This is one of the most interesting Western Swing anthologies I’ve seen in years. Although many of the bands represented on the 29 tracks on this CD are obscure, there are some interesting exceptions. But more importantly, regardless of the extent of the bands’ fame, a large number of the recordings are first-rate vintage Western swing.
Among the bands who are easily recognizable to fans of music from this era you’ll find W. Lee O’Daniel’s Hillbilly Boys with vocals by Leon Huff from 1937, Curt Massey with Louise Massey & the Westerners (with a great 1943 rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown”), Jimmy’s Saddle Pals (aka Jimmy LeFevre and his Saddle Pals), Curly Williams and his Georgia Peach Pickers and Jesse Ashlock with Ezra & his Beverly Hillbillies.
But the better-known bands don’t dominate; some of the others do more than hold their own. “Carnival in Cotton Town” by Dave
Edwards & His Alabama Boys (from KTUL in Tulsa) became a favorite right away, as did “Estalee” & “Jig in G” by the Swift-Jewel
Cowboys (at WREC in Memphis), and Carl Cole & His Flint Hill Boys (from 1940 in Ponca City & Enid, OK) chalked up some good covers
of popular big band tunes like “Jumpin’ Jive.” Many of the titles are well-known but these renditions will be new unless you grew up
listening to one of these bands on the radio. Available from VenerableMusic.com, phone (678) 232-0268.