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Jimmy Wakely - [The Dave Cash Collection]

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Album Review

Jimmy Wakely Collectors Edition contains a dozen 1940s sides by one of the last men to join the ranks of the movies' singing cowboys. Wakely's sound is less ornate than that of Gene Autry, his idol from the same period — Autry was already moving in the direction of popular music, while Wakely was still evolving a sound of his own. Most of the songs are sentimental ballads: "(Take Me Back to My) Boots and Saddle," a cowboy movie theme if there ever was one, is the best song here, and nothing else would seem out of place in one of Wakely's movies, except his cover of Kokomo Arnold's "Milk Cow Blues" and his own jaunty "Oklahoma City Blues," which are effective accounts of life's joys and troubles and add some extra spark to the collection. Wakely, whose own band included future country star Johnny Bond, was a good judge of talent and had been in backing bands for any number of stars before hitting it big himself. He gets first-rate backing here from Pete Martinez on steel guitar and lead guitarist Jack Rivers (author of this album's "Don't Lay the Blame on Me," a good Western swing style number) — their playing on "In the Hills of Wyoming," guitars echoing Wakely's phrasings on the chorus, is delightful. Wakely's first hit, "I'm Sending You Red Roses," isn't here, and some of the sound quality is a little rough — the sources on this collection weren't perfect — but otherwise, this is a good representation of Wakely's early output.

Biography

Born: February 16, 1914 in Mineola, AR

Genre: Country

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Jimmy Wakely was one of the last vocalists to make it in movies as a singing cowboy or transform a movie contract into a successful recording career. A protégé and discovery of Gene Autry, he was never remotely as successful as Autry in movies, nor did his record sales approach those of his mentor, but Wakely was successful as a crossover act, his voice and repertoire attractive enough to find favor with pop as well as country & western audiences. James Clarence Wakely was born in Arkansas on February...
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Jimmy Wakely - [The Dave Cash Collection], Jimmy Wakely
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