Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1966

Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1966


Country music started to shift in 1966, broadening its vistas and slowly, subtly accepting the shifting tides of popular culture. Bear Family's installment in their peerless Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Hit Parade suggests this slow, gradual change over the course of its 31 tracks, often splitting the difference between…  See more details below


Country music started to shift in 1966, broadening its vistas and slowly, subtly accepting the shifting tides of popular culture. Bear Family's installment in their peerless Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: Country & Western Hit Parade suggests this slow, gradual change over the course of its 31 tracks, often splitting the difference between Nashville and the growing insurgency coming from the west coast. Buck Owens was still perhaps the towering figure in country music, pioneering not only a modern sound but a sensibility -- his hit "Waiting in Your Welfare Line" played upon how we live today -- but Merle Haggard was also ascendant, scoring two iconic hits with "The Bottle Let Me Down" and "The Fugitive." Overall, the hits of 1966 leaned toward Music City, accentuating the slick, clever professionalism of such stalwarts as Jim Reeves ("Distant Drums"), such team players as David Houston (whose "Almost Persuaded" became an instant standard), and upstarts such as Mel Tillis (whose "Stateside" is a cheerful boogie), but the most interesting moments came on the margin, such as the rise of Loretta Lynn and how Dallas Frazier turned professional songcraft into a novelty so pure, it wound up being a hit decades later ("Elvira"). Generally, the songs featured on this volume of Dim Lights are sweet, smooth, and slick, the modernism revealing itself in production, not theme, but that's fine because the hits on this volume of the Country & Western Hit Parade wind up capturing the twilight of the old guard. They'd never completely fade away, but this is the last year where they'd dominate the Californian renegades and outlaws who wound up defining the last quarter-century of country music.

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  1. Distant Drums  - Jim Reeves
  2. The Streets of Baltimore  - Bobby Bare
  3. The Shoe Goes On the Other Foot Tonight  - Marty Robbins
  4. Don't Touch Me  - Jeannie Seely
  5. Stateside  - Mel Tillis
  6. Almost Persuaded  - Ray Walker
  7. I Get the Fever  - Bill Anderson
  8. You Ain't Woman Enough  - Loretta Lynn
  9. Husbands and Wives  - Roger Miller
  10. Swinging Doors  - Merle Haggard
  11. Funny, Familiar Forgotten Feelings  - Don Gibson
  12. Waitin' In Your Welfare Line  - Buck Owens
  13. Sweet Thang  - Nat Stuckey
  14. There Goes My Everything  - Jack Greene
  15. Elvira  - Dallas Frazier
  16. The Bottle Let Me Down  - Merle Haggard
  17. I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be a Long Time Gone)  - Roger Miller
  18. Misty Blue  - Wilma Burgess
  19. Unmitigated Gall  - Faron Young
  20. I Want To Go With You  - Eddy Arnold
  21. The One On the Right is On the Left  - Johnny Cash
  22. (Pardon Me) I've Got Someone To Kill  - Johnny Paycheck
  23. Touch My Heart  - Ray Price
  24. I'd Just Be Fool Enough  -  Browns
  25. The Fugitive (Aka I'm a Lonesome Fugitive)  - Merle Haggard
  26. Skid Row Joe  - Porter Wagoner
  27. Apartment #9  - Tammy Wynette
  28. Open Up Your Heart  - Buck Owens
  29. Anita You're Dreaming  - Waylon Jennings
  30. Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)  - Loretta Lynn
  31. Distand Drums  - Jim Reeves

