- DOLLY PARTON: MY BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAIN BOY: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Even as a kid- seeing Dolly Parton on the Porter Wagoner Show- it was obviously that she was an enormous talent. She was very busy in the late 60’s this was her 4th solo album in 3 years and during that time she also had a couple duet albums with Porter. There were three singles from this album and they didn’t do well on the country singles chart- Daddy just cracking the Top 40 at #40. It wouldn’t be until 1970 that she started having big country hits. Fine album though.
- BUFFY SAINT MARIE: ILLUMINATIONS: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: A name I have heard but not all that familiar with her music. This was an experimental album a change from her previous albums. It was the first quadrophonic vocal album ever made. This album was a disaster commercially- didn’t even come close to making the Billboard Top 200 albums chart-but its reputation grew in time.
- MERLE HAGGARD: SAME TOWN, A DIFFERENT TIME: 1969: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Merle’s country singing heroes were Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills and Lefty Frizzell. My love of Merle’s music years ago inspired me to purchase all of Jimmie Rodgers recordings and the Lefty box set “Life’s Like Poetry”- Merle knew his stuff. This is a double album tribute to Rodgers-covering 25 of his songs. Haggard released this at the peak of his success. Great album.
- MARTY ROBBINS: IT’S A SIN: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Another album I hadn’t heard until now- of the albums I’ve listened to this month 27 are ones I hadn’t previously heard. I need to dig a little deeper into Robbins’ career. Everyone knows his biggest hit El Paso- but he had 17 #1’s on the country charts and 82 Top 40 country hits. This is a pretty solid album. Always thought it was crazy a country singer who also ran as a NASCAR driver part time. Never won a race though. Died too young.
- PORTER WAGONER: THE CARROLL COUNTY ACCIDENT: 1969: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: When I think of Porter Wagoner I think of the late 60’s-early 70’s at my grandparents on a Saturday evening and they would always watch his television show. Dolly and Porter’s Nudie suits. Porter’s music was ok but what I remember most is his duets with Dolly. I am falling a little behind in my 1969 album a day quest so I thought today I’d check out some of the country albums from the year. Pretty good album. The single “The Carroll County Accident” went to #2 on the country charts and the album went to #4 on the country album chart his highest charting album along with The Cold Hard Facts of Life from 1967 also #4.
- MERLE HAGGARD: DOWN EVERY ROAD: DISC 4: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Finishing up the Merle box set that I started on Tuesday. It came out in the mid 90’s and Merle went on a couple more decades- a release of one disc covering this last 20 years would be a nice gesture. Unlike a lot of box sets all four discs in this box are strong.
- WOODY GUTHRIE: DUST BOWL BALLADS: 1940: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Woody’s most successful recordings-the songs are somewhat autobiographical- Woody experienced the Dust Bowl. A highly influential album- later influencing the likes of Dylan, Springsteen and Strummer among others. Originally there were 12 songs on three discs but 2 songs were left out due to length- now included on the Cd. One of the first concept albums.