The Pathway of My Life: 1966-1986

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Early in his extensive liner notes for Bear Family's eight-disc box The Pathway of My Life: 1966-1986, Scott B. Bomar quotes something Hank Thompson told his biographer, Warren Kice: "I was never happy with those records and I never thought it was my thing. Nobody wanted to do my style of music and I never was able to get the records with Dot that I did with Capitol." Presumably, Thompson held the records he made for Warner Bros., ABC, and Churchill -- the other three labels he recorded for after leaving Capitol in 1964 -- in a similar low regard and, to an extent, his mild disdain is understandable. The Capitol records he made with his Brazos Valley Boys ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Early in his extensive liner notes for Bear Family's eight-disc box The Pathway of My Life: 1966-1986, Scott B. Bomar quotes something Hank Thompson told his biographer, Warren Kice: "I was never happy with those records and I never thought it was my thing. Nobody wanted to do my style of music and I never was able to get the records with Dot that I did with Capitol." Presumably, Thompson held the records he made for Warner Bros., ABC, and Churchill -- the other three labels he recorded for after leaving Capitol in 1964 -- in a similar low regard and, to an extent, his mild disdain is understandable. The Capitol records he made with his Brazos Valley Boys between 1947 and 1965 -- boxed up, along with his handful of sides for Globe and Blue Bonnet, in Bear Family's 12-disc 1996 box Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys -- were indeed the singer's popular and creative peak, monumental Western swing that rivaled Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. The 20 years of music collected on The Pathway of My Life sees Thompson constantly adjusting to the times, first by trimming his group, which reached 14 musicians at its peak, to a core five or six, then allowing producer Joe Allison to sweeten his Western swing with syrupy backing vocals -- a questionable idea made distasteful by the decision to have the singers mimic steel guitar lines. Allison added these sugary vocals with the intent of polishing Thompson up for the changing pop charts and it worked, with "On Tap in the Can or in the Bottle" and "Smoky the Bar" reaching the Top Ten in 1968. Beneath that gloss -- and it's possible to hear around these tacky accouterments, as the whittled-down band remains muscular and is sometimes accentuated by guitarist Merle Travis -- this music is hard Texas country and, once he parted ways with Allison and moved from Warner to ABC, the purity of his country could easily be heard. At times, he'd follow the shifting tides of fashion -- it's disarming to hear fuzz guitars on the Allison-era "But That's All Right" but natural to hear him sing "Behind Closed Doors" -- and sometimes he'd indulge in a bout of nostalgia (he recorded a nice tribute to the Mills Brothers in the early '70s, and it's fun to hear him reconnect to his big-band roots), but he generally stuck to his tried-and-true Texas country. His last Top Ten was called "The Older the Violin, the Sweeter the Music," a nod to his advancing age, and if the productions of the late '70s and early '80s do sound a little brittle and cheap, the same can't be said of Thompson himself: as this big box proves, he was a warm, robust, cheerful vocalist who made sweet music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/12/2013
