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The Merle Travis Story: 24 Greatest Hits
Merle Travis
The Merle Travis Story: 24 Greatest Hits
Genres: Country, Pop
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1

From the track listing, CMH's 1979 collection would appear to be the definitive, single-disc Travis set. Virtually all the major compositions and hits are here, and at 24 cuts, the offering is generous. But these are late-...  more »


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All Artists: Merle Travis
Title: The Merle Travis Story: 24 Greatest Hits
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Cmh Records
Release Date: 5/2/1994
Genres: Country, Pop
Styles: Classic Country, Western Swing, Instrumental
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 027297901827

From the track listing, CMH's 1979 collection would appear to be the definitive, single-disc Travis set. Virtually all the major compositions and hits are here, and at 24 cuts, the offering is generous. But these are late-period recordings, tracked over two days in New Mexico, just four years before Travis's death. Travis coproduced the sessions, and the results, if never equal to his classic Capitol sides from the '40s and '50s, are still well worth hearing. At 62 years old, Travis could still pick with agility and grace, and his electric and acoustic runs show the joy he must have felt revisiting his classics with friends Herb Remington, Johnny Gimble, and Curly Hollingsworth (among others) along for the ride. No fancy overdubs, no overproduction, just stone country music. Absenting any other overview of the Kentuckian's best songs, this set suffices and charms in its own right. --Roy Kasten

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CD Reviews

A Giant of a Guitar Player At his Height | Denver Colorado | 09/23/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wednesday, September 23, 1998Merle Travis inspired Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, and hundreds of other guitar players and these guitar players often influenced thousands, or hundreds of thousands of the younger guitar players that are very popular today, and some that are just bar room guitarists. Before anyone else made the guitar popular as a solo instrument that could stand alone, Merle Travis popularized the wondeful instrument that is today the most popular of all musical instruments.Though Merle was a great solo guitarist, he was also a popular singer at one time. Around the end of world war two, Merle Travis had a string of hits that were in the top 40 country charts, if there were country charts in that time period. In this album most of Merle's popular vocals are present. I bought this album and near wore it out. Both the guitar playing and the singing are great. The songs on this album are what catapulted Merle Travis to National fame, though he was well known to guitar players long before these songs ever were recorded and released. Chet Atkins said he heard Merle Travis when he was a kid living on a farm in Georgia. In the dialogue with Merle Travis on a record Chet and Merle recorded together in later years, Chet said that when he first heard Merle play guitar on the Radio, he wondered why all guitar players didn't throw away their flat picks and play like Merle Travis. Doc Watson was so taken with the guitar of Merle Travis that he named his son after the great guitarist. Chet named his daughter after Merle. This is one of the greatest compliments that one man can pay to another man.A great many of the songs on this album would be novelty tunes. 3. Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)5. So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed7. Divorce Me C.O.D. As a child we kids used to sing this on the school bus. We liked the humorous words in it.9. Cincinnati Lou 11. Fat Gal 18. I Like My Chicken Fryin' Size 19. When My Baby Double Talks To Me For some unknown reason, solo guitarists love to do novelty songs, and Merle was no different. The above songs are all Novelty tunes. But Merle always takes a great guitar break on them, and his guitar backing up himself is unsurpassed. Merle did serious songs also, and wrote serious songs. Songs like these below are standards that were done by big bands in the 1930s and 1940s. They show how much of a musician Merle Travis was. 4. Lazy River 23. I'll See You In My Dreams The following cuts are both humorous and Philosophical. They are great songs in the vocal and instrumental area. You will love them.12. Re-Enlistment Blues 24. That's All Re-Enlistment Blues was from the movie "From here to Eternity." It's a great piece of music.Merle learned to play guitar thumb and finger style by watching Mose Reager and Ike Everyly. Ike Everyly was the Father of the Famous Everyly Brothers. Both Mose and Ike were Coal Miners who had learned to do their thumb and Finger Style Guitar by Watching Black Country Blues Players, playing solo acoustic guitar in the Hills of Kentucky. It seems near impossible that one could play all the guitar parts that Merle Travis plays, using only his thumb and one finger, but he did it. He plays Bass and Rhythm with his thumb. With one other finger, his index finger, he played melody and harmony. Merle was a complete orchestra with his guitar. This album, Titled "Merle Travis," is the most definitive of all the recordings ever made of Merle Travis. He was at his height when it was recorded. Get it if you love guitar.By Lee in Denver"
Just a heads-up | 07/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"anyone seeking out early merle travis should note that these recordings, although fine in their own right, are later recordings and may want to check out "The Best of Merle Travis: Sweet Temptation 1946-53" instead."
One of the best
Cory L. Schwent | Bloomsdale, MO United States | 10/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This appears to be manna sent from heaven on the surface. But when you delve a little deeper into this cd, you discover it isn't manna, but more like a great big stack of juicy pancakes. These are not the original versions of the songs. These however, are fantastic re-recordings done in the late 1970's. Merle isn't in his finest voice here, but the vocals were never the best part of his songs. His guitar playing is top of the line here. The sound is crisp. Don't think to yourself that you don't need this because you have the original recordings of these songs, you need this too to get a rightful glimpse of what Merle Travis was all about."