Wagons West [Box]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Wagons West is a deceptively fine account of the Sons of the Pioneers' music, from what were not only their years of greatest popularity -- 1945 through 1954 -- but also the period in which they started to make full use of recording technology. From 1935 onward, when the Farr brothers came aboard, the group could always function as a self-contained unit, and their 1930s recordings and radio transcriptions are in a class by themselves in that regard; what you heard on the records was what you got in concert. But after signing to RCA in 1945, the group -- by now a sextet, including founders Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer -- availed itself of a range of session players who included ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Wagons West is a deceptively fine account of the Sons of the Pioneers' music, from what were not only their years of greatest popularity -- 1945 through 1954 -- but also the period in which they started to make full use of recording technology. From 1935 onward, when the Farr brothers came aboard, the group could always function as a self-contained unit, and their 1930s recordings and radio transcriptions are in a class by themselves in that regard; what you heard on the records was what you got in concert. But after signing to RCA in 1945, the group -- by now a sextet, including founders Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer -- availed itself of a range of session players who included guitarist Perry Botkin, steel guitarist Charles Richard Roberts, bassist and future official group member Deuce Spriggins, and Rex Dalton Call on violin, to augment Hugh Farr's fiddle and Karl Farr's guitar on tracks like "The Timber Trail" and "Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima" the latter a topical number that works as a Western tune. And for their next session in January of 1946, they added piano and drums to their studio complement for songs like "You're Getting Tired of Me" and "You'll Be Sorry When I'm Gone" both authored by Fred Rose. These sides and the ones that followed made concessions to popular taste that, in a way, anticipated the development of the "countrypolitan" sound in Nashville though the Pioneers recorded in Hollywood or Chicago, but never lost sight of the group's core sound. What's more, the latter was better than ever -- from March of 1946 onward, Lloyd Perryman, who was an essential part of the Pioneers' classic prewar lineup, was back in the fold, and they were at greater than full strength with Nolan, Spencer, the Farrs, Ken Carson, and Shug Fisher or Pat Brady making them a septet. Thus, the version of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" here, from March 1946, may not have the lean, stripped-down beauty of the group's classic 1930s recording, but it has a surprisingly tasteful, ornate beauty, even with three violinists working behind Hugh Farr, and the presence of a saxophone on "Out California Way" doesn't hurt a bit, on a cut that's as much Western swing complete with a bluesy Karl Farr acoustic guitar solo as it is cowboy music. Plus, anyone who wants more of Farr's solo work need only wait for the delightful break on "Grievin' My Heart Out for You," the next song up from the same session, which also spotlights Hugh's fiddle. The 115 songs are far more diverse than the box's title or the group's image would lead one to expect, comprised in