KITTY WELLS —COUNTRY HIT PARADE / WINNER OF YOUR HEART (Hux Records)
Turn the clock back if you will to the mid-1950s, a time when female artists were few and far between. If it weren’t for Kitty Wells (known as the Queen Of Country Music; Tammy Wynette who came along a decade later was to become the First Lady Of Country Music) and Loretta Lynn in particular who came along ten years later this may well have been the case for a great deal longer. More on this later since it is the music of Kitty Wells in her prime were are going to speak of today, and prime she certainly was as she reeled off the likes of ‘Making Believe’, ‘Release Me’ and her biggie—‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ an answer song to the Hank Thompson hit ‘Wild Side Of Life’ and to add to the answer song syndrome ‘Paying For That Back Street Affair’ in answer to Webb Pierce’s ‘Back Street Affair’ was another she recorded and enjoyed a hit with. In fact they were Wells' first chart singles; at the time she was known mainly as the other half of a duo with Johnny Wright, her husband and had tried, unsuccessfully, after cutting a few tracks with RCA launch a solo recording career.
Well’s sharp incisive vocals aided by steel guitar (plus fiddle and upright bass) that cried tears were the order of the day back then. If you have yet to sample the sound this would be as good a place to start. Country music or songs for that matter don’t come much finer that what is on display here as it is littered with timeless compositions as the likes of ‘Right or Wrong’, ‘Broken Marriage Vow’ and ‘Don't Claim To be An Angel’ compliment those noted above and could just as easily become biggies for her.
So good is the sounds here that I can think of few people I would rather hear of her ilk or songs to listen to than the above or hear her perform Hank Williams’ ‘Mansion On The Hill’. Hank and Tompall & The Glaser Brothers accepted but as before, that is another story. If it is a spot of traditional pure, true blue country you are hankering for then this is as good a place as any to gravitate to and you won’t be sorry.
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