Saturday, February 16, 2013
This neat bootleg LP on the "Anthology of Country Music" label consists of three early fifties radio segments that feature the legendary Hank Williams and his wife Audrey, as well as Opry veterans Little Jimmy Dickens, Minnie Pearl, Rod Brasfield, Stringbean, and Sam & Kirk McGee.
The real highlight of the LP is William's December 1950 transcription for the 1951 March of Dimes. Recorded at the studios of WSM in Nashville, it features Audrey and the Drifting Cowboys along with Hank who besides singing encourages listeners in his homespun way to support the March of Dimes and help eradicate infantile paralysis ("I never knew much about it except to be scared of it and know it cripples kids".). Many Country stars including Red Foley and Eddy Arnold, as well as pop stars, recorded these transcribed programs as a public service to fight the polio epidemic of the early to mid fifties, and they remain a fascinating glimpse into the zeitgeist of the time.
No less interesting are two portions of actual Opry broadcasts, although the sound quality on these is low; nowhere near the fidelity of the March of Dimes show. The first of these is a ten minute segment from the September 29, 1951 Opry broadcast that also features Audrey (singing a hideous version of "Bonaparte's Retreat") and Sam & Kirk McGee. The second (first in playing order on the LP) is an April 5, 1952 segment of the Opry transcribed to an Armed Forces Radio Service disc. This is a regular Opry network portion with guests Little Jimmy Dickens and String bean, fiddling by Tommy Jackson and comedy by Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield.
Includes front jacket (both sides are identical) & label scans.
1. Grand Ole Opry, AFRS Show 223 (April 5, 1952)
1. THEME - "Baby We're Really In Love"
2. ROD BRASFIELD - Comedy
3. LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS - "It May Be Silly"
4. SQUARE DANCE - TOMMY JACKSON With Calls By Lew Childre
5. HANK WILLIAMS & LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS
- "The Old Country Church"
6. MINNIE PEARL - Country Comedy
7. LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS
- "They Locked God Outside The Iron Curtain"
9. HANK WILLIAMS - "I Can't Help It"
10. INSTRUMENTAL CLOSE
2. March of Dimes Radio Show (December 1950)
2. HANK WILLIAMS - "Moanin' The Blues"
3. TALK - "Hank & Audrey talk about Hank Jr."
4. HANK & AUDREY - "Help Me Understand"
5. "When God Dips His Love In My Heart"
3. Grand Ole Opry (September 29, 1951)
1. HANK WILLIAMS - "Crazy Heart"
2. SAM & KIRK McGEE - "I Was Sorta Wonderin"
3. AUDREY WILLIAMS - "Bonaparts Retreat"
4. THEME & CLOSING