Kitty Wells, now in her 90s, must be wryly amused by the torrent of releases of her early albums on Decca. The out-of copyright specialists are working their way through her back catalogue with the result that the Queen of Country Music is becoming as well known today as she was back in the 1950s and 1960s. Kitty Wells spent a lifetime performing in the Country music business, at least 6 decades, and she was a model performer. Like her husband, Johnnie Wright (of Johnnie and Jack), she was a fixture of the Opry, and in her own right, was one of the first female artists to break through the glass ceiling into the Country Hit Parade. Here, Jasmine Records have packaged 4 of her early Decca albums and released a 2 CD package. The 48 tracks comprise the albums, Country Hit Parade (1956), Dust On The Bible (1959), Seasons Of My Heart (1960), and Kittys Choice (1960). Interestingly, Jasmine have chosen not to release her first four albums on Decca in chronological order, but have skipped over Winner Of Your Heart (1956) and After Dark (1959). "Winner" is a wonderful album, but is available elsewhere on a twofer with Country Hit Parade. If you don't possess the Bear Family 4 CD box, then you should add this Jasmine to your collection. The sound is adequate, Decca engineering was pretty good in those days, and the music is consistently good. Far, far better than a collection of Greatest Hits, these albums allow you to hear the development of her music, in particular how Kitty Wells stayed the right side of the line of Nashville morality, whilst dealing with themes that were adult and relevant. An important release undoubtedly, but also one I expect you will play many times. That is the true test of great Country music.
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