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buddy Emmons   Steel Guitar
Bill Anderson   Vocals
Eddy Arnold   Vocals
Bobby Bare   Leader,Vocals
Glen Campbell   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Carter Family   Choir, Chorus
Johnny Cash   Guitar,Vocals
Floyd Cramer   Piano
Don Gibson   Guitar,Leader,Vocals
Jack Greene   Vocals
Merle Haggard   Guitar,Leader,Vocals
David Houston   Vocals
Waylon Jennings   Guitar,Leader,Vocals
Loretta Lynn   Vocals
Buck Owens   Guitar,Leader,Vocals
Johnny Paycheck   Vocals
Ray Price   Vocals
Jim Reeves   Guitar,Vocals
Marty Robbins   Vocals
Ray Stevens   Harpsichord
Mel Tillis   Vocals
Tammy Wynette   Vocals
Faron Young   Vocals
Jordanaires   Choir, Chorus
Johnny Russell   Guitar
Roger Miller   Vocals
James Burton   Dobro,Electric Guitar
Pete Drake   Steel Guitar
Lloyd Green   Steel Guitar
Billy Walker   Leader
Buck Trent   Banjo
Anita Kerr   Choir, Chorus
Phil Baugh   Guitar
Red Simpson   Guitar
Byron Bach   Violin
Owen Bradley   Conductor
Jim Ed Brown   Leader,Vocals
Kenny Buttrey   Drums
Jerry Carrigan   Drums
Jack Collier   Guitar
Ray Edenton   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Bobby Emmons   Keyboards
Dallas Frazier   Vocals
Sonny Garrish   Steel Guitar
Pamela Goldsmith   Vocals
Marshall Grant   Bass
Buddy Harman   Drums
Hoyt Hawkins   Choir, Chorus
Millie Kirkham   Choir, Chorus
James Kirkland   Bass
Sheldon Kurland   Violin
Pierre Menard   Violin
Ralph Mooney   Steel Guitar
Wayne Moss   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Louis Dean Nunley   Choir, Chorus
Bonnie Owens   Vocal Harmony
Luther Perkins   Guitar
Don Rich   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Jeannie Seely   Vocals
Jerry Shook   Guitar
Henry Strzelecki   Bass
George Tidwell   Trumpet
Porter Wagoner   Vocals
Jerry Whitehurst   Piano
Marijohn Wilkin   Choir, Chorus
William Wright   Choir, Chorus
Joe Zinkan   Bass
Dorothy Ann Dillard   Choir, Chorus
W.S. Holland   Drums
Roy Huskey   Bass
William Whitney Pursell   Piano
Bob Moore   Bass
Hugh Gordon Stoker   Choir, Chorus
Willie Cantu   Drums
Solie Isaac Fott   Viola
Jerry Reed Hubbard   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Helen "Peaches" Price   Drums
Bonnie Brown   Vocals
Wilma Burgess   Vocals
Fred Carter   Electric Guitar
Robert L. Johnson   Guitar
Nat Stuckey   Vocals
Bill Johnson   Steel Guitar
Thomas Lee Jackson   Fiddle
Jerry Glenn Kennedy   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Neal Matthews   Choir, Chorus
Kenneth Goldsmith   Violin
Harvey Wolfe   Cello
Mel Rogers   Drums
William Paul Ackerman   Drums
Mack Magaha   Fiddle
George W. McCormick   Guitar,Leader
James Ellington   Piano
George French   Piano
George Edward "Leo" Jackson   Electric Guitar,Leader
Martin Kathan   Violin,Viola,Vocals
Maxine Brown   Vocals
Len "Snuffy" Miller   Drums
David Briggs   Piano
James Beck Gordon   Drums
J.R. Jelly Sanders   Guitar
Jerry "Chip Young" Stembridge   Electric Guitar
Howard Ralph Carpenter   Violin
Doyle Floyd Hendricks   Guitar
Thomas Grady Martin   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Leader
William McElhiney   Trumpet,Leader
Brenton Bolden Banks   Violin
Lewis Augustus Talley   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Mary E. Greene   Choir, Chorus
Gerald W. Gropp   Rhythm Guitar
Bob L. Moore   Bass
Lillian Vann Hunt   Violin
Harald Rugg   Steel Guitar
Charles R. "Charlie" McCoy   Harmonica,Trumpet,Vibes
Harold Ray Bradley   Rhythm Guitar,6-string Electric Bass
Jerry D. Smith   Organ,Piano
Richie Frost   Percussion
Hurshel Wayne Wiginton   Choir, Chorus
Raymond C. Walker   Choir, Chorus
Thomas Rexton Brumley   Steel Guitar
Ronald C. Warden   Guitar
Lula G. Howard   Choir, Chorus
Leonard "Len" Miller   Drums
Alton W. Leadbetter   Guitar
Robert D. "Bob" Morris   Bass
Jimmy Lance   Guitar
William Robert Mize   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Joseph T. Babccok   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Bill Anderson   Composer
Chet Atkins   Producer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Waylon Jennings   Composer
Loretta Lynn   Composer
Mickey Newbury   Composer
Buck Owens   Composer
Johnny Paycheck   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Roger Miller   Composer
Casey Anderson   Composer
Freddie Hart   Composer
Tompall Glaser   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Melvin Endsley   Composer
Chester B. Atkins   Producer
Owen Bradley   Producer
Robin "Hood" Brians   Producer
Jack Clement   Composer
Hank Cochran   Composer
Colin Escott   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer,Illustrations
Fred Foster   Producer
Dallas Frazier   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Frank Jones   Producer
Jerry Kennedy   Producer
Don Law   Producer
Aubrey Mayhew   Composer,Producer
Ken Nelson   Producer
Don Rich   Composer
Billy Sherrill   Composer,Producer
Glenn Sutton   Composer
Alex Zanetis   Producer
Bobby Austin   Composer
Liz Anderson   Composer
Don Bowman   Composer
Nat Stuckey   Composer,Producer
Leverett   Illustrations
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Peggy Sue Wells   Composer
Andreas Merck   Photo Scanning
Frank Page   Producer
Brenda Colladay   Illustrations
Buddy Mize   Composer
Donny Young   Composer
Bob Montgomery   Composer
Charles "Fuzzy" Owen   Producer
Donny Lytle   Composer

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