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The Best of Nat Stuckey

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Album Review

Nat Stuckey was a Louisiana-based country singer and songwriter who enjoyed his greatest success writing hits for others — Buck Owens scored a solid hit with Stuckey's "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line," while Jim Ed Brown (and later Alan Jackson) had a smash with his downbeat ode to beer drinking, "Pop a Top." But while Nat Stuckey never hit the charts as high on his own, he cut a handful of solid honky tonk numbers during his career, and his rich but flexible baritone could work the audience for laughs or simulate heartbreak and sound equally compelling. While Stuckey spent the bulk of his recording career under contract to RCA Victor, The Best of Nat Stuckey collects 15 tunes he cut during his early days at Paula Records, and while this material lacks the polish of his RCA sides, it does feature his original versions of "Pop a Top" and "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line," as well as some excellent lesser-known material. Stuckey was a professional who could record sentimental numbers like "On the Other Hand" and "Don't You Believe Her" as well as high-spirited tales of truck driving and skirt chasing like "Paralyze My Mind" and "Sweet Thang" and sound comfortable either way, but he also gave all of his material the same degree of emotional commitment, and nearly every tune on this set would sound great playing on a jukebox in a dimly lit tavern. While Koch has released a good collection of Stuckey's RCA material, this set allows his Paula recordings finally to get the hearing they deserve, and while the audio quality isn't always perfect (some tracks seem to have been taken from vinyl), the music is choice stuff for honky tonk enthusiasts.

Biography

Born: 17 December 1934 in Cass County, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Country songwriter and recording artist Nat Stuckey originally worked as a DJ before forming his first country band in the late '50s and becoming a regular on the Louisiana Hayride show. It was during this time that he was signed to the Paula label out of Shreveport, LA, and scored a minor hit with 1966's "Sweet Thang." His next hit came as a songwriter, however, when Buck Owens recorded "Waitin' in the Welfare Line." Stuckey profited from the publishing royalties, and followed up with another big...
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The Best of Nat Stuckey, Nat Stuckey
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