Eddy Arnold

Cattle Call

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Western music may live forever, but in the early '60s it had already suffered a decline. The singing cowboys had all but disappeared from the silver screen, and the days when western attire and repertoire were expected of country artists would soon be over. The album format became the new domain of commercial western music, and stalwarts like the Sons of the Pioneers and Tex Ritter continued to release moderately successful albums long after their hitmaking heydays. Eddy Arnold had a number one hit in 1955 with one of his recordings of "Cattle Call," but this 1963 LP was his first all-western album and his first to make the Billboard album charts. In addition to the expected western standards on Cattle Call, Arnold "westernizes" popular songs like "The Wayward Wind," and his smooth baritone fits these songs just as well as that of Rex Allen or Johnny Western. The re-recording of the title track is a haunting beauty with a real yodel rather than the falsetto vocal treatment it often receives, and is the version that is frequently anthologized even though it wasn't a hit. Well made and well remembered, Cattle Call is perhaps the most significant western album of the '60s.

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