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 5397102172601
  • Catalog Number: 0217260
  • Sales rank: 69,677

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 If I Lose You Tomorrow (2:56)
  2. 2 I'll Set My Teardrops To Music (2:43)
  3. 3 Number One On the Hurt Parade (2:26)
  4. 4 I've Got a Date With a Teardrop (2:27)
  5. 5 Clubs, Spades, Diamonds and Hearts (2:30)
  6. 6 The Great Society (1:57)
  7. 7 On Tap, In the Can, or In the Bottle (2:27)
  8. 8 Let the Four Winds Choose (2:51)
  9. 9 New Blackboard of My Heart (2:24)
  10. 10 Smoky the Bar (2:31)
  11. 11 The Big One Got Away (2:02)
  12. 12 Lend Me a Dollar (2:44)
  13. 13 Where is the Circus (2:33)
  14. 14 Love Walked Out Long Before She Did (2:22)
  15. 15 He's Got a Way With Women (2:50)
  16. 16 I See Them Everywhere (2:11)
  17. 17 Green Light (2:10)
  18. 18 Most of All (2:56)
  19. 19 Whoa Sailor (2:09)
  20. 20 Humpty Dumpty Heart (2:45)
  21. 21 Squaws Along the Yukon (2:26)
  22. 22 Today (2:58)
  23. 23 Breaking the Rules (2:38)
  24. 24 Tomorrow Night (2:53)
  25. 25 Wildwood Flower (2:53)
  26. 26 John Henry (2:18)
  27. 27 Take the 'a' Train (3:16)
  28. 28 Brazos Valley Blues (2:50)
  29. 29 La Golondrina (3:04)
  30. 30 Steel Guitar Rag (2:05)
  31. 31 Turkey On the Strings (2:16)
  32. 32 Chihuahua Polka (2:04)
  33. 33 Ja-Da (2:46)
Disc 2
  1. 1 When the Saints Go Marching In (2:46)
  2. 2 Fiddleitis (2:46)
  3. 3 Maiden's Prayer/Faded Love (2:56)
  4. 4 Salute To Bob (2:27)
  5. 5 Cold Cold Heart (3:16)
  6. 6 I'm Movin' On (2:29)
  7. 7 Six Days On the Road (2:46)
  8. 8 Walking the Floor Over You (2:41)
  9. 9 She Thinks I Still Care (2:46)
  10. 10 Together Again (2:47)
  11. 11 Slipping Around (2:07)
  12. 12 Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette (2:59)
  13. 13 He'll Have To Go (2:25)
  14. 14 Sixteen Tons (2:41)
  15. 15 Pop a Top (2:26)
  16. 16 New Records On the Jukebox (2:47)
  17. 17 Cocaine Blues (3:07)
  18. 18 Bright Lights and Blonde Haired Women (2:46)
  19. 19 What's Made Milwaukee Famous (2:16)
  20. 20 Ace In the Hole (2:42)
  21. 21 Let's Get Drunk and Be Somebody (2:33)
  22. 22 My Rough and Rowdy Ways (2:26)
  23. 23 Drunkard's Blues (3:53)
  24. 24 Girl In the Night (3:09)
  25. 25 The Pathway of My Life (4:27)
  26. 26 At Certain Times (2:51)
  27. 27 Mutiny On the Monotony (1:56)
  28. 28 Drunkard's Blues (3:55)
  29. 29 Girl In the Night (3:16)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Oklahoma Hills (2:33)
  2. 2 Dusty Skies (2:57)
  3. 3 Dear Okie (2:15)
  4. 4 Oklahoma Home Brew (1:58)
  5. 5 The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma (2:39)
  6. 6 Take Me Back To Tulsa (2:16)
  7. 7 Guthrie (3:29)
  8. 8 Happy Oklahoma (2:42)
  9. 9 O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A (2:37)
  10. 10 Homesick, Lonesome, Hillbilly Okie (2:20)
  11. 11 Big Boat Across Oklahoma (2:13)
  12. 12 Oklahoma Stomp (2:55)
  13. 13 Guthrie (3:33)
  14. 14 I'm Afraid That I Lied (2:36)
  15. 15 But That's All Right (2:16)
  16. 16 One of the Fortunate Few (3:03)
  17. 17 Take It All Away (2:10)
  18. 18 Cozy Inn (2:47)
  19. 19 Everybody Loves a Pretty Baby (3:30)
  20. 20 Where My Sweet Baby Used To Walk (2:30)
  21. 21 Next Time I Fall In Love (I Won't) (2:49)
  22. 22 I'd Do It Again (3:05)
  23. 23 Swing Wide Your Gate of Love (2:11)
  24. 24 Waiting In the Lobby of Your Heart (2:43)
  25. 25 We've Gone Too Far (2:50)
