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End of the World

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Album Review

RCA's budget Camden label put out a bunch of Skeeter Davis albums that, in keeping with the company's general approach, were thrown-together compilations of material from various eras. This is no exception, the nine songs roughly spanning the entire 1960s, from her early RCA singles "Am I That Easy to Forget?," "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know," and "The End of the World" to a bunch of covers from late-'60s LPs ("Daddy Sang Bass," "Son-of-a Preacher Man," "Little Arrows," "Angel of the Morning," "Hold Me Tight"). Along the way we also get "My Coloring Book," which appeared on a 1963 LP also, confusingly, called The End of the World, which is naturally an entirely different release altogether than this 1973 Camden album that happens to use the same title. There's some good country-pop music here, particularly on those early RCA singles. But this scattershot way of assembling it is not the best manner, or a particularly good manner, in which to experience it. The late-'60s covers ain't so hot either, though they're not embarrassing, even if Davis climbs to the most awkward, child-like extremes of her high range in "Little Arrows."


Born: 30 December 1931 in Dry Ridge, KY

Genre: Country

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

Skeeter Davis never received much critical attention, but in the '50s and '60s, she recorded some of the most accessible crossover country music, occasionally skirting rock & roll. Born Mary Penick, Davis took her last name after forming a duo with Betty Jack Davis, the Davis Sisters. Their 1953 single "I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know" was a big country hit; its B-side, the remarkable "Rock-a-Bye Boogie," foreshadowed rockabilly. That same year, however, the duo's career was cut short by a tragic...
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