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The Essential Gary Stewart

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Editors’ Notes

Gary Stewart disregarded the macho posturing of the ‘70s and created songs that embodied the worry, despair, and self-pity that had defined country music since the days of Jimmie Rodgers. His signature song, “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)” has become a barroom staple, buts its punch-line title and sing-along refrain tend to obscure the desperation of the verses: “I’m not weak, I tell myself / I stay because I’m strong / The truth is, I’m not man enough / To stop her from doing me wrong.” The Essential Gary Stewart contains all of his definitive singles, most of which Stewart wrote himself, and all of which he sang in a voice that was as intense and unstable as the man behind it. By the early ‘80s, Stewart’s career was derailed by his incompatibility with the Nashville music machine and a mounting series of personal problems. After being coaxed from the shadows for a trio of uneven comeback album in the late ‘80s/ early ‘90s, Stewart retreated to the honky-tonk circuit before eventually ending his own life following the death of his wife in 2003. The Essential Gary Stewart plays like a haunted jukebox, the loneliness and regret of Stewart’s music bringing to strangers the comfort that forever eluded its creator.

Customer Reviews

Cheatin' And Other Related Topics

Gary Stewart wrote some of the best heart broken and that's-why-i-am-the-way-i-am songs ever. If you're only buying individual songs, "Drinkin' Thing," "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)," and "Out of Hand" are good starters. I was going to transfer my old lps, but it's such a pain and this collection makes it so easy. I'm buying the whole thing.

The Essential Gary Stewart

One of the most unique voices in country music with some of the most classic country themed lyrics. Honky-Tonkin is great along with Whiskey Trip (I'm takin me a Whiskey Trip, Lovin her with every sip), Back Sliders Wine (As the rain ruins my alibi). If you love Hank, Merle, Cash, Nelson, Price, you'll love this!

Gary Stewart The Best

Let me say this about Gary Stewart, like many great country music singers that have left our ranks, there will never be another like him. His music tells his life. A self made individual who started playing piano and performing at a young age, he found his niche and did well at at. It is unfortunate he battled a lot of demons in his life, his music tells the story. He lived right up the road from me in Ft. Pierce, Fl and we probably frequented a lot of same honky-tonks, it gets in your blood, there's just something about those places. The collection on the Essentials album represents some of his best work, to bad we lost him:(. Check out probably his last impromptu performance on U Tube, search Gary Stewart at Pineapples Joe's, it's a little place in Ft. Pierce. His music is timeless,


Born: May 28, 1945 in Jenkins, KY

Genre: Country

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

While much of what passes for contemporary country music in the '90s and 2000s sounds like reheated Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, what's really annoying is what a youth-driven market it has become, leaving many great country performers of the '60s and '70s out in the cold. This is especially irritating when considering the career of Gary Stewart, one of the greatest of the hardcore-honky tonk school who, at his peak in the mid- to late '70s, could write and sing circles around just about any contemporary...
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The Essential Gary Stewart, Gary Stewart
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