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28 Greatest Hits

Grandpa Jones

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Album Review

Until a box set of his King recordings appears, 28 Greatest Hits is the best available anthology of Grandpa Jones' classic early years. Sounding like Uncle Dave Macon with an electric guitar, Grandpa Jones' King sides mixed old-timey novelties with hot Travis-picking (Merle Travis and Grandpa Jones were bandmates in the Brown's Ferry Four gospel quartet), and created an anachronistic style that kept pace with the times in its own way. Not every track is electrified, but Jones' unique update of mountain music is heard most clearly on tracks such as "Five-String Banjo Boogie" and the popular "Eight More Miles to Louisville." While most of the songs are novelties, Jones plays it straight occasionally, as on "Tragic Romance" and the couple of sacred songs. Essential music from everybody's favorite Grandpa.

Biography

Born: 20 October 1913 in Niagra, KY

Genre: Country

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

Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones was one person who aged right into his makeup. Like his real appearance, however, his actual background and role in country music were deceptive and more complex than they seem. Beginning in the 1920s, he began attracting attention with his boisterous performing style, old-time banjo performing, and powerful singing, and by the 1940s, with hits like "Rattler" and "Mountain Dew," he began receiving national attention. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1946 and remained...
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