Monday, February 16, 2015
In response to the many, many requests I receive for vintage vinyl by the late and great Cowboy Copas, I am posting an LP with that very title! A previous post featured the second Copas collection released on Starday's Nashville subsidiary (NLP 2036, downloadable here); presented now is the first, Nashville NLP 2013, "The Late and Great Cowboy Copas".
Cowboy recorded for Starday from 1959 until shortly before his death in 1963 and this 1964 album is a great cross section of his work for the label. Two tracks in particular stand out as classic Copas. "South Pacific Shore" seems to have been inspired by his classic "Filipino Baby" while "Sal" is clearly a continuation of the talking blues Cope took to number one on the Billboard country chart in 1960, "Alabam". From start to finish, this is a highly enjoyable collection of classic country music. Starday honcho Don Pierce's notes in memory of Cowboy Copas are transcribed below:
The tragic death of Cowboy Copas on March 5, 1963 brought profound sorrow to Country Music people throughout the world.
In a stormy and forbidding twilight, Cowboy Copas along with his fellow Grand Ole Opry performers Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins climbed into a single engine plane piloted by Randy Hughes. They took off for home in Nashville following a benefit performance in Kansas City that raised $3,000 for the family of a country music disc jockey who had lost his life in an auto accident. In foul weather, the plane crashed near Camden, Tennessee, and there were no survivors.
As fate would have it, Randy Hughes, the pilot, was the son-in-law of Cowboy Copas and the husband of Cathy Copas who recorded many song favorites with her daddy. Randy was also Patsy Cline’s personal manager and an accomplished guitarist who backed up Copas and many other stars on their recording sessions.
Only thirty days prior to the tragedy, a Cowboy Copas album entitled “Beyond the Sunset” was released and contained many songs of life and the hereafter.
About 24 hours after the plane crash, another Grand Ole Opry star, Jack Anglin, of the Johnny and Jack and Kitty Wells show, was killed when his car ran off the road while enroute to prayer services for Patsy Cline.
Although Cowboy Copas has joined Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, Jimmie Rodgers, and the other great stars in the next world, he has left a treasury of songs and Country Music for posterity.
Cowboy Copas was an All Time Country Music Great. The Copas story is well known. Starting on an Oklahoma farm, he rose to Country Music fame as a Grand Ole Opry star with such hits as SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED, TENNESSEE WALTZ, FILIPINO BABY, TRAGIC ROMANCE, and many others following World War II. Then in 1960, his tremendous smash hit recording ALABAM brought new fame and popularity and pressure for more and more personal appearances. Always a trooper, and true to the show business tradition, he traveled up to 200,000 miles per year entertaining, and making friends. Hs records were solid sellers and Copas excelled at singing love ballads or honky tonk songs. The people loved his open string, unamplified, flat top Martin guitar pickin’. He was a real pro as a master of ceremonies. His duet recordings with daughter, Cathy Copas, were extremely popular. And last, but by no means least, he was a standout performer on the sincere and happy “hand clapping” gospel songs that all Country Music fans love.
If there is a “Hillbilly Heaven”, we feel that Cowboy Copas will be enthroned there in honor. Starday joins with Country Music fans everywhere in recognition of the great Country Music heritage left us by the one and only Cowboy Copas.
1. South Pacific Shore
2. The Gypsy Girl
3. There'll Come A Time (Duet with Cathy Copas)
4. A Satisfied Mind
5. Pickin' The Blues (Instrumental)
6. Wings Of The Great Speckled Bird
7. You Are The One (Duet with Cathy Copas)
8. Mom And Dad's Affair
10. Cope's Wildwood Flower
11. A Thousand Miles Of Ocean
12. Wherever He Leads I'll Go
* download here*