Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1954

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Bear Family's Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music series is one of the great treasures of hardcore honky tonk music recorded during the golden years of country & western. Each volume is packed to the gills with original versions by the original artists. In addition, these single-disc sets are lavishly illustrated and exhaustively annotated; they are packaged in a handsome hardbound book-style digipack. Sonically, they are remastered with loving care and up-to-the-minute technology, all while keeping the full integrity of the original recording in the final mix. Compiled chronologically, this volume covers the year 1954, when jukeboxes throughout the south, west, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Bear Family's Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music series is one of the great treasures of hardcore honky tonk music recorded during the golden years of country & western. Each volume is packed to the gills with original versions by the original artists. In addition, these single-disc sets are lavishly illustrated and exhaustively annotated; they are packaged in a handsome hardbound book-style digipack. Sonically, they are remastered with loving care and up-to-the-minute technology, all while keeping the full integrity of the original recording in the final mix. Compiled chronologically, this volume covers the year 1954, when jukeboxes throughout the south, west, and Midwest were stocked with what we now consider to be pillars of hard country sound. Hank Williams may have been gone by this time, but the music was still in full flower as evidenced by the 28 tracks included here. Radio was breaking new artists all the time, while furthering the careers of established ones. There are great tracks from Slim Whitman ("Rose Marie"), Webb Pierce ("Slowly," and "Sparkling Brown Eyes" with the Wilburn Brothers), and Hank Snow ("I Don't Hurt Anymore"). That said, newer voices and sounds were emerging onto the scene in a big way, as honky tonk singers established themselves as great balladeers -- who were still firmly entrenched in the honky tonk sound. For instance, Ray Price's "Release Me" and "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)" are included here, as is Little Jimmy Dickens' "Take Me as I Am or Let Me Go." Elsewhere, voices like Jim Reeves with "Bimbo," and Roy Acuff with "I Closed My Heart's Door" reflect an earlier, more folk-oriented style of country that still scored with listeners and the record-buying public. But it's the final two cuts on this set that really showcase how the music was changing: the skittering double-time rhythms of the snare and cymbal on Carl Smith's "Loose Talk," and "That's All Right," by a trio known simply as Elvis, Scotty & Bill, that showcases the movement away from the fiddle as the primary upfront instrument on records to guitars and drums -- whether it be the steel guitar in the former or the electric six-string in the latter. In the middle of the '50s, honky tonk was beginning to shift and change shapes, and this volume illustrates that fact beautifully. This entire series has proved itself invaluable as documentary evidence of the evolution of country music, and this volume adds to that argument.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/22/2009
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051695927
  • Catalog Number: 16959

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 This Ole House - Stuart Hamblen (3:00)
