Search - Various Artists :: Smithsonian Country 4

Smithsonian Country 4
Various Artists
Smithsonian Country 4
Genres: Country, Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Christian
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1


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Very best 'couple of cds' country collection on the planet
Martijn13Maart1970 | Husavik Iceland | 06/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have all the time life country as well as some more, around 900 old country classic songs. Most of them that I did not have before are issued on these series 1-4. I would buy it, even if it costs a lot now. Great old style country, from good vocal classics to fantastic banjo solo's!
It should be re released!"
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The bad news is that the complete 4-disc CD set, as well as the individual CD's (volume 1-4) are all out of print. The good news is that they can all be found, with a little perseverance, from various dealers.

This wonderful, history-drenched series contains many (but not all) of the classics that appeared on the 8-disc vinyl collection, The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music, which was originally available in the late 1970's and early 1980's, as well as additional essentials. Unfortunately, some of the tracks proffered on that collection no longer seem to be available, but why quibble? I own the original vinyl boxed set, AND the four CD's, and I'm here to tell you that this is the real deal. Whether purchased together or separately, these compilations contain a wealth of early country material, much of it unavailable anywhere else.

Volume 1 includes such early artists as the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Gene Autry, Roy Acuff, Tex Ritter, Ernest Tubb, Patsy Montana, Bob Wills, Vernon Dalhart, Merle Travis, and Molly O'Day. Volume 2 boasts the talents of Merle Travis, Bill Monroe, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Williams, Red Foley and Hank Snow. Volume 3 progresses to Marty Robbins, Faron Young, Johnny Cash and George Jones, and Volume 4 showcases the talents of Ray Price, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price and Emmylou Harris. Together, the four volumes cover dozens of well known and lesser known country artists, and represent carefully selected, essential staples in the country canon, performed by true pioneers of the genre, and more modern keepers of the flame.

I lament that the CD versions forgo certain extras that made the original vinyl collection especially noteworthy, including sides that were divided into "Southeast" and "Southwest", a 56-page booklet that contained complete recording dates and band personnel, and a short bio of each artist! The vinyl version also had a whole disc devoted to bluegrass, and several key performances that I have been unable to find on CD. But the important part is the music, and this collection has been my favorite compilation of classic country since I acquired it, featuring music that simply never grows old. For new lovers of country roots music, these collections are THE place to start. Do not hesitate to get them while you can, for this set is sure to enhance your appreciation of where it all came from. And if you are a serious old-time lover of country music, this collection is truly indispensable.

Important note: This set is available as a four-disc collection, OR as four individual CD's, Volumes 1-4. ONLY the set labeled as the "Boxed Set" contains all four CD's. For some reason, the Amazon listing for Volume 1, which is a single disc, contains track listings for all four volumes.