The Complete Mercury Recordings

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
By 1948 guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs had made their mark in a classic lineup of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, then split to assemble their own formidable, groundbreaking group. Mercury snatched up the quintet other members included guitarist Mac Wiseman, bass player Howard Watts a.k.a. Cedric Rainwater, and fiddler Jim Shumate, and here on a single disc are the 28 tracks that resulted from that union. Recorded in four sessions from 1949 to 1950, this bluegrass stands alongside Monroe's towering work -- often innovative, always stirring, and still influential. Personnel changes along the way never altered the leaders' vision: The distinctive ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
By 1948 guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs had made their mark in a classic lineup of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, then split to assemble their own formidable, groundbreaking group. Mercury snatched up the quintet other members included guitarist Mac Wiseman, bass player Howard Watts a.k.a. Cedric Rainwater, and fiddler Jim Shumate, and here on a single disc are the 28 tracks that resulted from that union. Recorded in four sessions from 1949 to 1950, this bluegrass stands alongside Monroe's towering work -- often innovative, always stirring, and still influential. Personnel changes along the way never altered the leaders' vision: The distinctive drive and heart are ever present. Employing the banjo in a lead role, Scruggs is daring and unconventional within a traditional framework -- entirely appropriate for the man who would light the way for a progressive wing with his Earl Scruggs Review in the '70s. But Scruggs wasn't the only standout: Wiseman is a revered bluegrass vocalist, Curly Seckler was a personable backwoods warbler himself, and the fiddlers matched Scruggs's musical wits -- check out the spunky dialogue that erupts between Scruggs and the great Benny Sims on the rambunctious "My Little Girl in Tennessee." Religious songs dominate the repertoire, but there's plenty of love and heartbreak here the touching Flatt/Scruggs–penned evergreen, "We'll Meet Again Sweetheart", irresistible good-time music "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms", and, of course, the undisputed highlight, the original, go-for-broke frolic of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Greater glories lay ahead, but the Flatt & Scruggs story starts here, and it's as unforgettable as it is resonant, a half century later.
All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
In what basically amounts to a reissue of 1992's similarly titled Complete Mercury Sessions, Universal's Complete Mercury Recordings has improved upon the original by putting the songs in chronological order and including terrific liner notes by folk historian Mary Katherine Aldin. While both Flatt & Scruggs releases include the early classics "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," and "Salty Dog Blues," the extras on this release make it the one to own.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2003
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
  • UPC: 008817037424
  • Catalog Number: 000007002
  • Sales rank: 31,042

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Flatt & Scruggs Primary Artist
Lester Flatt Guitar, Vocals
Earl Scruggs Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Baritone (Vocal)
Mac Wiseman Guitar, Vocals
Curly Seckler Mandolin, Vocals, Tenor (Vocal)
Howard Watts Bass, Vocals
Art Wooten Fiddle
Jody Rainwater Bass, Guitar
Technical Credits
Lester Flatt Composer
Earl Scruggs Composer
Jim Eanes Composer
Charlie Monroe Composer
Jimmie Skinner Composer
Mary Katherine Aldin Liner Notes
Paul Mares Composer
Andy McKaie Reissue Producer
Bobby Osborne Composer
Leon Roppolo Composer
Larry Richardson Composer
Elmer Schoebel Composer
Curly Seckler Composer
Howard Watts Composer
Wiley Morris Composer
Zeke Morris Composer
Jessie Mae Martin Composer
Frank Southern Composer
The Bevins Brothers Composer
Odell McLeod Composer
Ralph Jones Composer
E.C. McCarty Composer
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