Saturday, January 3, 2015
In 1947 George and Leslie York, after eight years of recordings cut for labels both big (Decca) and small (Universal, Mellow, Bullet), signed on with Syd Nathan's King label. This "homebrew" collection gathers eighteen of the single sides released on the Cincinnati imprint over the next seven years, tracks that perfectly exemplify some of the best traits of King's Hillbilly releases of the era.
George and Leslie York were born in Louisa, Kentucky in 1910 and 1917, respectively. They played music around home as youngsters, and by 1936 were playing together professionally. They spent the early and prime years of their careers in various cities across the south and midwest, most notably Detroit where they made their first recordings. Here they made a name for themselves playing rowdy songs with local references such as "Detroit Hula Girl", "Highland Park Girl", "Motor City Boogie", and most famously, "Hamtramck Mama". At King they would make their best records yet technically, and gradually update their sound in much the same manner as their label mates, the Delmore Brothers.
The titles here represent both sides of nine single discs, both 78 and 45rpm, including some of the rarer sides never before reissued in the digital era. The tracks were mastered from first generation digital transfers of the original records, and despite the notorious mediocrity of King 78 pressings, even the earlier recordings here have great punch and presence.
From the late fifties onward, the Yorks recorded and performed sporadically and Les sometimes worked as a solo act, in addition to both brothers' career activity outside of music. George passed away in 1974, Les ten years later. In their day, they made fine, distinctive mid century Country music that has resonated with successive generations of listeners and continues to do so to this very day.
Other collections featuring the great recordings of the York Brothers, including early recordings and other King tracks, can be downloaded here, here, and here.
Includes cover art with issue numbers and recording dates.
1. Let's Don't Sleep Again
2. They Laid My Darling Away
3. Sweet Anita
4. It Ain't No Good
5. Kill Her With Kindness
6. Road Of Sadness
7. Love Sweet Love
8. When You Want A Little Lovin'
9. You're My Every Dream Come True
10. Why Don't You Open The Door
12. Tight Wad
13. I Get The Blues In The Springtime
14. Mister Midnight
15. Deep Within My Heart
16. I'll Leave The Door Open
17. Hurts Me To My Heart
18. Two Loves In One Night