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Archive for the ‘Eddy Arnold’ Category

Reviews: Eddy Arnold, “Complete No. 1 Hits” and David Allan Coe, “Texas Moon”

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Eddy Arnold Complete Original #1 HitsWhen 1965’s “Make the World Go Away” entered the Pop Top 10, it was unusual, even for those heady days of pop diversity.  The singer, Eddy Arnold, had first signed to RCA Victor in 1943.  The Musicians’ Union’s strike prohibited the young vocalist from recording until it was settled in December, 1944, but when Arnold finally entered WSM’s radio studios to record four songs, he was making history.  His session was the first for a major label to be held in Nashville, Tennessee.  His star was soon on the ascendant.  1946’s honky-tonkin’, fiddle-adorned “What is Life Without Love” was but his first No. 1 on the Billboard country chart.  In the period of 1947-1948, Arnold held the top spot for 60 consecutive weeks (!) and in 1947-1949, he remained there for 79 out of 112 weeks (!!).  In all, it wasn’t a bad career for the sharecropper’s son from Tennessee.  Despite this great success, it hasn’t been an easy task tracking down Arnold’s original RCA recordings, as he revisited his classic catalogue later in his career for re-recordings – frequently with overdubbed strings and additional instrumentation.  Real Gone Music has remedied the situation with Complete Original No. 1 Hits (RGM-0081), containing all 28 of Arnold’s original Country chart-toppers out of 147 chart hits.

The Tennessee Plowboy was the first country star to have his own television program and led the charge to make country mainstream; 37 hits in all also made the pop chart.  The earliest recordings on this compilation reveal a smooth, direct and often romantic tenor voice, which by the 1960s had transformed into a burnished baritone.  Young Elvis Presley cited Arnold as an influence, and in another connection, “Colonel” Tom Parker was Arnold’s manager until 1953.

Though heartbreak naturally plays a role in many of the songs on Complete Original No. 1 Hits, Arnold’s genial presence was indebted to the tradition of singing cowboys like Gene Autry.  He also was a disciple of Bing Crosby, and one can hear Crosby’s easygoing charm, and intimacy, in Arnold’s recordings.  (Crosby recorded his share of country-style songs, too!)  Some compared Arnold to Perry Como, and both singers indeed boasted a similarly laconic delivery.  The compilation covers the period of 1946-1968, but 1955-1965 was a fallow period for Arnold, with no songs reaching the coveted top spot.

The very first song here, “What is Life Without Love,” is one of eight tracks co-written by Arnold, who was no slouch in the songwriting department.  But he also had good taste in recording the songs of others.  Bob Hilliard, who also collaborated with Burt Bacharach and co-wrote the score to Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, wrote lyrics to Steve Nelson’s melody for “Bouquet of Roses,” one of the many Arnold songs with a marked pop leaning.   “A Heart Full of Love (For a Handful of Kisses),” by Nelson, Ray Soehnel and Arnold, is another one of the many pure pop lyrics here.  Much of the country comes from the arrangements, usually adorned with fiddle and the distinctive steel guitar of “Little” Roy Wiggins.  There’s a yodel in Arnold’s voice on songs like “One Kiss Too Many” and Cindy Walker’s “Take Me in Your Arms and Hold Me,” again playing the role of the heartsick, lovelorn hero.  The Ed Nelson/Steve Nelson/Arnold songwriting partnership yielded the even more maudlin “I’m Throwing Rice (At the Girl I Love)” (“After she just said ‘I do’”).

Hit the jump for more on Arnold, plus David Allan Coe’s Texas Moon! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 18, 2013 at 10:57

Release Round-Up: Week of April 30

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Shalamar Friends 2CD

Shalamar, Friends: Deluxe Edition / The Isley Brothers, Winner Takes All: Expanded Edition / Bootsy Collins Presents Sweat Band: Expanded Edition / The Gap Band, Gap Band VII: Expanded Edition / Billy Paul, Lately: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

The Big Break titles we covered yesterday include a double-disc expansion of one of Shalamar’s most enduring LPs, plus Isleys, P-Funk and albums from Total Experience Records. Full coverage/pre-order links here!

David Allan Coe

Blue Oyster Cult, Imaginos / Sea Level, Cats on the Coast/On the Edge Wilderness Road, Sold for the Prevention of Disease Only / David Allan Coe, Texas Moon / Eddy Arnold, Complete Original #1 Hits / Johnny Lytle, The Soulful Rebel/People & Love / Allspice, Allspice / Larry Williams, That Larry Williams (Real Gone Music)

Read all about Real Gone’s latest here.

Essential Mott

Midnight Oil, Essential Oils / Indigo Girls, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mott the Hoople, Harry Nilsson, Pete Seeger, Andy Williams, Johnny Winter, The Essential (Legacy)

Two-disc Essential sets for a bunch of artists! Unreleased tracks can be enjoyed on the Andy Williams and Nilsson sets, and the others are solid overviews.  Joe reviews ’em here!

Indigo Girls: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Jerry Lee Lewis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Midnight Oil: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Mott: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Nilsson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Seeger: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Andy Williams: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Johnny Winter: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

History of Eagles

Eagles, History of the Eagles (Jigsaw)

The new two-part documentary on the legendary rock band, coupled with an unreleased concert from 1977.

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Super Deluxe Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S.

Tubes - Remote Control

The Tubes, Remote Control: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic)

Four unreleased tracks complement this new version of the band’s final A&M album, a classic concept album produced by Todd Rundgren. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ambrosia - Life Beyond LA

Ambrosia, Life Beyond L.A.: Deluxe Edition (Friday Music)

Led by David Pack, this smooth album spun off the hit “How Much I Feel”; here, it’s expanded with an unreleased bonus live set. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Phyllis Hyman - Somewhere

G.C. Cameron, Love Songs and Other Tragedies: Expanded Edition / Phyllis Hyman, Somewhere in My Lifetime: Expanded Edition / Meli’sa Morgan, Good Love: Expanded Edition / Nancy Wilson, Music on My Mind / Life, Love and Harmony (SoulMusic Records) (Order all titles here from Amazon U.K.)

Here’s the latest batch from Cherry Red’s SoulMusic Records label!  Read Joe’s review of Somewhere in My Lifetime here!

James Taylor - JT Paper Sleeve

West, Bruce and Laing, Whatever Turns You On / West, Bruce and Laing, Live ‘n’ Kickin’ / Walter Egan, Fundamental Roll/Not Shy / James Taylor, JT/Flag/Dad Loves His Work (Culture Factory)

The latest in mini-LP replica remasters from Culture Factory.