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Country and Western

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Album Review

There is something pleasantly romantic about Johnny Bond's cowboy songs, perhaps because they capture the saga of the once untamed West. Who wouldn't feel a certain longing in the wake of starry nights, tumbling tumbleweeds, and riding one's horse on the open range? A number of classic songs fill this collection, including "Red River Valley," "Boots and Saddles," and "Mexicali Rose." Bond is joined by a few friends — the Red River Valley Boys — who sing harmony and offer tasteful support. The arrangements are spare, featuring little more than bass, accordion, and a guitar on most cuts. The group is clearly comfortable performing together and maintain the same intimacy as the Sons of the Pioneers on songs like "Saddle Serenade." Bond has written a number of these songs, including the memorable "Ten Years" and the instrumental "Ridin' Down to Santa Fe." There is a haunting version of "Empty Saddles," sort of an early, less dark version of "(Ghost Riders) in the Sky." Bond is perfectly capable of generating a cowboy version of honky tonk flavored songs like "Headin' Down the Wrong Highway," or a heartfelt rendition of pop ballads like "Have I Stayed Away Too Long." The sound quality of these transcriptions from 1944-1945 is very good, and the number of selections — 31 — is generous. This disc will sit comfortably beside the recordings of other singing cowboys like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Bloodshot has put together a fine collection that will be a real treat to lovers of swinging cowboy music. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: 01 June 1915 in Enville, OK

Genre: Country

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

Johnny Bond had several successful facets to a career that lasted over 30 years. As a member of the Jimmy Wakely Trio and as a session musician, he was an important support musician in dozens of B Westerns, working alongside Wakely, Tex Ritter, and Johnny Mack Brown. As a songwriter, he was responsible for several compositions that became country standards, including "Cimarron," "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight," "Conversation With a Gun," "Tomorrow Never Comes," and "I'll Step Aside," which became...
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Country and Western, Johnny Bond
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