Thesaurus Transcriptions

The Thesaurus Transcriptions

by Hank Snow

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So what's to say about five CDs worth of unreleased Hank Snow material from 1950-1956, some of the artist's hottest years? Thesaurus was an RCA imprint that recorded nothing but radio transcriptions. Snow recorded 138 tracks, none of which were ever released to the public, all of which are included here, completely remastered from master tapes and acetates. Snow is


So what's to say about five CDs worth of unreleased Hank Snow material from 1950-1956, some of the artist's hottest years? Thesaurus was an RCA imprint that recorded nothing but radio transcriptions. Snow recorded 138 tracks, none of which were ever released to the public, all of which are included here, completely remastered from master tapes and acetates. Snow is accompanied on the vast majority of these tracks by his Rainbow Ranch Boys, and some heavy company such as Chet Atkins, steel player Joe Talbot, and fiddler Curly Wise. Problem is, these details had to be fleshed out by the researcher who wrote the liner notes, Charles Wolfe. Most of the sessions say "Hank Snow, voice and guitar, other details unknown." It doesn't matter, though, fans of Snow will be able to readily recognize when guests appear and when the band is popping off many his classics, as well as many more obscurities. The sound quality on this set is astonishingly good considering the original condition of much of the source material. While it's true that RCA treasured Snow almost from the beginning for his earning power and his prestige in the country market, archival standards were not what they are today, and deterioration was inevitable. But the folks in the Bear Family lab painstakingly remastered these tapes, getting rid of most of the hiss, but leaving enough to include all the music. The Thesaurus transcriptions are also not hindered in any way by the continuing practice of including intros and outros -- like the Jim Reeves and Friends set. The honky tonk music flows fast, free, and passionately from Snow's deep Canadian folk-rooted voice. In listening to "Weary Blues" on disc one or "Then I Turned and Walked Away" from disc four, or "Do Right Daddy Blues" from disc five -- and all of these are random examples, you could have chosen dozens of others -- one can hear, in the grain of Snow's voice, what made him connect with people in the same way they connected with Hank Williams: simplicity and directness. Snow took care never to hide his voice and words behind arrangements or instrumental flourishes -- even when a picking duel occurred in his songs -- he went straight for the heart of the vocal and dragged it up to the top of the mix and let the story fall in front of the listener, bringing them into the song, whether it was a gospel tune; a Western swing blues; a somber, lovelorn ballad; or a honky tonk good-time dance tune. Snow sang them all the same way: to the listener. He could move from his lovely baritone to a lilting tenor as a device for getting a lyric, not an arrangement, across. What makes these tracks even more special is that since Snow wasn't bound by having to make records for sale, for commercial gain, he and his band felt no pressure in performing them. There is a relaxed, easy, strolling atmosphere present in all of the Thesaurus sessions; toward the end of 1952 and on until 1956, the sessions became sort of a social gathering for Snow and his musicians, a workshop for songs such as "Fire on the Mountain," "The End of the World," "Pins and Needles," "The Streamline Cannonball," "Blue Dreams," "The Sun Has Gone Down on Our Love," "Whispering Hoper," and literally dozens of others. Often the Thesaurus versions are superior to the more familiar commercially recorded ones for this very reason. It's not so much that they're so raw, because Snow was a consummate professional, but they are fresher, more immediate, without the usual distance between a recording set in time and space and the listener at the other end of the speakers. This is a set that will be of supreme interest not only to Snow collectors, but to those who collect vintage country music as well. There is nothing here that should have been discarded -- except some of the corny photos in the booklet -- and none of it rings the least bit contrived or untrue. This is one of the most important box sets that Bear Family has ever done.

Product Details

Release Date:
Bear Family

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. Introduction
  2. Weary River
  3. Bury Me Deep
  4. Let's Pretend
  5. Address Unknown
  6. Golden River
  7. Barefoot Blues
  8. I'm Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail
  9. Brand on My Heart
  10. With This Ring I Thee Wed
  11. I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
  12. Fire on the Mountain
  13. Draggin' the Bow
  14. Steel Guitar Rag
  15. Wabash Blues
  16. I'm Movin' On
  17. Handcuffed to Love
  18. The Convict and the Rose
  19. Anniversary Blue Yodel
  20. Frankie and Johnny
  21. Closed for Repairs
  22. The End of the World
  23. I Wonder If You Feel the Way I Do
  24. Pins and Needles
  25. Where Romance Calls
  26. The Streamlined Cannonball
  27. Trouble in Mind
  28. The Last Letter

Disc 2

  1. Headin' Down the Wrong Highway
  2. Lonely
  3. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
  4. These Tears Are Not for You
  5. Jealous Heart
  6. Hawaiian Cowboy
  7. I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
  8. Whispering Hope
  9. It Is No Secret
  10. Molly Darling
  11. I'll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers
  12. Blue Dreams
  13. Blow Yo' Whistle, Freight Train
  14. Lonely River
  15. I'll Never Let You Go, Little Darlin'
  16. Texas Plains
  17. Born to Lose
  18. Too Many Tears
  19. Travellin' Blues
  20. A Faded Rose, a Broken Heart
  21. Yodeling Ranger
  22. Roll Along Kentucky Moon
  23. Zeb Turner's Gal
  24. The Sun Has Gone Down on Our Love
  25. I Walk Alone
  26. Old Shep
  27. Mississippi River Blues
  28. Linda Lou

