January 2: Merle Haggard released Sing Me Back Home (album) in 1968

Sing Me Back Home is the fifth studio album by singer and songwriter Merle Haggard, released in 1968 on Capitol Records.

Sing Me Back Home follows the blueprint of Merle Haggard’s first three albums, balancing a hit single with album tracks and a couple of covers, but there is a difference. Where the previous album Branded Man was a transitional album, hinting that Haggard’s talents were deepening substantially, Sing Me Back Home is the result of the flowering of his talent.”
– Thomas Erlewine (allmusic)

Merle Haggard appeared on Austin City Limits nine times over the course of his legendary career. Here’s “Sing Me Back Home” from his appearance in 1978:

A little slowed down beautiful version! Continue reading “January 2: Merle Haggard released Sing Me Back Home (album) in 1968”

January 2: Elvis Presley released Elvis Country in 1971

“Elvis has come out with a record which gives us some of the very finest and most affecting music since he first recorded for Sun almost 17 years ago”- Peter Guralnick (Rolling Stone Magazine 1971)

“…Elvis was at his peak when he cut Elvis Country. Actually, Elvis Presley was positively on a roll at the time. A decade after the end of what were thought to be his prime years, he was singing an ever-widening repertory of songs with more passion and involvement than he’d shown since the end of the 1950s…”
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

 

Elvis Presley – Funny How Time Slips Away (Willie Nelson):

Continue reading “January 2: Elvis Presley released Elvis Country in 1971”

January 1: Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997

Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997

John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), best known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American Texas Country-folk music singer-songwriter, performer, and poet. Many of his songs, including “If I Needed You,” “To Live is to Fly,” and “No Place to Fall” are considered standards of their genre.

 

Continue reading “January 1: Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997”

The Best Albums 2016: 20 to 11 (part 2/3)

(Check out part 1 here, 30-21)

20 Cass McCombs – Mangy Love

Released: August 26 , 2016
Producer: 
Rob Schnapf, Cass McCombs & Dan Horne
Label: Anti Records
“Mangy Love makes itself distinct from its predecessors with its outright jazziness and ethereality. Wit’s End was a traipse though the densely forested hills of solitude; Big Wheel and Others was a road trip through odd, nameless American sub-societies,; and Mangy Love is Cass McCombs in outer space.”
– Dustin Lowman (Drowned in Sound)
This album really made me listen to the lyrics, I was fooled by the sweet melodies – but the lyrics are tough, hard, rough poems about love,sex, life and death. McCombs knows how to play with words (Switch):
Turn you on, you light up the room
Turn you off, it’s dark as a tomb– Hallgeir
End of Year lists
# 33 – American Songwriter
# 59 – Gorilla vs. Bear
# 29 – LA Music Blog
# 26 – MOJO
# 25 – Piccadilly Records
# 7 – Q Magazine
# 31 – Stereogum
# 31 – Uncut
Best songs: Opposite House, Bum Bum Bum and Switch 

Continue reading “The Best Albums 2016: 20 to 11 (part 2/3)”

December 15: Johnny Cash released the single, Folsom prison blues in 1955

sun-johnnycash

Folsom Prison Blues is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Johnny Cash. The song combines elements from two popular folk genres, the train song and the prison song, both of which Cash would continue to use for the rest of his career. It became one of Cash’s signature songs. It was the eleventh track on his debut album With His Hot and Blue Guitar but was also included (same version) on All Aboard the Blue Train. Folsom Prison Blues was in the country Top Five in 1956, though Cash had written it while in the Air Force somewhere before 1954.

Continue reading “December 15: Johnny Cash released the single, Folsom prison blues in 1955”