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King of the Hillbillies, Vol. I, CD A

Roy Acuff

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Album Review

Roy Acuff loved country music before it was even called that, and he shaped the genre as much as anyone in the 1940s and 1950s. Acuff started out playing fiddle in a traveling medicine show and ended up the face of the Grand Ole Opry. Along the way he founded (with Fred Rose) the legendary Acuff-Rose song publishing company and helped lay the groundwork for the massive commercial juggernaut that country has become in the 21st century. This box set covers Acuff's biggest commercial phase from the late '30s through the 1940s (a time period in which he was immensely popular — he was even nominated to run for governor of Tennessee in 1948), and it includes his signature songs "The Great Speckled Bird," "Wabash Cannonball," and "Wreck on the Highway," along with dozens of others, all originally issued on 78s, making for a lengthy look at the tone and feel of his recorded work.

Biography

Born: 15 September 1903 in Maynardville, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Roy Acuff was called the King of Country Music, and for more than 60 years he lived up to that title. If any performer embodied country music, it was Roy Acuff. Throughout his career, Acuff was a champion for traditional country values, enforcing his beliefs as a performer, a music publisher, and as the Grand Master of the Grand Ole Opry. Acuff was the first country music superstar after the death of Jimmie Rodgers, pioneering an influential vocal style that complemented the spare, simple songs he...
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