Disc 3

  1. My Good Gal's Gone
  2. Breeze
  3. This Cold War with You
  4. I Love You Nellie
  5. Beautiful Dreamer
  6. Twelfth Street Rag
  7. Bye Bye Blues
  8. Hilo March
  9. Orange Blossom Special
  10. Beaumont Ride
  11. Just When I Needed You
  12. Ninety Nine Year Blues
  13. My Blue-Eyed Jane
  14. Yodeling Cowboy
  15. The Cannon Ball
  16. It's Been So Long, Darling
  17. The Lover's Farewell
  18. You Nearly Lose Your Mind
  19. Kentucky Waltz
  20. There's a Pony Standin' in His Stall
  21. Among My Souvenirs
  22. Little Old Home Down in New Orleans
  23. The Rainbow's End
  24. Tragic Romance
  25. We'll Never Say Goodbye, Just Say So Long
  26. I'll Go on Alone
  27. The Cowhand's Last Ride
  28. I Almost Lost My Mind

Disc 4

  1. Patanio (The Pride of the Plains)
  2. That Heart Belongs to Me
  3. Peach Picking Time Down in Georgia
  4. Alabama Jubilee
  5. Farewell Blues
  6. In an Old Dutch Garden (By an Old Dutch Mill)
  7. Sally Goodin'
  8. Arkansas Traveller
  9. A Petal from a Faded Rose
  10. It's a Sin
  11. Wedding Bells
  12. At Mail Call Today
  13. Those Blues Eyes Don't Sparkle Anymore
  14. Have I Stayed Away Too Long?
  15. San Antonio Rose
  16. Each Minute Seems a Million Years
  17. Blue Steel Blues
  18. Then I Turned and Walked Slowly Away
  19. Blue Rose of the Rio
  20. My Wubba Dolly (Rubber Dolly)
  21. Tuck Away My Lonesome Blues
  22. The Land of My Childhood Dreams
  23. Wreck of the Old '97
  24. My Life with You
  25. The One Rose (That's Left in My Heart)
  26. I'm Coming Home/Song of the Saddle
  27. Easter Parade
  28. Peter Cottontail

Disc 5

  1. My Rough and Rowdy Ways
  2. Sing Me a Song of the Islands
  3. Little Joe
  4. White Christmas
  5. Blue Christmas
  6. Making Believe
  7. Any Old Time
  8. Never No' Mo' Blues
  9. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again
  10. Katy Hill
  11. Put Your Arms Around Me
  12. I Was Sorta Wonderin'
  13. San Antonio Rose
  14. Over the Waves
  15. Do Right Daddy Blues
  16. As Long as I Live
  17. Poison Love
  18. Loose Talk
  19. The Waltz You Saved for Me
  20. Memories Are Made of This
  21. I Really Don't Want to Know
  22. The Wayward Wind
  23. Chant of the Wanderer
  24. Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
  25. When You and I Were Young, Maggie
  26. Sentimental Journey
  27. The Birth of the Blues
  28. Outroduction

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hank Snow   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Velma Smith   Guitar
Robert Chubby Wise   Fiddle
Henry Newton "Tommy" Vaden   Fiddle
Ed Hyde   Musician
Joseph Hale III Talbot   Steel Guitar
Velma E. Williams Smith   Guitar
Buford Gentry   Musician
Sleepy McDaniel   Musician

Technical Credits

Ivory Joe Hunter   Composer
Gene Autry   Composer
Marty Robbins   Composer
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Hank Snow   Composer,Illustrations
Rex Allen   Composer
Ernest Tubb   Composer
Don Robertson   Composer
Mother Maybelle Carter   Composer
William Shakespeare Hays   Composer
Howard Barnes   Composer
David Bennett   Composer
Euday L. Bowman   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Jenny Carson   Composer
A.P. Carter   Composer
Sara Carter   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Mack Gordon   Composer
Byron Gregory   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Johnny Marks   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Ray Whitley   Composer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys   Composer
Roy Rogers   Composer
Gene Sullivan   Composer
Chauncey Gray   Composer
Charles K. Wolfe   Liner Notes
Karl Davis   Composer
Carmen Lombardo   Composer
Bert Lown   Composer
Harty Taylor   Composer
Wiley Walker   Composer
Henry Whitter   Composer
Nick Shaffran   Illustrations
Charles Wolfe   Liner Notes
Hoffman Nienburg   Artwork
Hoffmann Nienburg   Art Direction
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer,Illustrations
F.J. Lewey   Composer
Rex Zario   Illustrations
Edgar Leslie   Composer
Dedette Lee Hill   Composer
Elsie McWilliams   Composer
Harry Owens   Composer
Bert Lawn   Composer
Robert A. King   Composer
Harry McAuliffe   Composer
Jack Rollins   Composer
Ramblin' Red Ross   Composer
Betty Chapin   Composer
Clark VanNess   Composer
Alton Watson   Composer
Percy Wenrich   Composer
Kay Werner   Composer
Ekko Whelan   Composer
Lulubelle White   Composer
Raymond Hall   Composer
Jay Johnson   Composer
Will Grosz   Composer
Jerry Williams   Composer
Gene Earle   Illustrations
Walter W. Fuchs   Illustrations
Frederick Hamm   Composer
James Austin Butterfield   Composer
George Washington Johnson   Composer
Horatio Nicholls   Composer
Sue Werner   Composer
Hope Harlow   Composer
Emma Johnson   Composer
Stanley Murphy   Composer
Steve Nelson   Composer
Bill Hayes   Composer

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