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Cindy Walker got her big break in 1941 when Bing Crosby had a pop hit with her song "Lone Star Trail," but her reputation soared that same year when Bob Wills recorded four of her songs. Wills continued to record Walker's songs, including 39 that she wrote for his movie appearances between 1942 and 1944, the latter year also being the occasion of her first Top 10 country hit as a solo artist with "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again," which became a country standard and was even covered by Elvis Presley. Now Willie Nelson, himself deeply indebted to Bob Wills, pays tribute to a great American songwriter with a finely wrought baker's-dozen package of Cindy Walker gems, about evenly divided between spirited workouts and what the old-timers refer to as "buckle polishers," meaning ballads meant for close, slow dancing. Willie and crew feel right at home with both styles, playing with a feeling that's casual but committed. In a high-spirited mode, the ensemble offers a sprightly "Bubbles in My Beer," a jovial, good-time reading of "Miss Molly," and a thumping but graceful take on "Cherokee Maiden." Willie's not in his best voice here, but his ragged, uncertain timbre turns out to be perfect for laying on the ache in the lovely, pop-inflected ballads in which Walker's hallmark subtle irony was embedded in heart-tugging vows of abiding, yearning love, notably "You Don't Know Me," "Not That I Care," and "I Don't Care." In recent years Willie has eagerly embraced styles beyond the country framework, with more or less agreeable results, but here, in pure western swing territory, he sounds like he's real happy to be back where he belongs again.
Performance CreditsWillie Nelson Primary Artist,Vocals,Gut String Guitar
Buddy Emmons Pedal Steel Guitar
Johnny Gimble Fiddle
Jordanaires Background Vocals
Radney Foster Background Vocals
Don Potter Acoustic Guitar
Buzz Cason Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers Drums
John Hobbs Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Brent Mason Electric Guitar
Gordon Mote Piano
Michael Rhodes Bass,Electric Bass
Curtis Young Background Vocals
Randy "The Owl" Elmore Fiddle
Technical CreditsEddy Arnold Composer
Willie Nelson Author
Cindy Walker Composer
Tommy Duncan Composer
Fred Foster Producer,Author,Audio Production
Brent Maher Engineer
Webb Pierce Composer
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys Composer
Daniel Cooper Liner Notes
Charles Yingling Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great pure-country album, refreshing to hear in light of the pop-a-fied stuff that's force-fed listeners on most FM country stations. Willie's in his element here. The arrangements are just right the singer's own guitar work moving underneath most of the time. Refreshing to hear Willie back on track.
I have listened to this CD over and over again, it's what country western songs are all about, Willie's voice is sharp and so clear you feel that he is singing each and every word just to you. If you don't sing along on "you don't know me" or "not that I care" then you should not be listening to country western music and should go live in a cave. It truly is great music.