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This Lusty Land

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Album Review

This Lusty Land! isn't very lusty, particularly if you're expecting rousing historical songs in the vein of "Ballad of Davy Crockett." The album places new and traditional songs in a subdued, jazzy setting in which Ford is accompanied by the orchestra from his '50s television show. The Delmore Brothers' "False Hearted Girl" sounds odd performed in this manner, but the stripped-down renditions of traditional and modern work songs like "John Henry," "Dark As a Dungeon," and "Nine Pound Hammer" are dramatic and appealing. Elsewhere, Ford's highbrow interpretations of old English ballads and early country songs seem condescending, or like an experiment that doesn't work. The album was nevertheless a strong seller, and Capitol kept it in print for many years.

Biography

Born: February 13, 1919 in Bristol, TN

Genre: Country

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

The booming baritone voice of Tennessee Ernie Ford was best known for his 1955 cover of Merle Travis' grim coal-mining song "Sixteen Tons," watered down by the dulcet strains of a Hollywood studio orchestra but retaining its innate seriousness thanks to the sheer power of Ford's singing. But there was more to Tennessee Ernie Ford than that. Over his long career, Ford sang everything from proto-rock & roll to gospel, recorded over 100 albums, and earned numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential...
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This Lusty Land, Tennessee Ernie Ford
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