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Charlie Walker- Greatest Honky Tonk Hits  

2012-02-15 21:02:00|  分类: Charlie Walker |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Charlie Walker- Greatest Honky Tonk Hits - 高老头 - 高老头
 
Artist: Charlie Walker
Type: Compilation
Year: 1965 LP Release, 2003 CD Release (+ Bonus tracks)
Style: Traditional Country 60's / Honky Tonk
Country: United States
  
Charlie Walker
Greatest Honky Tonk Hits (Epic)

By John Morthland


This is the sound of hard-core country in the 1960s — not necessarily that of the greatest artists, but the everyday, keep-it-country sound that filled the middle of the charts.

Charlie Walker hailed from farming country east of Dallas and was a popular San Antonio DJ for years before hitting the top 10 for the first time in 1956 with “Only You, Only You” on Decca. Soon after that, his fishing buddy Ray Price arranged for him to switch to Columbia and even gave him a catchy song that he himself had inexplicably rejected. “Pick Me Up On Your Way Down” was a shuffle in the Price mode, intro’d by Jimmy Day’s steel and kicked along by the twin fiddles of Tommy Jackson and Dale Potter (with Price himself singing harmony).

The song shot to #2, becoming the first major hit for songwriter Harlan Howard, and is still played in Texas dancehalls today by tradition-minded bands. Along with the similar-sounding follow-up “I’ll Catch You When I Fall”, it established Walker as one of the stalwarts of the 4/4 shuffle style, a sort of small-group spinoff of western swing popularized by Price with “Crazy Arms” in 1956.

Walker’s early vocal style was clearly influenced by Price, but he also echoed a more tuneful Ernest Tubb in the way he tossed out certain words. He released four more great honky tonk-wails, produced by Don Law, as singles after those original breakthroughs — “Who Will Buy The Wine”, like “Pick Me Up”, is still a dancehall standard — and then got turned over to Billy Sherrill at Epic.

Their first collaboration, “Close All The Honky Tonks”, reaffirmed Walker’s stature as a barroom shouter who knew his way around a swinging dance beat, but Sherrill steered him increasingly toward overt novelties such as “Don’t Squeeze My Sharmon” (based on a toilet paper ad slogan, of all things, and his fourth and final top-10 hit), as well as other tunes such as the witty “The Man In The Little White Suit” that, in the great country tradition, walked the line between joke and serious.

Struggling to hold a place on the charts at a time when hard country was hurting, Walker dabbled with mixed results in trucking songs (”Truck Drivin’ Cat With Nine Wives”), Vietnam-themed ballads (”Daddy’s Coming Home [Next Week]“), saga songs (”The Town That Never Sleeps”), and pop-schlock (”San Diego”). By the end of the decade, he was reduced to a gimmicky cover of the Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women”.

Through it all, he stuck to a tough, twangy tenor that was hardly unique, but was so country it soon made him obsolete. Amidst the slickness of the country that followed, these sides tend to sound even better now than they did the first time around, but let’s keep them in perspective. Walker’s output was patchy and only occasionally exceptional; he was a follower, not a leader, but given the right material, he made some of


1. Pick Me Up on Your Way Down 

2. I'll Catch You When You Fall 
3. When My Conscience Hurts the Most
4. Who Will Buy the Wine
5. Facing the Wall 
6. Good Deal Lucille 
7. Close All the Honky Tonks 
8. Wild as a Wildcat 
9. He's a Jolly Good Fellow 
10. The Man in the Little White Suit 
11. Daddy's Coming Home (Next Week)
12. I'm Gonna Hang My Gloves 
13. The Town That Never Sleeps 
14. Don't Squeeze My Sharmon 
15. I Wouldn't Take Her to a Dogfight 
16. Truck Drivin' Cat With Nine Wives
17. San Diego 
18. Honky Tonk Season 
19. Honky Tonk Women 
20. Let's Go Fishin' Boys (The Girls Are Bitin') 
21. My Baby Used to Be That Way

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