Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Wondering Boy (1951-1958)
A huge country music star of the fifties
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 05/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this box within a year or two of its original release in the nineties and I got just what I expected. At one time, Bear Family had a tendency to include an excessive number of alternate takes, but while they've included a few here, there aren't enough to put anybody off. Four different versions of one of Webb's biggest hits (Slowly) may seem excessive, but they do illustrate the perfectionist in Webb. He was quite content to leave a song in the vaults if he wasn't satisfied with the recording, then return to it at a later date and try doing it in a slightly different way.
This set contains everything that Webb recorded for Decca from signing with them in 1951 up to the end of 1958. During that period, he had a long string of country hits, forty altogether including thirteen number ones (Wondering, That heart belongs to me, Back street affair, It's been so long, There stands the glass, Slowly, In the jailhouse now, More and more, Even tho, I don't care, Love love love, Why baby why (with Red Sovine), Honky tonk song) and many other big country hits including I haven't got the heart, I'll go on alone, That's me without you, I'm walking the dog, Sparkling brown eyes (with Teddy Wilburn), You're not mine anymore, If you we me and I were you, Yes I know why I want to cry, 'Cause I love you, Any old time, Cryin' over you, Oh so many years (with Kitty Wells), Bye bye love (a cover of the Everly Brothers classic), Missing you (a cover of a Red Sovine song that is now more generally associated with Jim Reeves) and Holiday for love.
Webb never had any further number ones after 1958 though he was a regular in the country top ten until 1964 and continued to chart regularly until 1972, his last top ten hit being in 1967 with Fool fool fool. By far the most important song that Webb recorded after 1958, I ain't never, spent many weeks at number two in 1959 and became Webb's only American top forty pop hit.
Webb's distinctive voice, a high nasal tenor, won't appeal to everybody but he was extremely popular in the fifties, especially in the pre-rock'n'roll years, as his long string of hits indicates. Webb also introduced the steel guitar to country music. The steel guitar became an important feature of country music throught the sixties and seventies, after which a lot of people in the business wanted it consigned to history. Personally, I love the sound of the steel guitar but I can understand why the instrument does not have universal appeal.
With his overwhelming popularity in his heyday and all his hit records, a lot of people wonder why Webb and his music are largely forgotten today. I believe that part of the reason is that his songs have been so rarely covered by other artists. Yes, Ricky Skaggs had a number one country hit with a Webb Pierce song (I don't care) and I could list other covers including an entire tribute album (Caught in the Webb),not forgetting the album that Willie Nelson recorded with Webb, but when you look at how many covers exist of songs that are associated with Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Lefty Frizzell and others, Webb Pierce's legacy hasn't been preserved nearly as well.
At least Bear Family, in releasing this boxed set, recognize Webb's importance. Sadly, they haven't released a second volume that would commence in 1959. As all the other compilations of Webb's Decca music focus (understandably) mainly on the hits contained in this box, it's difficult to get excited about buying any of them just to get the tracks from 1959 and beyond. If sales of this box have discouraged Bear Family from releasing a scond volume, perhaps they could be persuaded to release a compilation containing the best of Webb's music from 1959 to 1972. In the meantime, I'm content with this excellent set of Webb's music from his most successful years."
Money Well Spent!!!
J. Kagebein | 03/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I ordered these CD`s for my Husband,because Webb Pierce is one of his Favorite Country Music Artist.We Love to take these CD`s with us when we go on trips,and ENJOY the wonderful Music and voice of Webb!!It Is An AWESOME set, and I Highly recomend for anyone who likes Webb Pierce to order these!I would not take my money back for this set!!J.Kagebein AR."
Expensive but worth it
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 03/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Wondering Boy" is a fantastic collection of music by Webb Pierce. As with many of Pierce's contemporaries, his golden age was the 50's. Many collections make the mistake of releasing career retrospectives. For his generation, the 1960's and 1970's slammed the door on the vintage era of country. The end of the 50's witnessed weak song writing and the introduction of cheesy symphony orchestras and female background singers. Watch "Greatest Hits" to appreciate Webb Piece during that dark age between the 50's and the vintage revival that would eventually bring about performers like Wayne Hancock. The earliest material off "The Wondering Boy" stands as the strongest. 'Drifting Texas Sand' and 'California Blues (Blue Yodel, No.4)' are highlights. 'If Crying Would Make You Care' is one of those songs that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand-up. This collection has most of Pierce's singles like 'Why Baby Why,' 'There Stands the Glass,' 'In the Jailhouse Now' and 'So Many Years.' This four disc set contains most of Pierce's singles and other strong material from his golden era. Thus "The Wondering Boy" is the only release any Webb Pierce fan will ever really need. As pricey as anything by the Bear Family, "The Wondering Boy" stands as a complete Webb Pierce experience."