For 30 years, Dallas Turner was one of Border Radio’s most popular “pitchmen” as well as being a very popular singer, especially of old cowboy songs. As a teenager in 1946, he left home to look for work on Border Radio, where his idol, Cowboy Slim Rinehart, took him under his wing and gave him his big break.
Some 20 years later, the Rural Rhythm record label issued 8 LPs of Turner’s recordings. Now, for the first time on CD, the label has issued 25 Western tracks from those LPs. Many of the titles will be familiar to you, e.g. “Sam Hall,” “Little Joe the Wrangler,” “(Alongside the) Santa Fe Trail,” & “The Big Corral,” but several are less well-known, which enhances the CD’s attractiveness to collectors of older cowboy & Western music. Those include “Lone Driftin’ Rider,” “The Legend of Judge Roy Bean” and “Old Black Steer,” the last of which is one of several that have alternate titles and a few changes in lyrics from what you may be accustomed to. That’s because the lyrics and melodies of traditional songs often changed as they were handed down, before we had recordings to preserve particular versions. “Riding Down the Trail” may well have been a Turner composition, since the lyrics situate it in Elko, NV, where I first met him over 25 years ago. But the melody is from “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad.”
In Elko, he gave me a tape with what soon became my favorite Nevada Slim recording, “The Cowboy & the Lion,” taken from his first LP on the Rural Rhythm label. Unfortunately, it’s not in this collection, but you’ll find favorites of your own on this CD. Amazon.com or call (615) 470-5451 ext. 222