Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Best of Mel Tillis: The Columbia Years
Genres: Country, Pop
There is so little Mel Tillis available it?s almost an embarrassment for the record industry; after all, the man is the #25 highest-charting artist in country music history! And here?s where that legendary career got start... more »
There is so little Mel Tillis available it?s almost an embarrassment for the record industry; after all, the man is the #25 highest-charting artist in country music history! And here?s where that legendary career got started, at Columbia, where Mel thrived as a young songwriter and notched his first hits. Compiler and annotator Greg Adams has selected the finest two dozen of Mel?s Columbia tracks, over half of which have never been on CD?historic country, yours exclusively from 'Collectors? Choice Music'!
The missing years of a onetime country legend
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 02/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's funny: looking at all those old Webb Pierce albums, I always imagined he and Mel Tillis were best buds, collaborating together on those rock-influenced honkytonk shuffles, along with Webb's songwriting secret weapons, Wayne P. Walker. Turns out, though, that Tillis was one of those woebegotten Nashville second-stringers whose work Webb would poach at will, rushing out his own versions of other people's songs (with the full weight of the Decca Records publicity machine behind him), and locking down the chart hit before the original artist's single could gather any steam. For Mel Tillis, it was definitely a double-edged sword -- Pierce's version of "I'm Tired" (poached from Ray Price) established Tillis as a popular songwriter, but Webb's subsequent preemptions put a stranglehold on Tillis's early hopes at a career as a star. If Webb always had a hit with the songs, how could Mel establish himself as a performer? This disc captures the drama of these formative early years, recording for Don Law and the folks at Columbia... Tillis tried tossing a lot of stuff at the wall, to see what would stick, there are plenty of teenpop tunes, penned for the Elvis Presley/Ricky Nelson crowd, adapted folk tunes, and even a few "historical" tunes, ala Johnny Horton and Claude King... But it's the honkytonk numbers that really stand out: Tillis's own versions of songs such as "No Love Have I," "Heart Over Mind" and "Tupelo County Jail" (which all show an interesting stylistic debt to George Jones...) Mel's singles mostly flopped, and it would be several years before he'd start to have hits, over on the Kapp label, and later on MGM... Still, his early work sounds fun today... This is a nice historical set, and a must-have for Tillis fans!"