Butler Carl

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  • Butler Carl - A Million Tears (CD)


    Carl Butler and his wife, Pearl, were forever immortalized by their hit Don’t Let Me Cross Over. It remains one of the alltime classics of hard country.

    But Don’t Let Me Cross Over was merely the highlight of a recording career that began in 1950 and ended just months before his death in 1992.

    That one hit notwithstanding, Carl Butler was a hard luck journeyman country musician who played live” music on small radio stations in the 1940s and 1950s and toured ceaselessly. Neglected toward the end of his life, he lost his farm and his savings, and died alone in a trailer park. His wife, Pearl, who had toured with him for forty years, had died three years earlier.

    This CD features all of Carl’s early recordings for two American labels, Capitol and OKeh. Incredibly, only two of these recordings were reissued on LP and none of them have appeared on CD before now.

    Country music is mostly associated with Nashville, but when Carl Butler grew up there was a more thriving scene in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville sound was rooted in Bluegrass music, and so was Carl Butler. By the time he began recording, however, he veered between the ancient tones of bluegrass and the fast emerging honky tonk style. This set includes the bluegrass classic White Rose, as well as his sparkling original versions of I’ll Go Steppin’ Too (later recorded by the preeminent bluegrass duo Flatt & Scruggs) and I Wouldn’t Change You If I Could (later a #1 hit for country star Ricky Skaggs, and a bluegrass standard). Carl’s version of Angel Band from these early Capitol sessions is also considered definitive. The ’O Brother’ soundtrack made Angel Band into a classic, but this version is the best!

    This is the sort of release that fans have come to expect from Bear Family. Rare and rarely-reissued classic recordings that have withstood the test of time. Fans of Fifties hardcore country music must not pass this by!


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