial charter mentioned above, he really hit it big over two years later when Last Date shot to # 2 Hot 100/# 3 R&B/# 11 Country in late 1960 b/w Sweetie Baby, and early the following spring followed that with On The Rebound, which topped out at # 4 Hot 100/# 16 R&B b/w Mood Indigo. A few months later his cover of the old Bob Wills hit, San Antonio Rose, peaked at # 3 AC and # 8 on both the Hot 100 and Country charts b/w I Can Just Imagine.

That fall of 1961 the beautiful Your Last Goodbye struggled to a puzzling # 63 Hot 100 b/w Hang On, which also charted at # 95 for his first double-sided - albeit minor - hit. Unfortunately, that B-side was left out of this compilation. His next was also a two-sided charter, as his cover of the Glenn Miller classic Chattanooga Choo Choo got to # 9 AC/# 36 Hot 100 in early 1962 b/w Let's Go, which itself reached # 90. Neither side is in the volume.

In April/May 1962 his cover of the Hank Williams classic, Lovesick Blues, worked its way to # 20 AC/# 87 Hot 100 b/w The First Hurt, followed that sumeer by Hot Pepper, a # 63 Hot 100 b/w For Those That Cry. That his is also missing here and remains one of the hardest of Cramer hits to find in a good quality CD release. In late 1962/early 1963 his version of Java went to # 12 AC/# 49 Hot 100 b/w Melissa, and that would be his final Pop Hot 100 charter. All to this point had been produced by Chet Atkins.

He next appeared on the charts (as a solo artist) in early 1967 when Stood Up (not the same tune as the Ricky Nelson hit) made it to # 24 AC/# 53 Country b/w Good Vibrations, and about a year later returned with a cover of the Glen Campbell hit, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, taking it to # 32 AC b/w and other Campbell hit, Gentle On My Mind. Then, in May 1970 he had Theme From Two-Twenty-Two (from the TV series Room 222) reach # 39 AC b/w the Peter, Paul & Mary hit Leaving On A Jet Plane. Seven years later he came up with a bit of a novelty with his cover of The Cascades 1963 hit, Rhythm Of The Rain. Billed to Floyd Cramer And The Keyboard Kick Band (really Floyd playing eight different keyboards), it topped out at # 67 Country b/e Prelude To Love in May 1977. Then came the above-mentioned Dalls.

It's not reasonable to expect to have seen those later hits included in this release, but I do think that, right from the outset, the CD should have been expanded to at least 17 tracks to include those five missing early hits. In fact, they could do that now as they have already done with several of the early Elvis Presley CD releases which, at the outset, were merely repeats of earlier vinyl 12-track LPs. And, while they're at it, get someone to write some liner notes, as this has nothing in that regard."