Four albums (Country Hit Parade; 1956; Dust On The Bible, 1959; Seasons Of My Heart, 1960 and Kitty's Choice, 1960) on two cds from the queen of the honky honk angels, Kitty Wells at a bargain price! That goes to prove life isn’t as bad as we are led to believe by the media. Stacked with classic songs the listener is spoilt for choice when they check-out the material. For not only do we have such hit tracks by Wells as ‘It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ (answer song to Hank Thompson’s ‘Wild Side Of Life’), ‘Release Me’, ‘Paying For That Back Street Affair’ (answer song to Webb Pierce’s ‘Back Street Affair’) and with a Mexican lilt, “Amigo’s Guitar’ but lots more —including the staggering ‘Making Believe’!
Born, Ellen Muriel Deason, Wells was of the old school of country music and through her endeavours has inspired countless acts over the years and opened the gates for your Loretta, Dolly, Tammy and her music still lives on via the likes of new country act, Laura Cantrell. Her recent tribute to her; Kitty Wells Dresses: Songs Of The Queen Of Country Music has deservedly gained much acclaim, not least so due to her own song and the title-track ‘Kitty Wells Dresses’. Wells’ singing may on occasions like that of late old man of the Grand Ole Opry, Roy Acuff be a little thin but such is the charm and wonderful, unerring presentation of her work (country guitar, steel and tinkling piano) you soon become hooked by her singing style.
Impressive throughout Wells’ masterful working of Acuff’s haunting ballad ‘Searching For A Soldier’s Grave’ and religious pieces as in album title-cut ‘Dust On The Bible’ (c/w strong vocal harmonies), ‘Great Speckled Bird’ and a bouncy ‘(I’ve Got My) One-way Ticket To The Sky’. Plus Hank Williams’ ‘Half As Much’ and ‘Jambalaya (On The Bayou)’ and arguably, her best performance bar none ‘Seven Lonely Day’s to go with the swaggering ‘Bonaparte’s Retreat’ and a sympathetic reading of ‘Tennessee Waltz’ all aspects of country music are covered and well at that.
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