This CD contains the first two albums released by Roy Acuff on his Hickory Records label. The first was Once More it's Roy Acuff Hickory LP 101 released in 1960. It has the following songs: Once More written by Dusty Miller , Searching for Happiness written by Roy Acuff and Benny Martin, , The One I Love is Gone , So Many Times, and Don't Know Why all three written by Don Gibson, Come and Knock along with Thanks For Not Telling Me both written by the Louvin Brothers, The Leon Payne classic They'll Never Take Her Love From Me, Nero Played His Fiddle by J.D. Miller and Jesse Lee and three written by Roy Acuff I Don't Care If You Don't Love Me, Today My Love Came Back, and Write Me Sweetheart.
This album was really a compilation of his first six Hickory 45-rpm releases. One of the unique features of these recordings is the absence of the trademark Dobro. In its place is an electric steel played skillfully by Shot Jackson who was a Smoky Mountain Boy at this time. Roy acquired him in a trade of sorts with Johnnie and Jack. Although Bashful Brother Oswald's Dobro is missing his voice is not. He is still vocally present and playing a standard guitar. The Roy Acuff show during this time in an effort to cater to a more modern audience replaced the Dobro with the electric steel. The Dobro was only brought out for a song or two to appease older audience members. Roy eventually returned to a largely acoustic band and the Dobro was once again out front.
Another unique feature is the group harmonies on the chorus. There are more voices and a little smoother than the previous Roy and Oswald only backings.
Roy Acuff was in his late 50's during the time of the recordings and his voice is strong, clear and as distinctive as ever. It was only available as a mono release. It is the same way on the CD, mono. This is one of the more interesting and rare Roy Acuff albums and a real treat to the collector.
The second album on this CD is All Time Greatest Hits Roy Acuff also known as King Of Country Music Hickory LP109 released in 1963. This album was recorded in stereo and then mixed down to a mono track . The original release was mono only. Eventually a stereo version was released. The mono was LPM 109 and the stereo was LPS 109. The curious thing about this CD is that all tracks with the exception of Fireball Mail are mono.
The titles on the second album are all well known Acuff classics that were rerecordings of his 1930's and 40's Columbia records. The Great Speckled Bird, Wabash Cannonball, Precious Jewel and many others. On this album the Dobro is strongly heard on each song and the harmony is once again Roy Acuff and Brother Oswald at their best. The CD touts that the recuts are "better than the originals". I guess that's a matter of opinion but they certainly sound more like the Roy Acuff I remember hearing on the Opry. These high fidelity recordings certainly give the originals a run for their money. The label, ACE promises to release more Hickory LP's from the 1960's in the future. I certainly hope they do. I've played the old records would love to hear a pristine digital cut. All I can say to whom ever is responsible for this release is THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I highly recommend this to any fan of real unadulterated pure country music. Buy it today and enjoy it forever.