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The Tennessean

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Album Review

Bruce released these in the wake of Waylon & Willie's huge success with his "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," a song that helped break outlaw country into the mainstream, and Bruce followed in its path, creating records that offered a commercial spin on that sound but never found their way onto the charts. Tennessean picks up on the relaxed, masculine vibe of Waylon's ballads but Bruce never sounds as macho as Jennings; he's so at ease in his skin he almost disappears into Buddy Killen's lush productions, turning the bulk of this into easy listening country. Of course, this means that it can sometimes flirt with schlock — especially on the mawkish "Wedding Dress" — but it also gets into the downright bizarre, as on Dennis Wilson's freakish "Never Takes Candy from a Stranger," a Baroque symphony of creepy loneliness. But the best of Tennessean occurs when the strings step back and it gets closer to pure country, as on the two stunners "Am I Gonna Have to Burn Atlanta Down" and "When I Die Just Let Me Go to Texas," two singles that should have been hits for Ed Bruce, but at least Tanya Tucker brought the latter up the charts later as "Texas (When I Die)."


Born: December 29, 1939 in Keiser, AR

Genre: Country

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

Like so many other artists, singer Ed Bruce got his start as a rockabilly act for Memphis' famed Sun Records; however, he was probably best known for his songwriting acumen. Born William Edwin Bruce Jr. in Arkansas in 1939, he cut his first sides for Sun at the age of 17. His career as a frenetic rockabilly performer was largely unsuccessful, however, and by 1964 Bruce had moved to Nashville to become a member of the Marijohn Wilkins Singers. He also entered into a lucrative career singing advertising...
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The Tennessean, Ed Bruce
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: 1977

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