- DANIEL JOHNSTON: SONGS OF PAIN: 1981: LO-FI ROCK. GRADE: A+. CD: Daniel’s first album- 20 songs in under an hour. The songs he recorded with a cassette recorder on a cheap tape in his parents basement are my favorites- his greatest song – Grievances” is on this track. Many of the songs on this and More Songs Of Pain- inspired by his unrequited love Laurie who ended up marrying an undertaker. One of the great things about his songwriting is-there is holding back- and no editor. He wrote a song- sang it and then moved on to the next idea- he didn’t worry over it.
- DANIEL JOHNSTON: MORE SONGS OF PAIN: 1983: LO FI ROCK: GRADE: A. The second group of songs by Daniel- also recorded on a cheap cassette recorder on a piano in his parents basement in the early 1980’s. The sounds were just pouring out of him during this period.
- JIMMIE RODGERS: THE SINGING BRAKEMAN: DISCS 1-6: 1992: COUNTRY. GRADE: A ++ . CD. Released by the Germany’s Bear Record Company- this six disc set which I bought 20 plus years ago- has everything Jimmie Rodgers recorded – on the Victor label during his recording career which lasted from August 4, 1927 until his last recordings just two days before his death on May 26, 1933 at the age of 35. Known as The Singing Brakeman, The Blue Yodeler and later The Father Of Country Music- Rodgers would have a big influence on the history of country music. He was the first superstar of country music. When the Country Music Hall of Fame began in 1961 he was one of the first three inducted along with Hank Williams and music publisher Fred Rose. He would also be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its initial year 1986 as an early influence. Rodgers career as a recorded artist lasted less than six years- he never saw a decline in the quality of his work. The long box set- there are 145 tracks- every take he ever made of a song- that clocks in at nearly 7 1/2 hours never failed to keep my interest. Key tracks: “T-For Texas”, “Waiting For A Train”, “In The Jailhouse Now”, “Miss The Mississippi And You”, “T.B. Blues”, “Blue Yodel #9”, “Mule Skinner Blues”, “The Soldiers Sweetheart’- and many more.