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I'd not heard of Helen Merrill before this CD showed up in my Amazon recommendations. Quite often, those recommendations are useless but I watch them for the rare chances that I find something I wouldn't otherwise know about and which interest me, like this one.

The booklet notes are in Chinese or Japanese, but the backing paper has notes in very small type (but readable) in English, including a track listing. The country songs chosen include two associated with the Everly brothers (Maybe tomorrow, Devoted to you), three associated with Eddy Arnold (Any time, You don't know me, A heart full of love) and five associated with Hank Williams including My heart would know and four very famous songs. Two other songs (Condemned without Trial, I'm here to get my baby out of jail) complete the album.

Helen has a wonderful, slightly smoky voice that is ideally suited to these songs. This album was recorded in 1959 and was one of several by a variety of jazz and pop singers around that time to adapt country songs to their own style. I've heard a few of them and most work well in their different ways, but this is among the best.
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on 11 September 2013
Just over 50 years after I heard my brothers Eddie and Donald's copy of "American Country Songs" in Port Elizabeth, South Africa as a teenager [ there is still a much-played and much-scratched vinyl LP knocking around in the family vaults somewhere ], and after over five years of looking out for it on Amazon - to my amazement,I am now listening to it again in China, Meizhou [ my grandfather's home town] on cd...complete with the original cover and the original liner notes...thanks to the Japanese love of Helen Merrill and of jazz in general...

It sounds just as magical, as it did then...see my original review on, when I was still searching for it - the first time I have ever reviewed anything on Amazon...

If you appreciate jazz,and love country music, buy this unique recording immediately, one for yourself and copies for your best friends...I bought two,in case one disappears and I have to wait another 50 years before I can find it again...
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