Porter Wagoner - The RCA Sessions 1952-1962

Friday 1st October 1993
Porter Wagoner - The RCA Sessions 1952-1962

STYLE: Country
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Bear Family 15499

Reviewed by Dave Brassington

This 4 CD box set gives us the complete recordings of one of the most loved singers of modern country music, who started out as almost a Hank Williams clone before he even realised he had a fine deep voice of his own! One remarkable feature of these recordings is that, almost alone of major country stars during the introduction of the smooth Nashville sound in the late 50's (which was how country music fought back after nearly being killed by rock'n'roll), Porter's recordings remained very country. His big 1955 hit " A Satisfied Mind" remains one of the best Christian lyrics you could ever wish to hear. The amazing thing is, it has not entered into more mainstream gospel repertoires. During the later part of his career, Porter would become well known for his moving recitations. In January, 1956, he recorded a semi-narrative "What Would You Do If Jesus Came To Your House?". Astonishingly, RCA Victor put it out as a single and it was a top ten country hit! There are some other fine gospel tracks here I'd never heard before, and I'm only amazed RCA didn't put out a whole gospel LP by Porter on the strength of the material they had here. It's interesting to hear one of country music's finest talents developing his craft on love ballads, novelty toe-tappers, religious and just good songs, with a great booklet. This is a magnificent release.

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