The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Lacy J. Dalton’ Category

Closing Time: Morello Reissues Lacy J. Dalton’s Final Two Columbia Albums

leave a comment »

LacyContinuing its reissue series drawn from her catalogue, Cherry Red’s Morello Records has recently released a twofer collecting Lacy J. Dalton’s Highway Diner and Blue Eyed Blues.  Dalton’s tenure at Columbia spanned eight albums and two greatest hits compilation between 1980 and 1987.  Morello has previously collected Dalton’s middle period at the label with twofer of Takin’ It Easy and 16th Avenue (Morello Records CD MRLL33).  This release closes out her time at the label with her final two albums under the Columbia banner.

Lacy J. Dalton was born as Jill Byrem in 1948 in Pennsylvania.   Following her musical muse, she eventually ended up in San Francisco in the latter part of the 1960s performing psychedelic rock with a band known as Office.  She married the band’s manager, becoming Jill Croston, but he sadly died in an accident.  Deciding to reinvent herself as a country singer, Croston adopted the name Lacy J. Dalton.  Her demo was heard by Billy Sherrill, the influential country producer who had worked with George Jones and Tammy Wynette.  He liked what he heard and Dalton was signed to Columbia Records in 1979.

Dalton’s first single was “Crazy Blue Eyes” which hit No. 17 on the U.S. Country charts.  The song was included on her eponymous debut which also featured two additional Top 20 Country hits:  “The Tennessee Waltz” and “Losing Kind of Love.”  Adding to her strong start at Columbia, she was also named “Best New Female Vocalist” at the 1979 Country Music Association Awards.  Dalton hit the country Top 10 for the first time with the No. 7 placing title track off of Hard Times from 1980 and achieved her highest charting Country single at No. 2 with 1982’s “Takin’ It Easy” off the album of the same name.

By the time of 1986’s Highway Diner, Dalton had decided to go back to her roots and add more rock and R&B to her music, similar to Bonnie Raitt.  The album was produced by Walt Aldridge (writer of Ronnie Milsap’s “(There’s) No Getting Over Me” and Earl Thomas Conley’s “Holding Her and Loving You”) and recoded at the venerable Fame Recording Studio in Alabama.   “Working Class Man” and “This Ol’ Town” were released as singles and peaked at No. 16 and No. 33 on the Country charts.  The album itself got to No. 32 on the Country LP charts.

Dalton’s last album for Columbia was 1987’s Blue Eyed Blues.  Following a pattern for many end-of- contract affairs, the album mixed new tracks with previously released material.  The new material consisted of the two songs “Have I Got a Heart For You” and “I’ll Love Them Whatever They Are.”  Four tracks were included from her previous albums (“Blue Eyed Blues,” Hillbilly Girl With the Blues,” “16th Avenue” and “My Old Yellow Car”). Duets with Bobby Bare, George Jones, David Allan Coe and Earl Scruggs rounded out the LP.  These songs had originally appeared on albums and singles by the duet partners.

Continue Lacy’s story after the jump!  Plus: the track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 5, 2015 at 14:42

New Morello Label Launches with Country Classics from Jones, Robbins, Dalton

leave a comment »

Though George Jones has introduced many of the standards of the country-and-western repertoire, his turbulent offstage life has had more ups and downs than even the most dramatic honky-tonk tune.  A Kennedy Center Honoree with fourteen Number One country hits in the U.S., the son of Saratoga, Texas has been recording since 1957 and is still going strong despite battling the bottle and engaging in many stormy relationships with women.  Though he’s been known as “No-Show Jones” for the number of missed appearances relating to those demons, Jones has showed up for the inaugural releases of Cherry Red’s Morello Records label.  The new Morello label is launching with two-fers from Jones, Marty Robbins and Lacy J. Dalton (all available now).

Elvis Costello recalled in the liner notes to his Almost Blue reissue of a scheduled session with George Jones in 1978 for which Mr. Jones never arrived: “rumour has it that he was down in Florence, Alabama, and couldn’t come into the state, as one of his more famous ex’s [sic] was looking for alimony.  But maybe they told me this just to give me a taste of the Nashville soap opera mythology…”  Costello’s visit would have fallen right during the period represented on the Morello releases.  The Grand Tour/Alone Again pairs Jones’ 1974 and 1976 albums, while Bartender’s Blues/Shine On joins releases from 1978 and 1983, respectively.  All of these are originally appeared on the Epic imprint.

Jones’ career resurgence in the 1970s has been credited to his 1969-1975 marriage to fellow superstar Tammy Wynette, a rocky romance that, alas, kept them in the tabloids.  Jones was signed to the Epic label in 1972, and found himself on the Country Top 10 with his self-titled debut there.  1974’s The Grand Tour was his fifth for the label, and the title song went all the way to No. 1.  It was his first solo No. 1 in seven years; a 1973 duet with Wynette, “We’re Gonna Hold On,” was a success despite the fallacy of the title!  On the Billy Sherrill-produced, Bergen White-arranged LP, Jones surveyed songs by Norro Wilson, Bobby Braddock, Hank Cochran and Johnny Paycheck.  With Wynette, he co-wrote the acerbic “Our Private Life” about the celebrity star-gazing culture (“We gave it up for people just like you!”).  Jones and Wynette divorced following The Grand Tour, and Morello’s series overlooks his next two Epic albums (1975’s Memories of Us and 1976’s The Battle…notice how easy it is to read into Jones’ album titles?), resuming with 1976’s aptly-titled Alone Again.  Sherrill was still at the helm of Alone Again, and it peaked at No. 9 on the country chart on the strength of No. 3 single “Her Name Is…,” penned by Braddock.  Jones offered a couple of originals (“A Drunk Can’t Be a Man” and “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me”), too, but even the songs written by others seemed to offer meaning to his life.  Jones imbued “Right Now I’d Come Back and Melt in Her Arms” and “Stand on My Own Two Knees” with the kind of deep authenticity for which he was known.  These two albums were both previously issued on one CD by Sony U.K. in 1999, but that edition fetches high prices today, so this reissue is more than welcome.

What’s on the second George Jones release from Morello?  Hit the jump for that, and more, including full track listings and pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 7, 2012 at 09:52