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Songs Of Tragedy And Disaster: Complete Starday Anthology

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Album Review

This CD collects all 14 tracks from Howard Vokes' 1964 Starday album, Tragedy and Disaster in Country Songs, plus "A Child Without a Name" and "Tomorrow Is My Last Day," which together comprise Vokes' complete output for the label. Vokes is an award-winning country music traditionalist whose open-throat singing style is heavily influenced by Roy Acuff, but his revivalist attitude doesn't prohibit the use of electric instruments, which are sparingly applied throughout his Starday recordings. Most tracks make use of a percussive Luther Perkins-style sock rhythm on electric guitar, while "Tragedy of Chicago" and "Yellow Tomb" make more prominent use of an electric guitar lead. The two non-album tracks exhibit a comparatively commercial production approach with mellifluous steel guitar, although the themes of these songs fit well with the overall concept of gloom and doom. The parade of maudlin stories will seem either terribly bleak or darkly humorous depending upon the listener's constitution. Typical of domestic King and Starday reissues, the CD comes with a one-sided, single-sheet booklet and very brief liner notes.


Born: June 13, 1931 in Clearfield, PA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s

b. 13 June 1931, Clearfield, Pennsylvania, USA. One of the 13 children of a coalminer, Vokes owned his first guitar by the time he was eight. At the age of 15, influenced by the recordings he heard of Roy Acuff and Jimmie Rodgers and by radio broadcasts of the Grand Ole Opry, he played on local radio and at rowdy venues in nearby mining towns. Two years later, he was shot in the ankle in a hunting accident and during his long convalescence, he took to writing songs. When he recovered, he formed the...
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Songs Of Tragedy And Disaster: Complete Starday Anthology, Howard Vokes
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