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  • Various - Bakersfield Sound 1940 – 1974 (10-CD) (CD)



    10-CD boxed set (LP-format) with 220 page hardcover book, 307 tracks. Total playing time approx. 755 minutes.

    *.  The compelling story of how a country music cottage industry transformed Bakersfield into the Country Music Capital of the West, sometimes called ‘Nashville West’, a serious challenge to Nashville’s commercial country dominance.
    *.  This first sprawling multi-disc anthology begins with 1940s field recordings of migrants, all the way through 1974, with profiles on each artist.
    *.  Including a larger number of previously unreleased studio and live recordings, radio recordings and demos.
    *.  A treasure trove of Bakersfield history presenting country music stars Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, guitar hero Don Rich and dozens of artists like Ferlin Husky, Dallas Frazier, Jean Shepard, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Duncan, Red Simpson, Kay Adams, Duck Curless, Joe Maphis, David Frizzell, The Gosdin Brothers, Clarence White a.m.o.
    *.  From hits to deep cuts to alternate takes to album tracks to live material, this set dives deeper into the Bakersfield Sound than ever before.
    *.  Full-color illustrated 220-page hardcover book with a plethora of photos, many shown here for the first time, and track-by-track commentary .
    *.  In depth analysis by Grammy-nominated Bakersfield Sound historian Scott B. Bomar.
    *.  Foreword by Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett.

    Buck Owens and Merle Haggard emerged from the dim lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music of Bakersfield, California’s thriving honky-tonk scene of the 1950s and ’60s and changed country music forever. But what is the ‘Bakersfield Sound?’ While twanging Telecasters and crying steel guitars come to mind, the music that emanated from Central California in that era reflected a variety of influences that was expressed in myriad ways.

     ”We represent the end results of all the years of country music in this town,” Haggard once remarked about the California city that served as home base for the two Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. But how did the musical world from which Buck and Merle emerged come to be? How were the twin pillars of the Bakersfield Sound shaped by the city’s larger musical community? Who were their influences, and what were the musical markers along their paths to success? In what ways did their achievements reshape the local scene from which they emerged?
    This first sprawling multi-disc anthology of Bakersfield’s country music heritage begins with 1940s field recordings of migrants who fled the ravages of dust and economic depression in search of a better life in California. It traces the development of the music they brought with them all the way through 1974, the last full year Merle Haggard made his home in Bakersfield, the year of Buck Owens’ final Top 10 hit as a solo artist, and the year Bakersfield guitar hero Don Rich was killed in a motorcycle accident. 
    Sometimes called ‘Nashville West,’ Bakersfield became hotbed that fostered the careers of Ferlin Husky, Herb Henson, Jimmy Thomason, Billy Barton, Fuzzy Owen, Lewis Talley, Tommy Collins, Dallas Frazier, Semie Moseley, Jean Shepard, The Farmer Boys, Wynn Stewart, Tommy Duncan, Billy Mize, Cliff Crofford, Bonnie Owens, Don Markham, Al Brumley, Tommy Dee, Jelly Sanders, Oscar Whittington, Johnny Barnett, Vancie Flowers, Bobby Durham, Bob Morris, Roy Nichols, Don Rich, Red Simpson, Kay Adams, Bobby Austin, Dick Curless, Joe & Rose Lee Maphis, Buddy Mize, Gary Paxton, The Gosdin Brothers, Ronnie Sessions, Gene Moles, Clarence White, Tony Booth, Freddie Hart, David Frizzell, and countless others.
    Collected here are a diverse range of recordings that includes Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in a Bakersfield radio studio in the mid-1940s; previously unheard work tapes of a recently-paroled Merle Haggard recording demos with only his acoustic guitar to accompany him; a newly discovered Haggard session for Tally Records that was believed to have been lost and has never been heard before; previously unknown live recordings of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos at the very last of Buck’s legendary annual Toys for Tots shows before Don Rich’s death; unreleased recordings by Red Simpson, Billy Mize,Bonnie Owens, and Johnny Bond; radio broadcasts from the stage of the legendary Blackboard Café; and an early Bill Woods vanity record that predates any of his previously-known recorded output.
    Rare recordings from early pioneers Tex Butler, Tex Marshall, and Ebb Pilling give a glimpse into the early days of the Bakersfield Sound while dozens of rare records from local labels of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are collected together for the first time. Many of the selections presented here have never been reissued, and few have seen the light of day since their initial release. In some cases, only a handful of 78 or 45 RPM records were pressed, and the songs have been long forgotten until now. From songwriting legend Harlan Howard’s first recording for Tally Records to his then-wife Jan Howard’s first known demo recording in Lewis Talley’s Bakersfield studio to Barbara Mandrell’s very first solo recording on Mosrite Records to legendary bandleader Johnny Barnett’s only known single (the first song written by Merle Haggard to have ever been released), this collection is a treasure trove of Bakersfield history. From hits to deep cuts to alternate takes to album tracks to live material, this set dives deeper into the Bakersfield Sound than ever before.   
    The accompanying 220 page book includes hundreds of  photos, a foreword by Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett, in depth analysis by Grammy-nominated Bakersfield Sound historian Scott B. Bomar, profiles on each artist, and a track-by-track commentary that puts the sprawling 10 CD collection in context to illuminate the story of how a country music cottage industry transformed Bakersfield into the Country Music Capital of the West and ignited speculation that the city could become a serious challenge to Nashville’s commercial country dominance.
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  • Horton Johnny - The Singing Fisherman – The Complete Johnny Horton Recordings (9-CD Box) (CD)


    9-CD boxed set (LP-size) with two 288-page hardbound books, 296 tracks. Total playing time approx. 688 minutes

    •    Every Johnny Horton recording. Every issued recording on every label! Every unissued recording! Every alternate take! Every known demo! All the overdub sessions! Several rare radio interviews! And more!
    •    In all, 9 CDs!
    •    Includes Horton’s first record. Only one copy is known to exist!
    •    Includes two 288-page hardcover books! One is an exhaustive biography by Colin Escott with a complete discography and hundreds of photos, many previously unpublished. The other is a book about Johnny Horton, handwritten by his mother in the months after his death, never seen before until now!
    •    All completely remastered for unbelievably clear, vibrant sound.

    This Is It!

    In 1981, we at Bear Family issued our first Johnny Horton LP. It set us upon a journey that ends here with the absolutely guaranteed definitive Johnny Horton set. This is the set that an artist of Johnny Horton’s stature deserves, and a set that was unimaginable in 1981. Some know Horton for his rockabilly records like Honky Tonk Man, One Woman Man, Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor, Wild One, etc. Some know him for his saga songs like North To Alaska and of course Battle Of New Orleans. They’re all here, of course, but there’s so much more.

    All of Horton’s early recordings are here, including his first single from 1950 … a single so rare that only one copy is known to exist. We didn’t even know about it until a couple of years back. Then there are the Cormac, Abbott, Mercury, SESAC, and Columbia recordings, all restored to pristine sound quality. The Abbott overdubs have been included as well as all of Horton’s known demo recordings. Horton was a songwriter for American Music, and we’ve gathered all the songwriting demos for American with many others that have recently come to light.

    Then there are the books: two 288-page hardcover books. The first is a biography by Colin Escott that represents a considerable update of the 1990 book that accompanied our first Johnny Horton boxes. Hundreds of new photos have come to light, too, and we’ve included those. The second book is an incredible rarity. In the months after Horton’s tragic death, his mother wrote a memoir of him in longhand. It’s not a sophisticated work, but it’s touching and full of so much details that we never knew. In his mother’s words, Horton lives again for us.

    That’s why we say, This Is It!

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