  26. 26 The Wild Side of Life (2:58)
  27. 27 Yesterday's Girl (3:11)
  28. 28 It's Better To Have Loved a Little (2:47)
  29. 29 But That's All Right (2:21)
  30. 30 One of the Fortunate Few (3:04)
Disc 4
  1. 1 I'll Be Around (2:50)
  2. 2 Gloria (2:55)
  3. 3 Glow Worm (2:40)
  4. 4 Be My Life's Companion (3:03)
  5. 5 Paper Doll (2:41)
  6. 6 Till Then (2:31)
  7. 7 You Always Hurt the One You Love (2:44)
  8. 8 Cab Driver (2:23)
  9. 9 Lazy River (2:40)
  10. 10 You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You (2:50)
  11. 11 Across the Alley From the Alamo (2:18)
  12. 12 Promise Her Anything (2:28)
  13. 13 The Mark of a Heel (3:35)
  14. 14 I've Come Awful Close (2:52)
  15. 15 That's Why I Sing In a Honky Tonk (2:20)
  16. 16 Fifteen Dollar Draw (3:20)
  17. 17 Roses In the Wine (2:35)
  18. 18 Teardrops On the Rocks (2:42)
  19. 19 The Older the Violin, the Sweeter the Music (2:34)
  20. 20 Kindly Keep It Country (2:39)
  21. 21 Jill's Jack In the Box (2:40)
  22. 22 The Lord Knows I'm Drinking (2:53)
  23. 23 Loving On Back Streets (2:55)
  24. 24 Southern Loving (2:17)
  25. 25 It's Four In the Morning (3:02)
  26. 26 Behind Closed Doors (2:58)
  27. 27 I Ain't Never (2:01)
  28. 28 A Six Pack To Go (2:29)
  29. 29 When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again (2:29)
  30. 30 Whatever's Left (2:45)
  31. 31 The Corner of My Life (3:13)
  32. 32 I Recall a Gypsy Woman (2:52)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Won't You Ride In My Little Red Wagon (2:35)
  2. 2 Who Left the Door To Heaven Open (2:48)
  3. 3 The Same Old Way (3:07)
  4. 4 Let It Burn (2:37)
  5. 5 Red Necks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer (2:32)
  6. 6 Country Bumpkin (3:22)
  7. 7 There's a Honky Tonk Angel (Who'll Take Me Back In) (2:38)
  8. 8 Wait a Little Longer Baby (2:40)
  9. 9 Mama Don't Allow No Music (3:54)
  10. 10 Fair Weather Love (2:27)
  11. 11 After You Have Made Me Over (2:56)
  12. 12 That's Just My Truckin' Luck (2:48)
  13. 13 Mississippi Sam (3:17)
  14. 14 Answer Me, My Love (2:57)
  15. 15 Ramblin' Rose (2:19)
  16. 16 Mona Lisa (3:14)
  17. 17 A Blossom Fell (2:33)
  18. 18 It's Only a Paper Moon (2:26)
  19. 19 If I May (2:41)
  20. 20 Too Young (2:26)
  21. 21 The Gypsy (2:44)
  22. 22 Pretend (2:32)
  23. 23 That's All There is, There Isn't Any More (2:06)
  24. 24 Oh Mary Don't You Weep (2:17)
  25. 25 Annie Over (2:52)
  26. 26 Hangover Tavern (2:38)
  27. 27 She's Just a Whole Lot Like You (3:03)
  28. 28 The Same Old Way (2:35)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Modine (3:16)
  2. 2 Golden Turnpike In the Sky (3:40)
  3. 3 I Lost My Love to a Truck Drivin' Man (2:15)
  4. 4 Movin' On (2:24)
  5. 5 Trucker's Lullaby (2:45)
  6. 6 Fifteen Miles To Clarksville (2:20)
  7. 7 Asphalt Cowboy (2:50)
  8. 8 Truck Driver's Turn Them On (3:14)
  9. 9 Fifteen Gears (2:51)
  10. 10 Truck It On Down To My House Baby (2:32)
  11. 11 Honky Tonk Girl (2:28)
  12. 12 I'll Sign My Heart Away (2:38)
  13. 13 Yesterday's Girl (3:02)
  14. 14 Another Shot of Toddy (2:35)
  15. 15 Forgive Me (2:57)
  16. 16 Play For Me One Polka (2:14)
  17. 17 Big Band Days (2:50)
  18. 18 Bring Back the Waltzes (2:15)
  19. 19 Three Little Swigs (2:11)
  20. 20 Don't Get Around Much Anymore (2:39)
  21. 21 Bummin' Around (2:55)
  22. 22 Just One Step Away (2:41)
  23. 23 Absent Minded Me (2:42)
  24. 24 Comin' In For Rye (2:34)
  25. 25 Johnny On the Spot (2:39)
  26. 26 Simple Simon, Simple Heart (2:21)