equal parts of traditional country, gospel, cowboy songs, topical songs including the controversial "Old Man Atom", movie songs most notably from John Ford's Wagon Master, and elements of swing and blues, all sung in multi-part harmonies and no two songs alike enough to let a listener anticipate the breaks and solos. They occasionally go over the line into pop music, but the group never gets lost, even on "Baby, I Ain't Gonna Cry No More," with its 30-man backing orchestra. Some of the most interesting material here is also some of the most improbable, such as the gospel/topical "What This Country Needs," which incorporates some solid country blues elements within its quasi-"political" sermon. And it ought to be reassuring to potential purchasers that the sound quality is consistent throughout; the whole set sounds very good, and there's no huge jump up in quality from the 1945-1947 sides, which were recorded on wax masters before magnetic tape became available, and those from 1948-1952, dating from after the advent of tape recording. It's all in excellent condition on the listening end, and oddly enough, there are signs of more minor distortion repaired in some of the later sides. The set is topped off with a handsomely illustrated booklet typical of Bear Family's output, which gives complete session and release information on every song and covers the Sons of the Pioneers' complete history, from before the beginning into the last of the sessions represented here, and beyond. In addition to their RCA sides, the set encompasses their return to the Coral Records label in 1954, which yielded, among other songs, "River of No Return," from the Marilyn Monroe/Robert Mitchum movie of that name.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/1994
  • Label: Bear Family
  • UPC: 790051156404
  • Catalog Number: 15640


Disc 1
  1. 1 Forgive and Forget (2:47)
  2. 2 Cool Water (2:55)
  3. 3 The Timber Trail (2:43)
  4. 4 Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima (2:33)
  5. 5 You're Getting Tired of Me (2:49)
  6. 6 Gold Star Mother With Silvery Hair (2:59)
  7. 7 You'll Be Sorry When I'm Gone (2:43)
  8. 8 I Wear Your Memory in My Heart (2:43)
  9. 9 Cowboy Camp Meetin' (2:35)
  10. 10 Tumbling Tumbleweeds (2:42)
  11. 11 Out California Way (2:53)
  12. 12 Grievin' My Heart Out for You (2:44)
  13. 13 No One to Cry To (2:50)
  14. 14 The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma (3:00)
  15. 15 Chant of the Wanderer (3:06)
  16. 16 Blue Prairie (3:13)
  17. 17 Trees (2:38)
  18. 18 The Letter Marked Unclaimed (3:02)
  19. 19 Baby Doll (3:01)
  20. 20 A Penny for Your Thoughts (2:59)
  21. 21 Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (2:53)
  22. 22 Let's Pretend (2:45)
  23. 23 Cigareets, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women (2:54)
  24. 24 Teardrops in My Heart (2:58)
  25. 25 My Best to You (2:54)
  26. 26 Will There Be Sagebrush in Heaven? (2:53)
  27. 27 You Don't Know What Lonesome Is (3:01)
Disc 2
  1. 1 You Never Miss the Water (Till the Well Runs Dry) (2:34)
  2. 2 Lead Me Gently Home, Father (2:45)
  3. 3 Too High, Too Wide, Too Low (2:17)
  4. 4 Out in Pioneer Town (2:30)
  5. 5 A Hundred and Sixty Acres (2:40)
  6. 6 The Sea Walker (2:41)
  7. 7 Read the Bible Every Day (2:51)
  8. 8 The Last Roundup (2:40)
  9. 9 Two Eyes, Two Lips But No Heart (2:39)
  10. 10 Cowboy Country (2:38)
  11. 11 The Bar-None Ranch (In the Sky) (2:31)
  12. 12 Where Are You (2:55)
