STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 17974- LABEL: Bear Family 15774 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 5
Reviewed by Dave Brassington
If there was ever an artist who should have been a top artist in country music it ought to have been Vernon Oxford. Over the years I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform many times (but not lately) ranging from when he was on RCA doing great authentic country music very much in the style of Hank Williams but drinking himself to death. Since then he has almost disappeared from the mainstream country scene, performing gospel music, appearing in a moving TV documentary and becoming a Pentecostal-style preacher. Here on this 5 CD set we get all the tracks he cut for RCA and then on a variety of smaller independent labels, finishing up with his three albums for Rounder including his superb gospel album 'A Better Way Of Life'. It has to be said that some of the records he made for Meteor (Ireland) and Rich-R-Tone are variable in quality. But for the Vernon Oxford aficionado this set is a must, it doesn't say a lot for the mainstream country scene in the late '60s, early '70s in Nashville, but it does fill in a lot of gaps both musical and factual in the Vernon Oxford story, in fact providing information on him which is hard to get from the man himself. If you fancy country gospel by its best and can't find Vernon's gospel LP, you could do worse than treat yourself to this luxurious set.
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