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Carl Smith: Greatest Hits

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Album Review

This 1962 album offers re-recordings of many of Carl Smith's most famous hits, including "Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way" and "Hey Joe." The new versions are very close to the originals, although Smith's singing is mellower and the playing less biting. The title notwithstanding, several songs are non-hits, particularly on side two, where the majority fails to conform to the album's billing. Of these, "Gettin' Even" is a great up-tempo number and "I Overlooked an Orchid (While Searching for a Rose)" is a re-recording of one of the earliest songs Smith cut for Columbia. The remakes are serviceable, but the original versions are ultimately preferable, which leaves only a few songs on Carl Smith's Greatest Hits to interest his most ardent fans.


Born: 15 March 1927 in Maynardsville, TN

Genre: Country

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

Known as Mr. Country, Carl Smith was one of the most popular honky tonkers of the '50s, racking up over 30 Top Ten hits over the course of the decade. Smith was also able to sustain that popularity into the late '70s, during which time he had a charting single for every year except one. Smith had a talent for singing smooth ballads which polished the rough edges of hardcore country. Nevertheless, he could sing pure honky tonk with the best of them, and his hardest country was made tougher by the...
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