  13. 13 Calico Apron and a Gingham Gown (2:34)
  14. 14 Happy Birthday Polka (2:28)
  15. 15 Le Me Share Your Name (2:46)
  16. 16 Wind (2:31)
  17. 17 The Whiffenpoof Song (2:59)
  18. 18 The Old Rugged Cross (2:54)
  19. 19 Power in the Blood (2:24)
  20. 20 The Touch of God's Hand (2:55)
  21. 21 Rounded up in Glory (3:08)
  22. 22 Santa Fe, New Mexico (2:41)
  23. 23 Down Where the Rio Flows (2:59)
  24. 24 Down Where the Rio Flows (2:59)
  25. 25 My Feet Takes Me Away (2:47)
  26. 26 Red River Valley (2:30)
  27. 27 Serenade to a Coyote (2:35)
  28. 28 The Missouri Is a Devil of a Woman (2:46)
  29. 29 No Rodeo Dough (2:25)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Sentimental, Worried and Blue (2:53)
  2. 2 Little Gray Home in the West (2:52)
  3. 3 I Still Do (2:38)
  4. 4 Riders in the Sky (3:19)
  5. 5 Room Full of Roses (3:06)
  6. 6 No One Here But You (2:19)
  7. 7 Lie Low Little Dogies (The Cowboy's Prayer) (3:08)
  8. 8 Let's Go West Again (2:43)
  9. 9 Wind (2:44)
  10. 10 Love at the County Fair (2:21)
  11. 11 Wedding Dolls (From Your Wedding Cake) (2:35)
  12. 12 Outlaws (3:05)
  13. 13 Roses (2:46)
  14. 14 The Eagle's Heart (3:09)
  15. 15 Land Beyond the Sun (2:58)
  16. 16 I Told Them All About You (2:21)
  17. 17 Wagons West (2:23)
  18. 18 Rollin' Dust (2:47)
  19. 19 Song of the Wagonmaster (3:00)
  20. 20 Chuckawalla Swing (2:39)
  21. 21 Old Man Atom (3:13)
  22. 22 What This Country Needs (2:30)
  23. 23 Baby, I Ain't Gonna Cry No More (3:08)
  24. 24 Little White Cross (3:26)
  25. 25 America Forever (2:17)
  26. 26 Daddy's Little Cowboy (2:35)
  27. 27 Baby, I Ain't Gonna Cry No More (3:08)
  28. 28 Moonlight and Roses (2:51)
Disc 4
  1. 1 San Antonio Rose (2:35)
  2. 2 Bring Your Roses to Her Now (2:34)
  3. 3 Mexicali Rose (2:18)
  4. 4 Lonesome (2:48)
  5. 5 The Wondrous Word (2:23)
  6. 6 Resurrectus (2:34)
  7. 7 Wind (3:10)
  8. 8 Waltz of the Roses (2:52)
  9. 9 The Lord's Prayer (2:29)
  10. 10 Heartbreak Hill (2:55)
  11. 11 Ho le O (3:09)
  12. 12 I Still Do (2:44)
  13. 13 Waltz of the Roses (3:11)
  14. 14 I Still Do (2:55)
  15. 15 Outlaw (3:14)
  16. 16 Diesel Smoke (2:39)
  17. 17 Almost (2:32)
  18. 18 Diesel Smoke (2:30)
  19. 19 Empty Saddles (2:55)
  20. 20 There's a Gold Mine in the Sky (2:50)
  21. 21 Old Pioneer (2:44)
  22. 22 Home on the Range (3:25)
  23. 23 If You Would Only Be Mine (2:29)
  24. 24 Sierra Nevada (2:19)
  25. 25 The River of No Return (2:12)
  26. 26 The Lillies Grow High (2:10)
  27. 27 Lonely Little Room (2:26)
  28. 28 Montana (2:16)
  29. 29 Somebody Bigger Than You and I (2:16)
  30. 30 The Mystery of His Way (2:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Sons of the Pioneers Primary Artist, Group
Bob Haggart Bass
Mort Herbert Violin
Lou McGarity Trombone
Heine Beau Saxophone
Jack Marshall Guitar
Norma Zimmer Choir, Chorus
Marty Gold Organ, Leader
Noel Boggs Steel Guitar
Ken Curtis Guitar
Dale Evans Track Performer
Billy Mure Guitar
Hugh & Karl Farr Fiddle, Guitar, Leader
Robert Barene Violin
Larry Binyon Saxophone
Perry Botkin Guitar
Frank Carroll Bass
Mac Ceppos Violin
George Cole Organ
Allan Harshman Viola
Armand Karpoff Viola
Phil Kraus Drums
Eddie Kusby Trombone
Bill Lee Choir, Chorus
Alfred Lustgarten Violin
Edgar Lustgarten Cello
Jack Mayhew Trumpet, Saxophone
Harry Melnikoff Violin
Erno Neufeld Violin
Danny Perri Guitar
Thurl Ravenscroft Choir, Chorus
Allan Reuss Guitar
Mischa Russell Violin
Marshall Sosson Violin
David Sterkin Viola
