STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 170680-26855 LABEL: Rosette ROSCD2774 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Dave Brassington
Once described by Elvis Presley as his favourite singer upon joining his famous labelmate at RCA Victor in the late 1960s, this now veteran country singer was one of the few black artists to ever make it big in country music. In fact, incredible as it might sound today, his first releases were sent to country DJs in brown envelopes in case they wouldn't play him on air if they knew he was a black man! This is the first release to be heard from the veteran in a long while. Back in 1971, he recorded a bestselling gospel project, 'Did You Think To Pray', but since then has made few, if any, references to matters of faith and this set, wonderfully produced by Billy Yates with plenty of steel guitar and fiddle, doesn't feature any gospel material. Instead we get mainstream songs like "It Wasn't That Funny" and "I Learned A Lot" both penned by Yates and a revival of Merle Haggard's classic "The Way It Was In '51". What is most surprising is that a fairly obscure artist from the '60s, Country Johnny Mathis, supplies two great songs, "Make Me One More Memory" and the excellent closer "Music In My Heart." An album that gave me nothing but pleasure and one recommended to all those who enjoy the crooning side of country.
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