During this past week, I managed to rip an old country western album called “Country Jukebox.” When I say “old country western,” I mean real, old-fashioned, steel-guitars and fiddles, country western music.
I’m not entirely sure where this record came from, but I think it may have been in my Grandmama’s collection. It has a little sticker on the back, in my Dad’s handwriting, that says “1/22/05 Mother’s.” The album is on the Pickwick label, JS-6183 (by arrangement with Mercury Records). I have no idea when it was released, as there is no date anywhere on the record jacket or label.
The record features songs by Tom T. Hall (A Week in A Country Jail, Homecoming, Ballad of Forty Dollars), George Kent (Hello I’m A Jukebox), Roy Drusky (Long, Long Texas Road, I’ll Make Amends, Where the Blue and Lonely Go), Norro Wilson (Only You), and Roger Miller (Me and Bobby McGee, Don’t We Have the Right). I have never heard of Roy Drusky, and when I was ripping the album, I thought he was Burl Ives. I also didn’t know Roger Miller ever recorded Me and Bobby McGee. I had only heard that by Kris Kristofferson (the co-writer of the song) and Janis Joplin. It may come as a surprise to many to know that I prefer the Kristofferson version. If you know me at all, that wouldn’t surprise you. Never been a big Janis Joplin fan. But that’s a blog for a different day.
I’m not a huge country western fan, and most definitely not of most of the folks on this record. But it was in my collection, so I ripped it. As far as country music goes, it’s not even close to the best. There are a couple of memorable tunes on it, though, such as Tom T. Hall’s “Homecoming.” “Hello I’m A Jukebox” is one of those really corny songs. Miller’s “Bobby McGee” isn’t bad, although I prefer his other work, such as “King of the Road,” and “You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd.” And Norro Wilson’s “Only You” was, of course, made famous by The Platters. To be honest, Wilson sounds a bit like Roy Orbison.
There is actually a you tube clip of Miller singing “Me and Bobby McGee” on the Johnny Cash Show.
Here is Wilson’s “Only You.”
And just for kicks, here is “Only You” by The Platters.
I vote for The Platters.