Thursday, November 20, 2008
This is one of the best Canadian honky-tonk albums I've ever heard. I bought it in McKay's Corners, Ontario over fifteen years ago when I was first looking for vintage Canadian country records. Although it's not exactly mint, I've never encountered another copy, and have really treasured this album I've known so little about.
On the obscure "Acadia" label, it was distributed by London and has the generic back slick used for the Banff label listing Banff LPs ranging from RBS. 1032 through RBS. 1110. The jacket certainly has the look of early London, Rodeo and Banff LPs.
I've never been able to find any information on Jack Silvers. I suspect he may have been from the Ottawa Valley, but this is speculation on my part. A few of the songs on the album are composed by noted Canadian country artists of the period such as Bob King (from the Valley), Will Odo (who recorded "Roses and Rings" himself for Rodeo), Dusty King (from Quebec) and three are by Jack Silvers himself. Silvers turns up on another album in my collection, a mid 60's Quebec country LP by "Kid and His Green Mountain Boys" which features two songs by Jack along with solos by other members of the group (this will be the next post).
Silver's vocals, songwriting, backup band and the recording quality of this album all floor me. I'd put the recording date about 1960 or so, based on the sound and material as well as the back slick which features Banff albums of this vintage. This album really does stand up next to anything Nashville was doing, this could just as easily have been done on Starday. Where it was recorded and who the players are on the album are both unknown to me.
Anyone with information on Smilin' Jack Silvers is welcomed to comment or to contact me by email at email@example.com
UPDATE! - May 20, 2011 - Since this post, I have learned a lot about Smilin' Jack! Steel Guitarist Terry Sutton, who plays on this 1963 album, sent me a wonderful audio recording of one of Jack's TV shows. Click here!
Includes front cover and label scans.
1. I'm The One To Blame
2. Crazy Me
3. Hey Baby (Can't Take Another Chance With You)
4. The High Cost Of Living
5. Roses And Rings
6. (Hey Boy) Stop Kissing My Sister
8. (If You Love Me) Please Tell Me
9. Stop Foolin' Round
10. Nine Pound Hammer