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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bear Family-Rollercoaster
  • ASIN: B0000282VL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,638 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Nine Pound Hammer
2. That's All
3. John Bolin
4. Muskrat
5. Dark As A Dungeon
6. John Henry
7. Sixteen Tons
8. Possom Up A Simmon Tree
9. I Am A Pilgrim
10. Over By Number Nine
11. barbara Allen
12. Lost John
13. Black Gold
14. The Harlan County Boys
15. Pay Day Comes To Slow
16. The Browder Explosion
17. Bloody Brethitt County
18. Here's The Operator, Boys
19. The Miner's Wife
20. The Courtship Of Second Cousin Claude
See all 24 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
High quality CD as ususal from that label. Thank you Bear Family Records for making music like this available again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the best albums of all time! 8 Mar. 2007
By Ronald G. Jordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you have any appreciation whatsoever for traditional American music, this collection is absolutely essential for your collection. One of the best and most classic albums i've ever heard from one of the most profound song writers and guitar wizards of our time. I don't know if the music was digitally remastered, but the sound quality is excellent and really adds to the feeling.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Songs From One Of The Greats Of Folk And Country Music 30 Dec. 2007
By Chris Luallen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After hearing Merle's "Dark As A Dungeon" on the classic "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" album I decided to buy this CD and I'm glad that I did.

Like many people, after I hard's day work I have often found myself singing "Sixteen tons and what do you get? / Another day older and deeper in debt." But until I purchased this record I never knew that "Sixteen Tons" was a Merle Travis song. From the excellent liner notes, I also learned that Merle grew up in the small coal mining town of Ebenezer, Kentucky in the early 1900's. But he didn't follow in his father's coal miner footsteps. Instead he sought out a career as a professional musician. He played with Grandpa Jones and the Delmore Brothers at a Cincinnati radio station before finally heading to Hollywood where, in 1946, he was signed by Capitol Records.

Capitol A&R guy Lee Gillette saw some potential in folk music and had Merle record "Folk Songs Of The Hills", which featured the first 8 songs on this CD. But this record was a flop commercially and Merle returned to playing a more popular style of country music, with hits like "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette)" and "Divorce Me C.O.D.". In 1956 "Sixteen Tons" was played on Tenneessee Ernie Ford's TV show and suddenly became a big hit. So Capitol re-released Merle's 1946 recordings. But the new album included 4 additional songs and was titled "Back Home". Merle then became part of the emerging folk music revival and even played Carnegie Hall with Flatt and Scruggs. In 1963 Merle recored twelve new original songs on a LP called "Songs Of The Coal Mines" and these make up the second half of this CD.

In total this CD features 24 songs, with 19 originals and 5 traditionals. The songs include humorous and clever tunes such as "The Courtship Of Second Cousin Claude" and "Miner's Strawberries" as well as more serious numbers such as "The Harlan County Boys", about the violent coal miner union strikes of the 1930's. A few tunes, such as "That's All", come across as simple minded and just don't work for me. But the vast majority of the music here is excellent. Merle is a highly descriptive lyricist and really captures the beauty and essence of an earlier time in American history, of hard but glorious living in the hills of Kentucky. Highly recommended!
Another great Merle Travis collection. 11 Oct. 2013
By JayCee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're new to Merle Travis or a long time fan, you should have this in your collection. The music is as fresh and enjoyable as it was when I first heard Merle Travis back in the 1950s. His style of guitar picking is unsurpassed and has been an influence on so many musicians over the years. His delivery of the songs from the Southern hills is so authentic and he had the ability to transport you to mining camps for a folk song or to a brush arbor for a hymn. You won't be sorry that you listened to these songs; you'll be signing along with Merle soon.
Beyond Essential 17 July 2008
By Michael Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Folks Songs of the Hills" as well as "Walkin' the Strings" are two of the greatest acoustic guitar albums ever made. Each of these albums captures Merle Travis at the top of his considerable singing, songwriting and guitar playing abilities. Anyone who loves folk music and/or the acoustic guitar should have both of these CDs in their collection.
Would recommend to anyone 12 Oct. 2014
By collector - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album was a favorite of my fathers when I was younger. I have just ordered it for my collection, as I never forgot the songs. The album is great and I will be very glad to hear it again.
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