Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Melody Ranch Girl
Genres: Country, Jazz
Fifties country music at it's finest
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 08/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jean began her recording career in the early fifties and had country hits up to the mid-seventies - not as many or as big as she deserved, but she certainly made her mark. Jean's biggest hits during the period covered by this box of five CD's (up to 1964) included A dear John letter (a #1 duet with Ferlin Husky), Forgive me John (a reply to the previous hit, also with Ferlin), A satisfied mind, Beautiful lies and Second fiddle to an old guitar. All other hits - indeed everything Jean recorded up to the end of 1964 - can also be found here.During this period, Jean was often overshadowed by two other country queens, Kitty and Patsy, but Jean played an important role in gaining recognition for female singers of country music. Jean often sang hard-hitting songs about relationships which would have feminists cheering her on (as Kitty also did, most famously with It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels), a great example being Two whoops and a holler. In this song, Jean demands to know why men can be unfaithful and it's OK, but if a woman does that, she's lower than a hound. Of course, that was the fifties and a few things have changed since then. Jean's feisty side is also evident on several other tracks here.The overall feel of the set is typical fifties honky-tonk country, including cover versions of songs made famous by Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Jim Reeves and others - but there are not many songs here which are really famous. I was surprised at just how few such songs Jean recorded during this time.The best known songs here are I can't stop loving you, I love you because, You win again, Mockin' bird hill, If you've got the money I've got the time and I'm thinking tonight of my blue eyes (which has the same tune as Wild side of life and It wasn't god who made honky tonk angels), although you will recognise others.Jean has a lovely voice (described by another reviewer as a sweet but full-bodied alto - I can't improve on that), which I find to be much easier on the ear than Kitty's, while her music is much more firmly rooted in country than Patsy's. Jean is truly one of a kind - there will never be another like her.If you are thinking of buying this, you are obviously a huge fan of traditional country music, and you are probably familiar with Jean's music already. If you only want a little of Jean's music, there are other single-CD compilations that will satisfy your needs."
PUT HER IN THE HALL OF FAME!!!!
Mr. Green | fayetteville, pa. USA | 01/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My sister Jean died on New Years Eve and at the funeral one of my poems about her was read, entitled Love Letter. It spoke briefly about her boyhood lover who went off to fight in the Korean War. She was a fan of Jean Shepard and her death led me to a search for the recordings that I had kept and had still kept even after a flood had destroyed the album covers. Jean Shepard's song A Dear John Letter, was one of the songs I went in search of, also my favorite album of her, Songs of a Love Affair. I found the album and then went in search of her on Amazon.Com, and found this fantastic retrospective of her works. It is, although recently found, one of my favorite possessions. I grew up with this wonderful singer of the pure country I knew in my youth, and some of her songs come to mind from listening on the radio, Beautiful Lies, Tell me what I want to Hear, etc., and, when I recieved this Bear Family retropective, I sang along, the words coming from deep inside my self. In 1961 I saw her in concert here in Pa., at a place called Mountainside where I saw her walk along a country road with her then husband, Hawkshaw Hawkins. Later, when I lived in Gettysburg Pa, I saw her there in concert and startled her by taking a photograph as she signed autographs at the edge of the stage. I really cannot express how I feel about this album. It is fantastic, and for a boy like myself who grew up in the fifties, Jean Shepard was part of my youth and the memories brought back by these fantastic songs is more than I could possibly ask for as a gift from the past. Jean Shepard should be in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. I certainly hope I will see this in my lifetime. No one who listens to these wonderful evocations of pure country music can feel differently. Jean Shepard, I will always love you. Thank you for my sister and for myself for marking our lives by your songs. Without even knowing it you have given me comfort at this difficult time. You are COUNTRY and I am proud that you have been part of my life with your music."
This is a real gem among boxed sets.
Peter Durward Harris | 04/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Each of the 5 CD's in this set makes great listening. Hardly any extra takes, all songs rating from good to very good, and her voice is great as well as the backing. This is the best I've heard as boxed sets go, certainly the gem of my collection."