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The Best of Billie Jo Spears

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Album Review

After struggling on various labels during the '50s and early '60s, Billie Jo Spears moved to Nashville and eventually signed with Capitol. With the help of producer Kelso Herston, Spears scored her first hits, "He's Got More Love (In His Little Finger)" and "Mr. Walker, It's All Over" (later eclipsed by Melba Moore's fine rendition). Spears' smoky and sensual voice lent itself well to bawdy and bold material like this. In fact, as this hits collection attests, Spears seemed to favor the feminist-era swamp country of contemporary sirens like Bobbie Gentry and Jeannie C. Riley; along with fine renditions of "Ode to Billie Joe" and "Harper Valley P.T.A.," Spears also tackles Tammy Wynette's post-divorce classic "I Don't Wanna Play House" and signature hit "Stand By Your Man." And while her Wynette covers and more obscure fare like "Mollie Brown" and "That Man" sort of putter along, the majority of this slim collection is fine. Featuring the countrypolitan highlights from her only two releases for Capitol, The Best of Billie Jo Spears might not be an essential country title, but is an enjoyable listen all the same.

Biography

Born: January 14, 1937 in Beaumont, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Billie Jo Spears landed a few big country hits during the '70s, thanks to a sultry, bluesy voice that made her a perfect torch balladeer; while she never quite edged her way into stardom in the U.S., she earned a devoted following in Great Britain and toured there frequently. Spears was born in Beaumont, TX, in 1937 and made her professional debut at age 13 in an all-star country concert in Houston; not long after, she recorded the single "Too Old for Toys, Too Young for Boys" as Billie Joe Moore...
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The Best of Billie Jo Spears, Billie Jo Spears
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