Howdy! This page is part of my guide to "western" music, the legacy of the so-called "singing cowboys." You gotta love this stuff, with its sweet, old-fashioned sentimental themes, its love of nature and the great outdoors. Here's a look at the legacy of western music, old and new, with reviews and recommendations to make your next cattle drive the best one yet. This page covers artists under the letter "C" - please feel free to make recommendations or comments if I've missed someone.
(PS - Don't forget the cowgals, as well!)
Big Bill Campbell "Rocky Mountain Rhythm" (BACM, 2005)
Big Bill Campbell "Rocky Mountain Rhythm, v.2: Mighty Fine" (BACM, 2005)
Jenny Lou Carson "The Chin-Up Girl" (BACM, 2007)
One of the most successful songwriters of the WWII era hillbilly scene, Jenny Lou Carson (nee Virginia Lucille Overstake) was also one of the first female country stars. Carson started out in a family trio with two of her sisters, billed as the Overstake Sisters, and as "The Little Country Girls"; she also recorded under the pseudonym of Lucile Lee, and finally as Jenny Lou Carson, the name where she found her greatest fame. Carson wrote numerous hits, including "You Two-Timed Me Once Too Often," "Let Me Go, Lover," and "Don't Rob Another Man's Castle." This disc gathers her recordings as a solo performer, mostly with sentimental songs like "I L-O-V-E You" and "I Feel Like Crying Over You," but also with spicier novelty songs such as "I Married A Mouse Of A Man..." Rare recordings from an artist best remembered as a composer... Nice nostalgic material!
The Cass County Boys "Beautiful Texas" (BACM, 2005)
Late-vintage cowboy material from Gene Autry's late-1940s/early '50s band... Sweet stuff!
The Cass County Boys "Ride, Ranger, Ride" (Cattle) (LP)
The Chuck Wagon Gang "Secular And Sacred Songs" (BACM, 2005)
Carolina Cotton - see artist discography
The Country Gentlemen "Songs Of The Pioneers" (Cimarron, 1962) (LP)
Not to be confused with the progressive bluegrass outfit of the same name, this western-oriented trio featured the great Hugh Farr on fiddle, breezing through a set of cowboy classics...
Slim Critchlow "Cowboy Songs - The Crooked Trail To Holbrook" (Arhoolie, 1970)
A pretty good example of the archaic charm of the cowboy song, and its often too-static nature. When this record originally came out in 1970, it was a throwback to a far less complex musical past, and had a strong folkloric quality. It's not the sort of album I would put on to listen to recreationally, or listen to in its entirety, but it is full of fascinating (and authentic) cowboy story-songs. This is the real deal.
Hick Music Index