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Kay Starr Country

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Album Review

Kay Starr dabbled in country music throughout her career, on albums like Just Plain Country, and the hit singles "Foolin' Around" and "Four Walls," but all of those recordings had very pop-oriented arrangements. With Kay Starr Country, Starr finally made a straight country album with hard country songs, and hillbilly instrumentation. "Blue Grass" is an ode to bluegrass music and features a banjo, and "Frankie & Johnnie" (a humorous variation on the traditional tune) is performed as a duet with Western swing star Tex Williams. The album was produced by Cliffie Stone, who worked with Starr during her Capitol years, and whose country music credentials are legendary. Starr doesn't entirely leave her pop fans hanging — the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" was an enormous pop hit that year, although the country accompaniment (which includes, again, a banjo) on Starr's version links it with the surrounding tracks. Kay Starr Country is one of Starr's last albums, and a fun departure for the veteran pop vocalist.


Born: July 21, 1922 in Dougherty, OK

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A solid jazz singer whose early recordings tended to be forgotten after her ascendancy into the commercial sphere during the mid-'50s, Kay Starr was among the first pop singers to capitalize on the "rock fad" with her 1955 novelty "Rock and Roll Waltz." Her biggest hit came with the era-defining "Wheel of Fortune," a prime slice of '50s adult pop with a suitably brassy reading. Born in Oklahoma, she moved to Dallas at a young age and made her debut on radio while still in school. A brief stay with...
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Kay Starr Country, Kay Starr
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