  2. 2 Rose Marie - Slim Whitman (2:21)
  3. 3 Bimbo - Jim Reeves (2:49)
  4. 4 Oh Baby Mine (I Get So Lonely) - Johnnie & Jack (2:01)
  5. 5 I Really Don't Want To Know - Eddy Arnold (2:35)
  6. 6 Release Me - Ray Price (2:42)
  7. 7 Idaho Red - Wade Ray (2:23)
  8. 8 Slowly - Webb Pierce (2:41)
  9. 9 Looking Back To See - The Browns (2:25)
  10. 10 Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go) - Little Jimmy Dickens (2:38)
  11. 11 I Wouldn't Change You If I Could - Carl Butler (2:51)
  12. 12 You Better Not Do That - Tommy Collins (2:33)
  13. 13 One By One - Kitty Wells (2:58)
  14. 14 I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) - Ray Price (2:30)
  15. 15 I Closed My Heart's Door - Roy Acuff (2:37)
  16. 16 If You Ain't Lovin (You Ain't Livin') - Faron Young (2:22)
  17. 17 I Don't Hurt Anymore - Hank Snow (3:02)
  18. 18 Good Deal, Lucille - Al Terry (2:22)
  19. 19 Sparkling Brown Eyes - Webb Pierce (2:57)
  20. 20 Cry, Cry Darling - Jimmy C. Newman (2:37)
  21. 21 Too Hot To Handle - Sonny Burns (2:20)
  22. 22 If You Don't Somebody Else Will - Jimmy Lee (2:31)
  23. 23 Blue Guitar - Sheb Wooley (2:43)
  24. 24 Two Glasses Joe - Ernest Tubb (2:19)
  25. 25 Truck Drivin' Man - Terry Fell (2:19)
  26. 26 Take It Away, Lucky - Eddie Noack (2:27)
  27. 27 Loose Talk - Carl Smith (2:33)
  28. 28 That's All Right - Scotty Moore (1:57)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sheb Wooley Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Roy Acuff Vocals
Eddy Arnold Guitar, Vocals
Chet Atkins Guitar, Electric Guitar
Floyd Cramer Piano
Little Jimmy Dickens Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Red Foley Vocals
Benny Martin Fiddle
Buck Owens Guitar
Ray Price Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Jim Reeves Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Carl Smith Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Kitty Wells Vocals
Slim Whitman Guitar, Vocals
Faron Young Vocals
Johnny Mathis Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Elvis Presley Guitar, Vocals
Bill Black Bass
Thumbs Carllile Electric Guitar
Scotty Moore Electric Guitar
Eddie Noack Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Marty Gold Organ, Leader
Tommy Collins Rhythm Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Jimmy Day Steel Guitar
Stuart Hamblen Vocals
Don Helms Steel Guitar
Wade Ray Leader, Vocals
Ernest Tubb Vocals
Speedy West Steel Guitar
Shot Jackson Dobro, Steel Guitar
Bill Woods Fiddle
Johnnie Wright Bass, Leader, Vocals
Carl Butler Vocals
Owen Bradley Piano
Jim Ed Brown Vocals
Billy Byrd Electric Guitar
Jack Drake Bass
Jimmy Lee Fautheree Guitar, Vocals
Terry Fell Guitar, Harmonica, Leader, Vocals
Bob Foster Steel Guitar
Buddy Harman Drums
Dickie Harris Steel Guitar
Walter Haynes Steel Guitar
Walter Buck Henson Bass
Jimmy C. Newman Vocals
Ernest Ernie Newton Bass
Webb Pierce Vocals
Fred Rose Piano
Lewis Talley Rhythm Guitar
Roy Huskey Jr. Bass
Jack Anglin Guitar, Vocals
Farris Coursey Drums
Louis Dunn Fiddle
Marvin Hughes Piano
Jerry Rowley Fiddle
Culley Holt Bass (Vocal)
Henry Newton "Tommy" Vaden Fiddle
Eddie Caldwell Fiddle
Howdy Forrester Fiddle
Tillman Franks Bass
Bud Isaacs Steel Guitar
Al Terry Guitar, Vocals
Wesley Tuttle Guitar, Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Teddy Wilburn Vocal Harmony
Louis Innis Guitar
Thomas Lee Jackson Jr. Fiddle
Loren Otis Shook Guitar
Clarence E. Snow Guitar, Leader, Vocals
Marvin H. Hughes Piano
Al Chernet Guitar
Ivy J. "Jimmy" Bryant Guitar
