THE BEGINNING OF THE END: THE EXISTENTIAL PSYCHODRAMA IN COUNTRY MUSIC (1956-1974)-RECORD STORE DAY 2018.

The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974)-Record Store Day 2018.

Label: The Iron Mountain Analogue Research.

For Records Store Day 2018, staff at record labels all over the world had been working hard for many months on nearly 500 reissues and lovingly curated compilations, which were due to be released on the ‘21st’ of April 2018. For many record buyers, this is one of the highlights of the year, and some are willing to camp outside their favourite record shop in the hope that they can secure their lengthy wish-list of reissues and compilations. This has become something of a tradition in recent years, and there’s a degree of community spirit as they queue during the wee small hours of the morning. However, as the time comes for record shops to open, suddenly, the atmosphere changes, and it’s a case of every man or woman for themselves. 

Suddenly, as the doors open, the once orderly queue lurches forward, and people try gain an advantage over the person next to them, as they attempt to find every reissue and compilation on their wish-list. For many this included the two compilations of country music released by the Australian label, The Iron Mountain Analogue Research Facility, including The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974). It was billed as” “sixteen tales of existential angst wrought from backwoods outsiders and Nashville Misfits,” and was a compilation many people were keen to add to their collection. There was only one problem, finding a copy, as only 500 albums had been pressed. 

Sadly, many people struggled to find a copy of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974), which features sixteen songs from the likes of Whitey Gallagher, Bobby Grove, Jimmy Griggs, Ed Bruce, Ray Sanders, Billy Rufus, George Kent, Johnny Dollar, Lonnie Holt, Tex Wayne and Bob Fry. They’re just some of the names on The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974), and are a reminder of what was a golden age for country music.

Side One.

Tennessee born Whitey Gallagher opens The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974) with Searching (I’m Always Looking, which was the B-Side of his 1967 single for Republic, Gotta Roam. Searching (I’m Always Looking) features a jaunty arrangement and a vocal that is a mixture of frustration, sadness and angst. So much so, it’s as if Whitey Gallagher has lived the lyrics he’s singing, during this powerful example of existential psychodrama in country music.

Another is Bobby Grove’s Whistle At The End Of The Gravy Train, which was the B-Side of his single To Protect The Innocent which was released on King in January 1957. Louise Webb penned which Whistle At The End Of The Gravy Train which features a soul-baring vocal that that bristles with emotion from the man from Worley, Kentucky.

When RCA Victor, which was home to many of the biggest names in country music, signed Jim Ed Brown in 1965, they had had high hopes for their newest signing. Three years later, Jim Ed Brown was paired with producer Felton Jarvis when he recorded The Enemy. It was released April 1968, and reached number thirteen in the US Billboard 100. That is no surprise given the quality of the single. It’s a mixture of drama and emotion as Jim Ed Brown paints pictures of The Enemy that taunts and haunts him.

Ed Bruce was born in Keiser, Arkansas, in 1929, and by the time  he released Song For Ginny as a single in December 1968, was signed to the Monument label. Tucked away on the B-Side was the Sandy Neese composition Puzzles, which was produced by Fred Foster. When Ed Bruce of his album Shades Of Ed Bruce in 1969, it also featured Puzzles which features an angst ridden vocal 

Eight years after releasing his debut single in 1958, Ray Sanders released My World Is Upside Down in May 1966. It was penned by Ron Mason and is a Bettye Jean Production that was released on Tower. It’s a poignant track that features a hurt filled vocal full where the heartbreak seems very real.

Closing the first side of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974) is Billy Rufus’ 1967 Low Down Blues, which was produced by John Capps and released on K-Ark Records. It’s a hard luck story from the honky-tonk where everything that could go wrong for  Billy Rufus does.

Side Two.

Sammi Smith from Oklahoma City, opens side two with the ballad Saunders Ferry Lane, which produced by Jim Malloy and was released as a single on Mega Records in August 1971. Sadly, Saunders Ferry Lane which was taken from Sammi Smith’s 1971 album Help Me Make It Through The Night failed to trouble the charts. Saunders Ferry Lane which is a beautiful poignant ballad was the one that got away for Sammi Smith.

In 1969, Johnny Dollar released a cover Liz Anderson’s Meeting Of The Bored as a single on Chart Records. This was a song from his album Big Rig Rollin’ Man which was also released in 1969. During Johnny Dollar’s almost raucous version of Meeting Of The Bored, it sounds as if he’s enjoyed a drop of something golden to wash away the angst and heartbreak.

Singer-songwriter Curly Putman was born in Princeton, Alabama, and by 1969 was signed to ABC Record and released his sophomore album World Of Country Music. It featured Talking To The Grass where angst is omnipresent as he delivers a vocal that is akin to a confessional.

Lonnie Holt released a cover of Paul Bowman’s Water Under The Bridge as a single on the Tennessee-based Breeze Records in 1970. Sadly, this rueful sounding single was one of a trio of singles Lonnie Holt released. 

Tex Wayne was born Guy Costello in Duncan, Oklahoma, 1933, and in February 1960, released I’d Climb The Highest Mountain as a single. Tucked away on the B-Side was Deep Deep Blue, which is a hidden gem that features a ruminative sounding vocal.

When Bob Fry released What A Pity on the Maryland based Rebel label in 1965, I’m Gonna Be Gone was on the B-Side. He’s accompanied by a fiddle and steel guitar, as he warns his partner: “you can’t have your cake and eat it.”Having fired this warning shot, he tells her: “I’m Gonna Be Gone” during what’s one of the highlights of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974).

These twelve tracks are just part of the story of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974), which was released for Record Store Day 2018 as a limited edition of 500 by The Iron Mountain Analogue Research. Sadly, finding a copy of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974) won’t be easy, as it was a hugely popular release, with supply exceeding demand. Fortunately, there’s another way to discover the delights of one of the best compilations released during Record Store Day 2018.

Soon, The Iron Mountain Analogue Research will release a CD version of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974) that features thirty tracks. This is fourteen more than on the LP released for Record Store Day 2018 and given the quality of the music on the compilation, many music fans will also want to add a copy of the CD version of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974) to their collection.

Especially if it’s as good as the LP version of The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974), which is lovingly curated compilation that features a mixture of singles, B-Sides and hidden gems that were recorded by: “backwoods outsiders and Nashville Misfits” and are a reminder of the golden era of country music.

The Beginning Of The End: The Existential Psychodrama In Country Music (1956-1974).

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: