Friday, May 20, 2011
Courtesy of the Attic's pal Andyrama comes this interesting 1963 budget LP on Crown, "Guest Star of the Grand Ole Opry" (CST 329). As is typical of such cheapie albums of its era, it brings together a noted artist and a mysterious one with no apparent rhyme or reason.
The first side it comprised five of excellent late 40's/early 50's tracks by Louisianian Jimmy Newman. These were recorded originally for Feature, a Lake Charles, Louisiana label owned by the legendary J.D. Miller. The sixth track in the folder was not on the LP, but is transferred from another bargain bin album, the 1967 Design compilation "The World of Country Music" (SDLP-640). I believe this is the original version of "Cry, Cry Darling", recorded in 1953 for the Khourys label, also in based out of Lake Charles. The tune was a regional hit, and became a National one when re-recorded for Dot the following year. Jimmy C. Newman went on to a career as a legendary country and Cajun singer, and was, indeed, a member of the Grand Ole Opry. It is his later success that this album seems to be intended to capitalize on.
The remaining five tracks are credited to Billy Carson, and I find them rather enjoyable. They're obviously from a later period than the Newman songs, as they're in true stereo. I am unsure if Billy Carson is the Bill Carson who was a legendary employee of Fender guitars. It seems logical, however I can find practically no reference to these recordings or song titles anywhere other than in regards to this LP; very often budget records would utilize recordings that otherwise never made it to release. It's also possible that Billy Carson was a completely fictitious identity used for this release and was not the actual artist's name! An article/obituary with details about the above mentioned Bill Carson can be read here.
On May 25, our friend "Country Boy Lance" commented that the Billy Carson on this and other Crown LPs is in fact Glen Cass. See comments for details. Thanks, Lance!
1. Jimmy Newman - What Will I Do
2. Jimmy Newman - Let's Stay Together
3. Jimmy Newman - Don't Say Goodbye
4. Jimmy Newman - If You Lose You'll Understand
5. Jimmy Newman - I'll Have To Burn All The Letters
6. Jimmy Newman - Cry,Cry Darling
7. Billy Carson - The Big Wall
8. Billy Carson - I'll Always Love You
9. Billy Carson - Just In Her Way
10. Billy Carson - Window That I Look From
11. Billy Carson - Lost Vein Of Love