The Statler Brothers scored 66 entries in Billboard magazine's country singles charts between 1965 and 1990, including at least one appearance during every one of those 26 years. Between 1965 and 1969, they recorded for Columbia Records, then switched to Mercury. This double-disc collection covers both of those affiliations, licensing the group's three biggest Columbia hits, "Flowers on the Wall," "Ruthless," and "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith Too," from Sony/BMG. It total, 42 of those 66 chart entries are included, sequenced in chronological order. But compilation producers Mike Ragogna
and Tommy West
have not simply chosen the 42 highest charting of those singles. All the Top Five hits are present, and the selections hew generally to the upper reaches of the chart. But the compilers have exercised a degree of editorial judgment, excluding the Top Ten hits "The Movies," "How to Be a Country Star," and "Whatever," but including "Woman Without a Home," "Only You," and "Am I Crazy?," songs that only got into the Top 40. Granted, it would have taken a third CD to fit in all the Statler Brothers' chart singles, and an argument could be made that it is more representative of the group's career to leave out a few weak songs, even if they were hits, in favor of some stronger ones that came along late in their run, when country radio was becoming more resistant, such that those records didn't do as well as they deserved to. Still, when a song is a hit, that means there will be fans out there to whom it is the one song that matters from an artist, and there will no doubt be Statler Brothers fans who wonder why their favorites couldn't be squeezed onto an otherwise comprehensive collection. Nevertheless, most of the hits are included.