Classic Charley Pride!!! For those looking for a CD version/MP3 version of this, it doesn't exist, not yet. Amazon is touting a CD/MP3 release of the same title but they're the same in name only and are completely different from the 1967 LP of the same name, the product I'm reviewing.
There is a good mixture of hits of Charley's, hits of others and some filler, particularly the last song, "Best Banjo Picker."
On the "Charley" hit list is "Just Between You and Me" and "I Know One." These obviously need no introduction as any true fan of Mr. Pride will know these. "Spell of the Freight Train" is one that wasn't among the big hits for Mr. Pride but that doesn't mean it doesn't rank up there with his big hits. This song tells the story started by Jimmie Rodgers of grabbing a freight train and riding, leaving his love behind.
On the list of "other's" hits, we start with "The Last Thing On My Mind." This one was covered by several different artists, in particular label mates Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner as a duet. Charley turns in a very good version that ranks right up there with his RCA label mates and I think it's as good as his other label mate's, Hank Snow, version.
On the flip side (we're talking an LP here, ya know?) we don't find any big hits for Charley but that doesn't mean it's less listenable at all.
"I'm Not The Boy I Used To Be" is the classic tale of a good boy gone wrong that has served his time and now has to own up to what he has done.
"A Good Woman's Love" tells the story of a boy who was a wanderer on land and on sea until a good woman's love put him back on his feet! This one has some excellent banjo and mandolin picking and would make a wonderful bluegrass rendition by someone with a "high, lonesome" sound. This is far from the typical "Nashville Sound" that was prevalent in Nashville during that time. This alone is worth price of admission.
"Silence" is the typical country tune of lost love and the ensuing silence "killing" him. A good song but nothing overly special.
"Take Me Home" is the typical up-tempo country traveling song along the lines of "I've Been Everywhere." After traveling the world, Charley wants to go back home where life is slow paced and more enjoyable. The laughable line in this is where he says he can't count the number of times he's cut his hand on a sardine can!!! Classic writing as only Jack Clement could give!
"Touch My Heart" is a classic country tune written by a then little known Johnny Paycheck. The typical "my woman has given me the best in life" song but a great, great song and one that should've been a huge hit for Charley!!!
"Best Banjo Picker?" What can you say? Obviously they had to have one more song to round out the album and someone picked this one. Lol!!! It's not a bad song per se but considering Charley didn't pick the banjo......