Gerald Vinci Violin
Don Whitaker Bass
Morris Bercov Saxophone
Rex Call Violin
Milton DeLugg Accordion, Leader
Fred Falensby Saxophone
Ray Hagan Drums
William "Shorty" Hill Violin, Leader
Frank Messina Accordion
Earl Joaquin Murphey Steel Guitar
Alex Murray Violin
Max Smith Choir, Chorus
Werner Callies Violin
Sam Freed Violin
Charlie LaVere Piano
Mark McIntyre Piano
Phillip Shuken Flute
Pat Brady Bass
Ken Carson Guitar
Tommy Doss Guitar
Irving Edelman Bass
Shug Fisher Bass
Vaughn Horton Steel Guitar
Bob Nolan Guitar
Lloyd Perryman Guitar
Tim Spencer Guitar
Korla Pandit Organ
Zeke Zarchy Trumpet
Morton Friedman Saxophone
Arthur Shapiro Bass
Dave Bohme Violin, Leader
Ormond Downes Drums
Ivan Ditmars Novachord
Dewey Bergman Leader
Rex Koury Organ
Luther Roundtree Guitar
Country Washburne Conductor
Eddie Bennett Piano
Georger R "Deuce Spriggens" Braunsdorf Bass
C.W. Collidge Trombone
Jesse J. Colvard Steel Guitar
Robert W Conzelman Drums
Turney Gibson Violin
Charles E. Grifford Choir, Chorus
Bob R. Hamlin Choir, Chorus
Carl H. Hunt Violin
Chuck Hurter Violin
George Kayser Violin
August Klein Accordion
Koby Sirinsky Violin
R Lambert Violin
W. Lee Choir, Chorus
Eugene Le Pique Piano
Ralph Miele Guitar
Edward Mirchell Steel Guitar
Louis Paonessa Drums
Nicholas "Nick" Posani Violin
Charles Richard Roberts Steel Guitar
Harry (Simovitz) Sims Violin
Fred T. Travers Accordion
Sol Turner Violin
W Wardle Organ
Dale Warren Guitar
James O. "Jimmy" Wyble Guitar
Larry Russell Conductor
Technical Credits
Billy Hill Composer
Jimmie Davis Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
John Benson Brooks Composer
Norman Luboff Composer
Stan Jones Composer
Bob Newman Composer
Cindy Walker Composer
Foy Willing Composer
Irving Bibo Composer
Sonny Burke Composer
George Cates Producer
Jim Crotty Metal Transfers
Ken Darby Composer
Lou Forbes Composer
Charles Randolph Grean Producer
Hy Heath Composer
Walt Heebner Producer
Henri René Producer
Isham Jones Composer
Dave Kapp Producer
Freddie Large Composer
John A. Lomax Composer
Lionel Newman Composer
Ben Weisman Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Fred Wise Composer
Stephen H. Sholes Producer
Ken Carson Composer
Shug Fisher Composer
Fred Goodman Illustrations
Vaughn Horton Composer
Bob Nolan Composer
Tim Spencer Composer
Jorg Siemer Mastering
Bernardo Cosachov Metal Transfers
Bruce Hailstalk Tape Research
R.A. Andreas Illustrations
Richard Weize Reissue Producer, Tape Research
Gerd Weiler Artwork
Larry Zwisohn Liner Notes, Illustrations, Biographical Notes
Jack Rivers Composer
Dan Kelly Composer
Ivan Ditmars Composer
Neil Moret (Chas. N. Daniels) Composer
Arthur Kent Composer
Sydney Robin Composer
Jack Segal Composer
John Jacob Loeb Composer
Albert Hay Malotte Composer
Vic McAlpin Composer
Jack Rollins Composer
Red Rowe Composer
Glenn Spencer Composer
Helen Stone Composer
Jack Toombs Composer
Dewey Bergman Composer
Ben Black Composer
Jacob Otis Brennan Composer
Brad Browne Composer
Cy Coben Composer
John Ennis Composer
Oscar Fox Composer
Tod Galloway Composer
Kay Twomey Composer
Art Rush Producer
Lewis Harris Composer
Foster Carling Composer
Bill Hill Composer
Traditional Composer
Cliff Johnson Composer
R. Ellenborn Engineer
Sylke Lohmeyer Artwork
Nichols Contributor
Kuhl Rush Producer
Harold Spencer Illustrations
Grace Thompson Illustrations
Meade Minnigerode Composer
George S. Pomeroy Composer
Joyce Kilmer Composer
Oscar Rasbach Composer
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