William Edward "Billy" Liebert Piano
Johnny Sibert Steel Guitar
Velma E. Williams Smith Guitar
Jack Rivers Guitar
"Papa" John Gordy Piano
Marion Z. "Pee Wee" Adams Drums
Sonny Burns Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Rusty Gabbard Guitar
Sonny Harville Piano
A.J. Lewis Drums
Dale Henry Warren Bass
Margie Ann Warren Fiddle
Lonnie "Pap" Wilson Guitar
Marilyn Tuttle Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Maxine Brown Vocals
James Marion "Jimmy" Smith Guitar
Jack Kay Fiddle
Tommy Bishop Guitar
Sugarfoot Collins Guitar
Kenneth Allen "Little Red" Hayes Fiddle
Alan H. Barker Bass
Milburn Winston "Bernie" Annett Piano
Beecher "Pete" "Bashful Brother Oswald" Kirby Dobro, Vocal Harmony
Adelaide "DelWood" Hazelwood Piano
Howard Glover "Johnny" Johnson Rhythm Guitar
Joel Tyrus Price Bass
James "Jimmy" Riddle Harmonica
Dorris Paul Warren Fiddle
Eddie Martin Steel Guitar
Samuel K. "Sammy" Pruett Guitar
Red Hayes Fiddle
Tinker Fry Steel Guitar
Donald S. Davis Bass
Douglas "Dobber" Johnson Fiddle
Joe Hunt Banjo
Eddie Litvin Organ
Thomas Grady Martin Fiddle, Guitar
Philip Kraus Drums, Vibes
Edward M. "Eddie" Kirk Guitar
III Joseph Hale Talbot Steel Guitar
Hank Caldwell Bass
Floyd T. Lightnin' Chance Bass, Percussion
Charles Lee "Fuzzy" Owen Bass
Harry Sims Fiddle
Bob L. Moore Bass
Joe Brewer Steel Guitar
G.M. "Jerry" Rivers Fiddle
Donald H. "Don" Helms Steel Guitar
Billy Raymond Carson Guitar
Gwyn Nichols Drums
Jess Esterhasy Guitar
Charles Edward Theriot Steel Guitar
Theron Poteet Piano
Kenneth C. Hall Bass
Lionel Lester Taylor Piano
Jimmy Biggar Steel Guitar
Thomas "Curly" Harris String Bass
James "Sonny" Trammell Steel Guitar
Charles R. Grean Bass
Technical Credits
Sheb Wooley Composer
Rudolf Friml Composer
Red Foley Duet
Ray Price Composer
Kitty Wells Duet
Johnny Mathis Composer
Eddie Noack Composer
Freddie Hart Composer
Tommy Collins Composer
Stuart Hamblen Composer
Cindy Walker Composer
Don Robertson Composer
Johnnie Wright Composer
Howard Barnes Composer
Jim Ed Brown Composer
Boudleaux Bryant Composer
Stoney Cooper Composer
Bill Cox Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Composer
Colin Escott Liner Notes, Reissue Producer, Illustrations
Jimmy Lee Fautheree Composer
Terry Fell Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Geraldine Hamilton Composer
Otto Harbach Composer
Bill Holford Engineer
Don Law Producer
Ann Lucas Composer
J.D. Miller Composer
Ken Nelson Producer
Jimmy C. Newman Composer
Webb Pierce Composer
Fred Rose Producer
Bob Sullivan Engineer
Charles Theriot Composer
Jack Anglin Composer
Jim Anglin Composer
Tommy Hill Composer
Ed Kissack Producer
Stephen H. Sholes Producer
Al Terry Composer
Doyle Wilburn Tic Tac
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Richard Weize Discographical Information
Dave Sax Illustrations, Discographical Information
Fabor Robison Producer
Kevin Coffey Discographical Information
Jack Rollins Composer
Pat Ballard Composer
Rusty Gabbard Composer
Dub Williams Composer
Robert Yount Composer
Russ Wapensky Discographical Information
Rod Morris Composer
Sven T. Uhrmann Illustrations
Christian Zwarg Mastering
Maxine Brown Composer
Ralph Jones Composer
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
Eddie Miller Composer
Andy Brown Illustrations
Harold W. "Pappy" Daily Producer
Paul Cohen Producer
Sam C. Phillips Producer
Frank Kauzlaric Composer
Reno Saels Composer
Larry Sullivan Composer
Paul H. Jones Composer
James A. Pritchett Composer
Jack Stames Producer
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