  27. 27 It Gets More Like Monday Everyday (2:43)
  28. 28 When You've Seen One Broken Heart (2:56)
  29. 29 Just an Old Flame (3:15)
  30. 30 Tell Me When the Flag is Passing By (2:56)
  31. 31 Time Wounds All Heels (2:49)
  32. 32 It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (2:41)
Disc 7
  1. 1 Ages and Ages Ago (3:10)
  2. 2 She Loves the One She's With (2:39)
  3. 3 If Worst Come To Worst (3:02)
  4. 4 Window In My Heart (2:49)
  5. 5 If I Had One Ounce of Sense (2:50)
  6. 6 We Don't Love There Anymore (2:58)
  7. 7 Cheaters Never Win (2:36)
  8. 8 Dance With Me Molly (2:48)
  9. 9 Point of No Return (2:26)
  10. 10 Signs of Love (2:17)
  11. 11 That Want You, Need You, Got to Have You Feelin' (2:05)
  12. 12 Through the Bottom of the Glass (2:34)
  13. 13 I Hear the South Callin' Me (2:22)
  14. 14 Tony's Tank-Up, Drive-In Cafe (2:34)
  15. 15 Money Trouble and Love (3:13)
  16. 16 I'm Just Gettin' By (2:47)
  17. 17 Have a Good Time (2:33)
  18. 18 World's Greatest Feelin' (2:20)
  19. 19 Take Me Back To Tulsa (2:26)
  20. 20 Gettin' Down, Gettin' Together, Gettin' In Love (3:22)
  21. 21 Texans and Okies (2:33)
  22. 22 Rollin' In Your Sweet Sunshine (2:29)
  23. 23 One Hell of a Weekend (2:46)
  24. 24 You're Poppin' Tops (2:39)
  25. 25 Star of the Starlight Saloon (2:33)
  26. 26 The King of Western Swing (2:08)
  27. 27 A Little More Country (2:32)
  28. 28 If I Were In Your Shoes (2:44)
  29. 29 Pistol Packing Mama (2:32)
  30. 30 Driving Nails In My Coffin (2:13)
  31. 31 Whatever Happened To Mary (2:56)
  32. 32 The Convict and the Rose (3:06)
Disc 8
  1. 1 All That Goes Up (3:13)
  2. 2 Big Boat Across Oklahoma (2:17)
  3. 3 Cocaine Blues (3:12)
  4. 4 Drop Me Gently (So My Heart Won't Break) (2:28)
  5. 5 Shame On You (2:23)
  6. 6 Rockin' In the Congo (2:23)
  7. 7 Stars and Strips On Iwo Jima (3:10)
  8. 8 Take the 'a' Train (3:08)
  9. 9 Hello Request Line (2:48)
  10. 10 Let's Stop What We Started (3:14)
  11. 11 Honey's Mobile Love Repair (2:56)
  12. 12 Always a Lady (3:19)
  13. 13 I Woke Up With a Few (2:42)
  14. 14 Rainy Days and Whiskey Nights (2:22)
  15. 15 Once In a Blue Moon (2:53)
  16. 16 A Six Pack To Go (3:04)
  17. 17 The Wild Side of Life (3:04)
  18. 18 Oklahoma Hills (2:36)
  19. 19 Breakin' the Rules (2:58)
  20. 20 Blondes With No Last Name (2:22)
  21. 21 Walkin' On New Grass (2:27)
  22. 22 Pick Pocket (2:42)
  23. 23 Honky Tonk Good Ole Gals and Hillbilly Bands (2:20)
  24. 24 I Let My Heart Do the Talking for Me (2:48)
  25. 25 Swingin' Side of Them Swingin' Doors (2:20)
  26. 26 I Woke Up With a Few (2:42)
  27. 27 Oklahoma Hills (3:10)
  28. 28 Wild Side of Life (3:59)
  29. 29 Green Light (1:57)
  30. 30 Old Time Fiddle Medley (2:18)
  31. 31 A Six Pack To Go (2:27)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Hank Thompson Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Hank Thompson Original Album Producer
Tommy Allsup Original Album Producer
Joe Allison Original Album Producer
Larry Butler Original Album Producer
Jim Foglesong Original Album Producer
Bill Inglot Multi-Track Mix
Richard Weize Tape Research
Ann Thompson Illustrations
Ricci Mareno Original Album Producer
Christian Zwarg Mastering
Andreas Merck Photo Scanning
Mychael Gerstenberger Artwork
Peter Nichols Original Album Producer
Joe Bob Barnhill Original Album Producer
Sam Malbuch Photo Restoration
Scott B. Bomar Reissue Producer, Tape Research
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