I’m not crazy about what passes for Country Music these days. It bears little resemblance to it’s roots. Gram Parsons pioneered Country Rock in the ’60’s and early ’70’s with The Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros, and his incredible pair of solo albums, but much of the progeny is pretty ugly. Garth Brooks, aka Chris Gaines, would confuse both Gram and Hank Williams. Mix equal parts Country and Blues and you’ve got the raw ingredients for Rock N Roll.
“One By One”, the 1954 duet of Red Foley and Kitty Wells I’ve included sounds like the prototype for Gram and Emmy Lou Harris on songs like “We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes” from 1972’s “GP”. Speed up”Midnight”, Red’s 1952 #1 Country Music hit and you’ve got rockabilly, even though it predates Elvis at Sun by two years. Give these great tunes a spin and enjoy!
Clyde Julian Foley (June 17, 1910–September 19, 1968), better known as Red Foley, was an American singer, musician, and radio and TV personality who made a major contribution to the growth of country music after World War II.
For more than two decades, Foley was one of the biggest stars of the genre, selling more than 25 million records. His 1951 hit, “Peace in the Valley,” was the first million-selling gospel record. A Grand Ole Opry veteran until his death, Foley also hosted the first popular country music series on network television, Ozark Jubilee.
He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which called him “one of the most versatile and moving performers of all time” and “a giant influence during the formative years of contemporary Country music.”
Ellen Muriel Deason (born August 30, 1919), known professionally as Kitty Wells, is an American country music singer. Her 1952 hit recording, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.
Wells’s success in the 1950s and 1960s was so enormous that she still ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of the Billboard country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn’s book The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. Wells was the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, as well as being the eighth woman and first Caucasian woman to receive the honor. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She is as of 2009 — at age 90 — the oldest living member of the C&W Hall of Fame. Wells’ accomplishments earned her the moniker The Queen of Country Music.