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Playboy - The Best of Gene & Debbe

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Album Review

Gene Thomas and Debbe Neville were a fresh-scrubbed pop duo from Nashville, TN, who sounded something like a twangier Sonny & Cher, or as if Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood had been stripped of their eccentricities (particularly Hazlewood's tumescent ego). Gene & Debbe's sole Top 20 hit was "Playboy" in 1968, and this collection from Sundazed features that tune as well as 21 other sides from the short-lived duo. While these songs were obviously aimed for the pop charts, there's no avoiding the fact this stuff was recorded in Nashville (and released on TRX Records, an offshoot of the powerful Acuff-Rose publishing concern) — the keening pedal steel on "Torch I Carry," the banjo on "Lovin' Season," and the cheatin' song ethos of "Rings of Gold" all point to the act's Music City heritage, and producer Don Gant (who later recorded with the Neon Philharmonic) was clearly shooting for lots of charm rather than a significant share of hipness (as if the presence of a Dean Martin cover wouldn't make that obvious). Still, Thomas and Neville sang well together, and the former brought some good songs to the table, especially the Dylanesque "The Sun Won't Shine Again" and the heartfelt "I'll Come Running." Playboy: The Best of Gene & Debbie collects everything they released during their two-year lifespan along with four songs that have never been heard before, and frankly this is more Gene & Debbe than anyone but an obsessed fan would want to own. But if you want to hear Gene & Debbe, this is clearly the place to go, and the typically excellent remastering and packaging from Sundazed show this material more respect than they'd likely receive from anyone else.

Customer Reviews

Earnest Songcraft With a Healthy Dose of Nashville Twang!

Gene Thomas and Debbe Neville had their golden moment in the sun with the coyly seductive “Playboy,” a 1968 national Top Twenty smash. Incorporating wholesome vocal harmonies and earnest songcraft with a healthy dose of Nashville twang, most of the material comes from the prolific pen of Gene Thomas. Gene & Debbe also cut marvelous versions of songs by the Everly Brothers, as well as such revered American songsmiths as John D. Loudermilk and Mickey Newbury. The 22-song set, all taken from the original TRX master tapes, includes their complete TRX album, along with rare single sides, plus previously unheard material. Playboy — The Best Of Gene & Debbe permanently assures Thomas’ smooth vocal drawl and Neville’s wide-eyed delivery will always be there for the classic pop radio audience.

Playboy

I am thrilled to have "Playboy" in my music collection. I remember this one-hit wonder song from my early youth and now I can play it for all the doubters who think I am making up the song when I jokingly use some of the lyrics. THANK YOU iTUNES! P.S. I only purchased the one song so I can't favorably rate the entire album. iTunes needs to add a rating for single-song purchases.

Excellent

Brings back many memories.....these two are beautiful together. Gene Thomas was an incredible song writer.

Biography

Genre: Country

Gene & Debbe, also known as Gene Thomas and Debbe Neville (some sources spell it Nevills), were a country-pop duo who enjoyed a short string of successes during 1967 and 1968. Thomas (born December 28, 1938), from Palestine, TX, had enjoyed some modest success on his own with a 1961 hit single called "Sometime," on the Venus and United Artists labels, then disappeared from the charts until two years later when he scored a minor hit with the Bobby Goldsboro/Roy Orbison song "Baby's Gone." By the end...
Full Bio
Playboy - The Best of Gene & Debbe, Gene & Debbe
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Customer Ratings