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Greatest Hits

Merle Travis

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Album Review

Although The Merle Travis Story — 24 Greatest Hits consists of re-recordings from the late '70s, it gives a better sense of why Travis was important than Rhino's The Best of Merle Travis. Unlike Rhino's set, CMH concentrates on Travis' guitar playing, which is why he was an important musician. Therefore, it gives a far better sense of why the guitarist was a revered, influential artist than the vocal hits of Rhino's collection, even if the music was recorded late in his career.

Biography

Born: 29 November 1917 in Rosewood, KY

Genre: Country

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

Merle Travis was virtually without peer as a guitarist and songwriter. A unique stylist, he was respected and prominent enough to have an instrumental style ("Travis picking") named after him, and only Chet Atkins even comes close to the influence that Travis had on the way the guitar is understood and played in country music. (Indeed, Atkins was initially signed to RCA to be that label's Merle Travis.) As a songwriter, he wasn't far behind, with originals such as "Sixteen Tons" crossing over as...
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Greatest Hits, Merle Travis
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